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The Morning Plum

* Does early voting challenge idea of "enthusiasm gap"? Dems are cautiously encouraged by early voting that shows them holding their own in turnout, and the DSCC is out with a new memo this morning arguing that Dems are ahead in Senate early voting in key states like Nevada and Wisconsin.

* Can labor's turnout efforts offset secret corporate cash? With Dem hopes next week resting partly on whether the big unions will get their members out, the AFL-CIO is gearing up it massive get-out-the-vote operation, with a new 10 million mailer drop and a letter to members from union chief Richard Trumka warning that "the big banks, the outsourcers and even foreign interests are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into campaigns to smear and defeat pro-union candidates."

Key takeaway: While the AFL-CIO has spent big money on ads, it's betting heavily on its increasingly sophisticated direct mail efforts, which the union has worked hard to refine. The big question is whether the mail push -- along with door-knocking and other old-fashioned GOTV efforts -- can offset the huge ad spending advantage enjoyed by Republicans backed by unlimited and undisclosed corporate donations.

* One last minute burst of secret cash: And because the more than $75 million in secret money already laid out by conservative groups isn't enough, they are planning one more major ad push targeting House Dems who look vulnerable in the final stretch.

* Media punting on secret money: Must-read from E.J. Dionne, who patiently explains why this is an enormously important issue for Dems to raise on the merits, and asks why political reporters are missing the true importance of this story:

This is a huge, historic deal, yet many in the media have treated the spending avalanche as a normal political story and arguments about its dangers as partisan Democratic whining.

Case in point: Politico's lead story today, which treats criticism of the secret cash as merely a "Dem excuse." I don't dispute that this is an emerging Dem talking point in order to explain losses, but isn't it possible that the Dem argument has some merit to it?

* No, the Tea Party is not a transformative movement with huge historical significance: Must-read of the weekend: Amy Gardner on why the notion of a Tea Party "movement" is a whole lot of hype.

* The GOP victory will prove Obama was too liberal: Paul Krugman prepares readers for the inevitable.

* The "anti-jihad industry" plays people for chumps: Justin Elliott reports on all the right-wing hucksters who are railing against mosques and sharia law for fun and profit.

* Relaunch: National Journal unveils its redesign, an effort to invade the already-crowded landscape of Web-based political journalism with a bunch of bigfoot writers overseen by Ron Fournier.

* Groveling walkback of the day: Karl Rove, under fire from Rush Limbaugh, insists he really didn't mean to offend the Tea Party when he said it was "not sophisticated."

* False equivalence of the day: Mark McKinnon dupes Daily Beast readers with a piece arguing that unions are the "biggest spenders" this cycle -- without bothering to inform those readers that unions are far more transparent about the sources of their funding than Chamber/Rove conservative groups are.

* And the Tea Party rubes are in for a rude shock, part 973: GOP Rep. Mike Pence continues to promise the Tea Party base that "Obamacare" will be repealed, when everyone knows Republicans aren't repealing jack.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | October 25, 2010; 8:35 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance, Foreign policy and national security, House GOPers, Labor, Morning Plum  
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Next: The Washington Times' disgusting DADT editorial

Comments

By not being able to repeal Obamacare are Teabaggers going to become disillusioned?

Posted by: maritza1 | October 25, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Greg,

I will be too busy to post for the next few days, so do not read anything into my absence.

Do something about the guy who keeps changing names. After your warning to him yesterday, he immediately invented yet another name. No one should be allowed to get away with using so many disguises. Get rid of him. Taz him Bro.

Kevin,

Glad to hear from you. Sorry to hear about your medical problems. I will check back in later the week. Have a good day all.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 25, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

"Groveling walkback of the day: Karl Rove, under fire from Rush Limbaugh, insists he really didn't mean to offend the Tea Party when he said it was "not sophisticated.""

You are too funny sometimes, Greg, in your efforts to propagate the Dem talking point that all GOP disagreements stem from people getting out of line with Rush's orders and crawling back to beg forgiveness. It doesn't really add up to a coherent story along with the monster tale of Rove as evil genius and supreme manipulator. How are we to keep track of Dems' many theories of who is in charge of the vast right-wing conspiracy? Rush? Rove? The Kochs? Kristol? Fox? It goes on and on with you folks. My head spins knowing whose orders I am supposed to be following.

Maybe Troll or Scott can help me figure out whose mail I am supposed to be prioritizing.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 25, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Greg:

"Must-read of the weekend: Amy Gardner on why the notion of a Tea Party "movement" is a whole lot of hype."

A must read indeed. Sort of puts the lie to all the claims from the left that the Tea Party is not in fact a grass-roots movement.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 25, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

kevin

I don't know if you're interested, and it would surely be uninteresting to others here, but I managed to cure my husband of recurring gout about 5 years ago through diet. We tried everything the doctors suggested and it kept coming back so I went "rogue" and it paid off. I'll share the highlights if you're interested, maybe at the end of a thread so everyone doesn't have to delve into the depths of the damage uric acid can do.

Let me know. I've been battling a tough case of the flu here so I'm not posting much until I feel better, but I'd be happy to write it all down if it helps.

Posted by: lmsinca | October 25, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

qb:

"Maybe Troll or Scott can help me figure out whose mail I am supposed to be prioritizing."

Well, according to Bernie even the WaPo is in on it now. Why else would it have allowed that master-manipulator Charles Murray to practice his voo-doo mind-magic on its audience? And yet, today we have Greg (and Bernie - see previous thread) pushing EJ Dionne, published by none other than the WaPo. This is quite the schizophrenic propaganda organ, I must say.

Whoever it is in charge of it all - Rove, Rush, Kristol, Murdoch - really ought to either whip the WaPo editorial board into shape, or ship them off. Publishing EJ Dionne and Charles Murray within days of each other just won't do.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 25, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

"But a new Washington Post canvass of hundreds of local tea party groups reveals a different sort of organization, one that is not so much a movement as a disparate band of vaguely connected gatherings that do surprisingly little to engage in the political process.

The results come from a months-long effort by The Post to contact every tea party group in the nation, an unprecedented attempt to understand the network of individuals and organizations at the heart of the nascent movement.

Seventy percent of the grass-roots groups said they have not participated in any political campaigning this year. As a whole, they have no official candidate slates, have not rallied behind any particular national leader, have little money on hand, and remain ambivalent about their goals and the political process in general.

"We're not wanting to be a third party," said Matt Ney, 55, the owner of a Pilates studio and a founder of the Pearland Tea Party Patriots in Pearland, Tex. "We're not wanting to endorse individual candidates ever. What we're trying to do is be activists by pushing a conservative idea." '

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


This proves the exact opposite. It proves that they are not a Grass Roots movement. They are just the Republication base, trying to hide behind a new disguise, much like the Rain Forest creature does.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 25, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

The LAST thing we want is for the lives of Americans to be determined by European ideas and institutions. We reject, in toto, any influence on our laws and legal institutions arising from European courts. That's patriot-litmus stuff.

On the other hand, though...

"BP and several other big European companies are funding the midterm election campaigns of Tea Party favourites who deny the existence of global warming or oppose Barack Obama's energy agenda, the Guardian has learned.

An analysis of campaign finance by Climate Action Network Europe (Cane) found nearly 80% of campaign donations from a number of major European firms were directed towards senators who blocked action on climate change. These included incumbents who have been embraced by the Tea Party such as Jim DeMint, a Republican from South Carolina, and the notorious climate change denier James Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/oct/24/tea-party-climate-change-deniers

Posted by: bernielatham | October 25, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

"Does early voting challenge idea of 'enthusiasm gap'"

I don't know. Has there ever been anything to substantiate the idea of an enthusiasm gap? Does an enthusiasm gap (which makes intuitive sense) actually have any measurable impact on elections in the real world? Or does it ever really favor those who it's supposed to favor in a given election cycle?

@Liam: "Glad to hear from you. Sorry to hear about your medical problems."

Thank you. That's going to be the theme of the day--all the folks at work who saw me struggling to limp from here to there are asking about my foot. Can't say that I blame them, I was walking like I had just broken my leg. Will see you soon.

BTW, if the new comments system kicks me out, I will probably spend more time on Greg's colleague's blog. Right now, I read Ezra Klein more than I'm commenting there (the conversations are often more enthusiastic here), but I will probably participate more, should Greg go the way of The Fix (and not in opposition to the strategy, but just due to the technical issues). And all 1.3 of you who miss me can come debate me there, should the Plumline comments become technically difficult to use.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 25, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Raise your hands, those of you are are surprised.

"Iraq war logs: US turned over captives to Iraqi torture squads"
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/oct/24/iraq-war-logs-us-iraqi-torture

Posted by: bernielatham | October 25, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

@Scott "A must read indeed. Sort of puts the lie to all the claims from the left that the Tea Party is not in fact a grass-roots movement."

Please forgive my ignorance but I do not understand your deduction. I think you've gone very simplistic on us here. I'm not even talking about nuance but just some simple observations.

Neither the "claims from the left" nor the Tea Party itself have been monolithic.
For example there have been charges of racism. IMHO most of the charges and much of the reality is that a significant % of Tea Partiers are racist. There are extreme types on the right...some even posting here...who immediately, and simplistically conflate that to a charge of "the Tea Party" is racist when that is NOT the charge...just a % are racist is the ACTUAL charge. It seems obvious to me that some in the T.P. are racists, some are not, some are idiots, some are not. While I don't give absolute credence to any single survey at least this one gives us a clue to the % of racists in the T.P....roughly 10%. Now we can debate the accuracy of the survey..is the number high or low...and we can also debate whether 10% is a significant %, but it is the first attempt I've seen to use Ayn Rand's favorite virtue..reason..to figure the amount of racism in the Tea Party.

The same can be true of whether the T.P. is grass roots or astro turf. Again IMHO this survey not only does NOT prove the astro turf claims are lies but simply shows, as most have suspected all along, that the Tea Party is not monolithic, and indeed has a very large component of astro turfing along with some genuine grass roots movements.

IMHO it is this friction that has already shown some cracks in the ranks. Certainly DICK Armey with the help of Faux and major well funded astro turf groups have provided the Tea Party with most of their publicity and organization. Those genuine "grass roots" TPers who you wish to hold up, have begun to realize this and revolt.
The most famous to date of course is one of the "grass roots" founders Karl Denninger who has bashed the DICK Armey takeover and the R's who have coopted the movement like Sarah Palin in quite succinct terms..."Go scr8w yourself!"

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 25, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Got it Liam, thanks. Re the changes to the comments section, I highly doubt we'll end up doing anything that you all don't want.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 25, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

The grizzly-mamma/victimized women strategy that Matalin told us about a year ago is moving apace....

"There is going to be a tsunami of women voters coming to the polls. They are going to vote for women candidates who are not celebrities or career politicians but who are making a stand," said Sonja Eddings Brown, founder and president of the Kitchen Cabinet, a conservative women's group. Brown's organisation has a database of more than one million women in 20 key states and has appointed 7,000 "virtual precinct captains" to marshal them into voting via social networking websites."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/oct/24/mama-grizzly-candidates-boost-republicans

Again, nothing really new here. One could see these strategies in place (and the development of social-media co-ordination among conservative activists) in the run-up to the '08 election. As an interesting exercise, one can research back to that time, find the principle figures in the PUMA universe, most of whom claimed either an independent or Dem history, and track their activities from then until now. Lots on Jesus, taking back the country, evil Muslims, birth certificate stuff, liberty through eviscerating government etc.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 25, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

@Bernie "Raise your hands, those of you are are surprised."

Anybody who raises their hand has obviously never been in a war zone. Again I ask you all to imagine...you are living with a group of guys..you've become very bonded by fear and the fact that you are far from home...you are walking down the street when one of your buddies head explodes from a round fired by a local who looks, sounds, and believes nothing like you. Later you see another friend step on an IED and the guy you tossed football with now has no legs, his manhood ruined forever from the damage to his crotch.

Do any of you suppose you would always do the right thing. Can you at least understand what from here looks like irrational behavior when stuck in an irrational circumstance. Folks these wars are not Audie Murphy or Sergeant York charging enemy lines...it's watching your friends get wasted by people who do not want you in THEIR country!

I do not defend the behavior that has been revealed. But before you immediately look at the troops and think what monsters...think of the cowardly chicken hawks like 5 deferment Cheney who put them there to begin with...they SHOULD HAVE KNOWN better. And now I have to listen to idiots like Liz Cheney who has never walked on foreign soil where the locals would love to waste her sorry arrogant arse. When Liz Cheney does a tour in Iraq with the 101st Airborne then I'll be more impressed by her constant yapping on security. What LIZARD BRAIN Cheney needs to secure is her mouth!

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 25, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I listened to a ten minute discussion on KUT [Austin's NPR affiliate] between two TEA activists. One, a Dallas woman, was clearly a libertarian conservative. The other was a Christian conservative male. She was very uncomfortable with his assertions. He was taking the line that his voters were 80% of the TEA self identifiers and that while they would soft pedal their issues "for now" they were the future of the movement. She closed very quietly suggesting that if establishmentarianism was the future of the movement then it had no future.

I have no idea if this "split" is defining, or widespread, or even important. I am reporting what I heard.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 25, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

@Krugman: "If you look back now at the economic forecast originally used to justify the Obama economic plan, what’s striking is that forecast’s optimism about the economy’s ability to heal itself. Even without their plan, Obama economists predicted, the unemployment rate would peak at 9 percent, then fall rapidly."

Boy. If this was Kudlow excusing a huge increase in unemployment after the Bush tax cuts, I'm pretty sure such analysis would be considered little more than fact-free spin. Really, even if he's right (a stretch, in my opinion), under what rationale do we justify doing more of something that, after having been done, things were not only worse than we promised, but worse than they were when we started.

There seems to be a deep-seated and unshakeable belief that, like Pythagoras, if only they had a lever long enough and a place to stand they can move the world. If they were simply allowed to spend with no constraint, they could fix it. The problem is not even poor P.R., hostility towards the left-wing grass roots, ham-handed attacks against rural Americans and the nation's hospitality industry, or the natural occurrence of dissatisfaction at rampant government spending when the economy, in unrelated doldrums, is underperforming. No, the problem is, a doubling of deficit spending wasn't sufficient, and it needs to be quadrupled.

With no real explanation of how we will be dealing with the inevitable crash of economic indicators propped up by government spending when the government spending stops. That is, even if stimulus had the net benefit that's promised (which, given our current economic circumstances, seems unlikely), once government jobs and projects funded by stimulus went away, they wouldn't immediately be replaced by private sector dollars taking advantage of the repaired infrastructure. There would be a period of "stimulus hangover". And what we do then, other than hope the hangover would be occurring under a Republican administration?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 25, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

@Mark "I have no idea if this "split" is defining, or widespread, or even important. I am reporting what I heard."

Thanks for the report...when you add that to Karl Dennigers "Go Scr^w yourself!" and other reports I think you are on to something.

The argument has been presented as the Tea Party is either "astro turf" or "grass roots". It's just another name for Christian Conservative Republicans or it is a libertarian uprising of folks tired of what DC has done to all of us. IMHO it's all of the above and even more.

What you have reported Mark is just another fissure in the movement. I empathize with the 'grass roots" TPers who are doing this sincerely and not out of racism, birtherism, or sheer ignorance. I detest DICK Armey and the cynical pols like Sarah Palin who are using some of these honest Americans for their own personal gain.

Have fun guys...time for me to get to work.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 25, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

@Greg: "without bothering to inform those readers that unions are far more transparent about the sources of their funding than Chamber/Rove conservative groups are."

While I agree that campaign finance should be wholly transparent (and completely unrestricted, imo), I do wonder what level of granularity would be satisfying, and what we think it is that we don't understand when we don't know who gave Karl Rove that million dollars to run those campaign ads against Harry Reid.

Because, um, it's Karl Rove spending the money. And whoever donated it, it was the kind of person who would donate to Karl Rove. If we investigated it further, and found out it was a hedge fund guy, would you be at all surprised? Would you say, "Well, no wonder Karl Rove is doing ads for Republicans instead of Democrats, there's a hedge fund guy bankrolling the ads!" And when Karl doesn't say who is donating the money, who do you think is funding them? I'm a conservative, and I think it's probably hedge fund guys.

Arguably the Chamber of Commerce had some non-partisan goodwill that knowing who is funding what might be revelatory, but Karl Rove? Or any known Republican campaign organization? What more, really, will we know if the "secret money" becomes "fortunate 500 and banker" money, which we all pretty much think it is, anyway?

And what level of granularity? If "Americans for a Republican Tomorrow" are funneling cash to Rove, we need to know where they are getting their money. So, then we find out it's the Koch brothers and some big bankers and some hedge fund managers--and a few other organizations. Do we need to find out where they are getting their money? And what is the advantage if we do?

I'm just curious what other people think. Again, I'm all for full disclosure--I think transparency is inherently healthier for the body politic than the lack of it.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 25, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

It's pretty hilarious to watch the lib/prog "reporters" melt down and start to unravel.

Good entertainment indeed.

Posted by: illogicbuster | October 25, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

@Liam-still: "This proves the exact opposite."

I will confess that I don't quite see how.

"It proves that they are not a Grass Roots movement. They are just the Republication base"

Republicans can't be part of a grass roots movement? And what about the purging of moderate RINO types?

"trying to hide behind a new disguise, much like the Rain Forest creature does."

Not everyone who expresses an opinion you don't agree with is on the grift, or possessed of multiple personalities. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 25, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Let me add a bit to what Kevin posted re: ARRA. I think that to the extent it kept the states from shutting down schools and folding on roads projects it worked. However, I take Kevin's general point quite seriously. Not all spending strategies are equal and wrt to domestic spending we often do not know their effects until later. Extending basic countercyclicals like unemployment compensation help put a floor on demand and that has been well documented.

But a political body that represents congressional districts is unable to define a targeted domestic spending plan that is not self serving to the districts.
That makes monetary policy more attractive as a tool. When monetary policy needs a fiscal boost, as it did for the small bank - small biz package, it was incumbent on Congress to act quickly. That package, small but potentially leveragable to great effect, was passed a year too late.

I wish I could tell you what the next highly leveragable low cost high return fiscal stimulus would work. That discussion is worth having more than a discussion that begins with the notion of MORE $ = better policy.

I will start with the historical observation that FDR's PWA, that let infrastructure contracts to private contractors on bid, worked far better than his NRA, CC, and WPA, which directly hired the unemployed. That was in part because
it avoided much of the displacement of the private sector that leads inevitably to Kevin's rebound effect, and in part because the concentration on infrastructure had a long term benefit for trade and commerce, especially agricultural trade and commerce.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 25, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

From Conason, who's been writing for years on conservative attempts to rid the world of independent journalism...

"Is it plausible that the right-wing uproar over NPR’s firing of Juan Williams is motivated by concern for “free speech” – and not by longstanding conservative animus against public broadcasting? To anyone who has been paying attention to the behavior of politicians, pundits, and media agitators on the right for the past few decades, the latest upwelling of volcanic rhetoric is drearily familiar.

These same voices have reliably exploited every chance to damage public broadcasting, not because of any supposed liberal bias, but because they disdain the straightforward, probing journalism that the public network provides every day. What the NPR haters want to see and hear on America’s airwaves is the “fair and balanced mentality” of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and Michael Savage and nothing else. After all, they hate CNN, CBS, NBC, and ABC with almost equal passion, no matter how much those networks or NPR bend over to accomodate conservative viewpoints."
http://www.salon.com/news/media_criticism/index.html?story=/opinion/conason/2010/10/22/npr

Posted by: bernielatham | October 25, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

From Greg yesterday: "Also, one other decision: Re laying out rules for hostility, here's the deal, as of today: We reserve the right to determine who is posting with intent to harass and who isn't.

Right now, if I see any more multiple postings in a row, thread bombings, overuse of capital letters, that person will be banned within a day. You've been warned."
-------

Greg, from where I sit, you have always these rights...there is no need to reserve them. It's your name on the masthead. You are the barkeep, and as such, you have the right to expel rowdy or disruptive patrons.

I also want to second Liam's comment. Deal with the problem poster and all his sock puppets. I don't see a need to go past that.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | October 25, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Here's are two differences between donors to Rove and CoC campaigns and "donors" to union campaigns: the latter are legally compulsory regardless of the donor's wishes, and the international unions undeniably receive foreign funds, about which I'm not aware of any "transparancy."

And before you say, "but unions can't spend basic dues on politics," be prepared to prove that they don't. I could probably steer you to some prime development property for investment in the Everglades as well.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 25, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Colorado Republican gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes' disaster of a 2010 campaign could turn into a four-year embarrassment for state Republicans. It's been one blunder after another for Maes since he barely won the August 10 primary over former Rep. Scott McInnis, whose campaign was done in by a plagiarism scandal. But if Maes fails to get 10 percent of the vote on election day, his legacy won't be the U.N. bike plot warning or the tall tale of working undercover as a cop in Kansas. It will be leaving Republicans with minor party status in Colorado until 2014.

After weeks of declines in the polls, the TPM Poll Average now shows Maes coming in at 9.6%.

As The Denver Post reported back in September, minor party status means that Republicans wouldn't appear at the top of the ballot with the Democrats in 2012 and 2014. Instead, they'll be listed down with the Libertarian, Green Party and other third-party candidates.

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/10/maes-disaster-could-leave-the-colorado-gop-a-minor-party.php?ref=fpa

Posted by: suekzoo1 | October 25, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

"These same voices have reliably exploited every chance to damage public broadcasting, not because of any supposed liberal bias, but because they disdain the straightforward, probing journalism that the public network provides every day."

Lololol Of course he knows what strangers think.

Conservatives want public broadcasting defunded because funding it is indefensible. It serves no purpose or need, and lacks a constitutional basis anyway.

And conservatives find the firing of Williams, a liberal, nonetheless to be an example of political correctness and abuse by the liberal thought police. He was fired for saying something perfectly rational and sensible -- to anyone grounded in reality and not committed to cultural and civilizational demise.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 25, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

@ru - re your post above... I started to write a lengthy response but thought I just ought to let you know that I'm cognizant that I, in different circumstances, could commit such acts.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 25, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

America's Toughest Fredericks Customer

"I just got done welcoming Sarah Palin to our County. Had a nice chat and gave her a pair of pink underwear," Arpaio tweeted."

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/10/arpaio-boasts-i-gave-sarah-palin-pink-underwear.php?ref=fpb

One classy fellow, this.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 25, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"I also want to second Liam's comment. Deal with the problem poster and all his sock puppets. I don't see a need to go past that."

I kind of agree with Liam and Sue here, Greg. I'm reticent to call for the banning of anyone, but the continuing use of sock puppets alone should be grounds for expulsion.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | October 25, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

qb, I am interested in your notion that public funding for broadcasting lacks a "constitutional basis".

This assertion must be based on a critique of the doctrine of public ownership of the airwaves, asserted by Congress first in 1912, I think. CATO has criticized the doctrine from a libertarian economic view, but I know of no purely legal analysis that says that radio frequencies do not affect commerce among the states or that Congress cannot regulate commerce among the states. Do you have a citation or scholarly link?

I agree that the CATO argument is interesting on its own merits, but I doubt it would persuade even a conservative Supreme Court. Perhaps you can give me more food for thought.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 25, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

"Can offset the huge ad spending advantage enjoyed by Republicans backed by unlimited... corporate donations."

Unlimited? C'mon, Greg! Let's not start Monday off with this kind of garbage.

Posted by: sbj3 | October 25, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Re: "Fiscal Responsibiility"

In 2009, Dems did 3 things:

1) Shrank the budget deficit by 9% ($122 Billion)

2) Increased revenue by 3%, the first increase in 2 years (since the crash).

3) Reduced spending by 2% from '08...fastest single-year reduction since 1984.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/10/democrats-shrank-spending-deficit-fiscal-year-figures-show/

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | October 25, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

The hypocrisy is that EJ Dionne (among others) never once has complained about Obama's secret money from 2008. So, we know this isn't about some great threat to democracy as much as it is partisan. Don't worry, because we will all find out what happens in one week from tomorrow ; )

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 25, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Add a year to both mentions in my post. For some reason I fell back a year. Odd, lol.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | October 25, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

There was no 'secret' 2008 money.

When you make a political donation to a party under $250 I'm not even sure the form to fill in your personal information pops up.

Anyone here ever made a donation lower less than $250? Is this the case?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | October 25, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

All, new Adam Serwer post ripping Washington Times:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 25, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

If "no information" is filled in, that's the very definition of secret.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 25, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

"Anyone here ever made a donation lower less than $250? Is this the case?"

I gave to Obama in $50 increments in 2008. I recall filling out my personal info each time. Whether that was a FEC requirement or for marketing purposes only, I don't know.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | October 25, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

@mark_in_austin: "I will start with the historical observation that FDR's PWA, that let infrastructure contracts to private contractors on bid, worked far better than his NRA, CC, and WPA, which directly hired the unemployed. That was in part because
it avoided much of the displacement of the private sector that leads inevitably to Kevin's rebound effect, and in part because the concentration on infrastructure had a long term benefit for trade and commerce, especially agricultural trade and commerce."

I'm prone to agree with Mark. If we're going to spend the money, I think that's probably the better model. The second part is the projects--money is needed for maintaining infrastructure (even though responsible municipalities should, frankly, have that under control, as it takes a bridge years to be in danger of imminent collapse, and the municipalities should rightly be tasked with such maintenance). But it's new infrastructure that's likely to have longer term benefits--whether that's rural electrification (a new market for electrical appliances, which creates incentives for production) or the Eisenhower interstate (which was, over time, a big boost to tourism and travel, as well as shipping), etc.

Cost of maintenance needs to be considered--the Springfield Monorail sounds exciting at the town hall meeting, but subsidization is much more expensive (in comparison to jobs and business created) than simply doing a new interstate bypass with several exits at the different commercial districts in town. The cost of the monorail might, in fact, pay for both the construction of the bypass loop + exits, and two decades worth of maintenance, while incentivizing two or three times the economic activity.

I'm rambling. But, it's important to think about what money is spent on, and how it's spent--or the rebound effect is going to strangle the stimulative effect of any government spending. And an orientation towards green jobs is good for the environment, maybe, but may be things for which the multiplier is very low or non-existent, as there will be no tourism business associated with the windmill farms, or new Interstates with new exits, when the goal is to get people to burn less fuel.

And I'm still rambling. Sufficed to say, I don't blame people for thinking that stimulus spending doesn't do much good, or hasn't, and that the answer may not be more stimulus spending.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 25, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse


l.Secret Cash - As I commented in Dionne's piece, the Dems are masters of undisclosed donations. Obama would not be President if the Dems had not bought off in secret donations the DNC Superdelegates. Obama's campaign website did not activate the "button" that would have declined foreign donations. McCain's website had that button activated so NO foreign donations could be made. If anybody thinks the Dems are not getting an influx of secret cash, then those people live in Lalaland.

2. Gardner's article was full of holes as I pointed out in my comments this past weekend. Later on that.

3. Obamacare - We all know that Obamacare cannot be repealed because even if the GOP did pass it's repeal, Obama would veto it and the GOP would not have enough votes to override the veto in the Senate. However, Obamacare is unconstitutional and it will be up to the SCOTUS to make the ultimate decision.

Posted by: janet8 | October 25, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

janet, the GOP Congress can simply de-fund portions of ObamaCare in the upcoming budgets. Problem solved.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 25, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

@qb: "Conservatives want public broadcasting defunded because funding it is indefensible. It serves no purpose or need, and lacks a constitutional basis anyway."

While technically correct in the first part (I'm interested in the 2nd, as I really don't know), I grew up with PBS and NPR, and don't begrudge them their small government stipend. And I think the local versions do serve a public purpose (indeed, the broadcast station for our local public radio, as well as the backup tower, would be used for emergency broadcasts in the case of an emergency, but in addition to that), as community public radio has specific value. Also, I like the idea of their being classical music routinely available on the radio, but that's a preference, rather than a practical argument.

Still, I don't object to the funding of either NPR or PBS, and am not particular enamored of Republicans choosing those sorts of hills upon with to do battle. There are arguably things in greater need of defunding.

"And conservatives find the firing of Williams, a liberal,"

Correction: a squishy liberal. Juan is regarded as a heretic and blasphemer by the true believers, and has been, just for appearing on Fox. And the litmus tests are strong on the blue side of the ideological divide. I doubt Juan was ignorant of his blasphemy. The Orthodox Liberal Church finally had him excommunicated, but he had to know it was coming.

@qb: "nonetheless to be an example of political correctness and abuse by the liberal thought police. He was fired for saying something perfectly rational and sensible -- to anyone grounded in reality and not committed to cultural and civilizational demise."

I think the management at NPR was perfectly within their rights to make any selection regarding who they use as analysts or consultants, and, certainly, I'm sure there are plenty of folks at NPR and elsewhere who have been let go for more capricious reasons, with less warning, and with absolutely nothing to fall back on. If it's revealing about liberal attitudes towards diverse and honest opinion, it's not revealing anything I didn't learn in college. By comparison, it seems pretty tame.

That being said, I'm not sure they fully considered the PR implications of both doing it, and about how and why they did it. They may have defenders rallying around them, but they certainly didn't win over anybody with this particular decision, while Juan's got a cushy gig and is well on his way to becoming a David Brooks style conservative.

If liberals think it's a good idea to drive articulate folks like Juan to the right (because they deign to appear on Fox news), maybe Fox should give Paul Krugman a commentators gig, and see how that works out.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 25, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Mike: "Anyone here ever made a donation lower less than $250? Is this the case?"

All the donations I have made have been under $250. Most have been in the $20-50 range, to Obama, DNC, DSCC, DCCC and other individual candidates. In ALL CASES, I had to fill in my personal information. Every.Single.Time.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | October 25, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

@BBQ: "In 2009, Dems did 3 things: 1) Shrank the budget deficit by 9% ($122 Billion)"

You mean, shrank the budget for 2010 from 2009 levels, right?

However, if those numbers are all legit, then things should be looking up for Democrats. If not in 2010, then by 2012, certainly.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 25, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse


clawrence12 wrote:

janet, the GOP Congress can simply de-fund portions of ObamaCare in the upcoming budgets. Problem solved.

-----------------------------------

I know Congress can defund portions of Obamacare but that would concede that Obamacare is constitutional, which it is not.

First of all our forefathers created a limited Federal gov't, second the Dems said Obamacare was not a tax but in their court arguments to validate it under the Interstate Commerce Clause they argued it WAS a tax, third but not least, it is unconstitutional because among other things the Federal gov't cannot mandate you buy health insurance.

Posted by: janet8 | October 25, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

@lmsinca: " I'll share the highlights if you're interested, maybe at the end of a thread so everyone doesn't have to delve into the depths of the damage uric acid can do."

While I need to get the blood work to ascertain for certain, it's certainly credible. I've always had a pretty rich diet (although I suspect carrying around 50 fewer pounds would help, as well). I'd be very interested, although the major difficulty will be sticking to the diet. Easier to do when in pain, but if you like mushrooms, red meat, and refined flour and sugar like I do--ugh, I dread to think of it! Although I've given up plenty of things I once thought I could not do without, very few of those or in the vending machine down the hall. ;)

But, yes, any wisdom you have to share would be most welcome.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 25, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

"And the litmus tests are strong on the blue side of the ideological divide."

C'mon, Kevin. They're just as strong if not worse on the right side of the ideological divide. Rove's been scrambling trying to explain his definition of "sophisticated" because he hurt the fee-fees of the teabaggers yet on the left, Lieberman supports the opposing candidate for President and still manages to keep his committee seats.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | October 25, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

@Mike "Anyone here ever made a donation lower less than $250? Is this the case?"

I have never made one over $250. LOL

EVERY time I've made a political contibution, even for municipal elections, I've been required to disclose not only name address etc but also my profession.

This has also been true of ALL my online contributions to OFA and most recently Alex Sink's Florida Gubernatorial campaign.
In fact I was a bit surprised that I had to do this each and every time with Sink's campaign having already made several contributions. Perhaps her campaign is reticent to leave "cookies' in my computer but I would have thought after the first contribution it would have simply kept my info. Amazon certainly knows everything about me. LOL

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 25, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

@bernie: "These same voices have reliably exploited every chance to damage public broadcasting, not because of any supposed liberal bias, but because they disdain the straightforward, probing journalism that the public network provides every day."

Seriously? Because they don't like probing journalism? Why not say it's because they don't like truth and justice. That's not serious analysis of the viewpoint of someone you disagree with, it's just wishful thinking.

And I've enjoyed NPR and PBS often in the past, but the bulk of what NPR and PBS do isn't news reportage or politics. While often thought-provoking and urbane, I'm not sure "probing" (with the implication there is more investigative journalism going on with NPR than 20/20 or 48 Hours) is the way to describe it. It certainly isn't the problems have with government funding of NPR.

BTW, I've always found NPR to be quality radio, and willing to entertain more prevailing-liberal-wisdom challenging ideas than CNN or MSNBC (a compelling piece regarding all the good George W. Bush was doing in Africa, and how much more seriously W. took the challenges of Africa than all previous presidents combined, was one I heard during All Things Considered, not the O'Reilly Factor). I'm not sure the government needs to be funding it, but I don't think it's doing any damage to the country (with or without Juan Williams) if the government continues to fund it.

Certainly, I think the concept that an editorial and personnel decision should lead to it being defunded (where, previously, it was funded without excessive complaint) is insubstantial.

But the idea that the folks arguing that it shouldn't be federally funded (at a very small percentage) are objecting to straightforward, probing journalism is wholly narcissistic and self-flattering.

"They don't like it because it's so filled with truth and awesomeness, and because we're so smart and good-looking. That's why!"

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 25, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

@Kevin

Yes, see my 2nd comment. Those numbers are 2010 compared to 2009.

Keep in mind that tax revenue is still destroyed due to the high levels of unemployement. If we get back a percentage point or two in the unemployment numbers, then the revenue number will continue to jump as well as the deficit will drop even faster.

That said, if the GOP does what they are proposing to do (ie: nothing for 2 years) then there's not a lot of hope to bring down unemployement anytime soon. The GOP would love, love, LOVE to keep America's economy exactly as it is now for 2 more years in hopes of using it against Obama...just like they did this year against congressional Dems. They fought tooth and nail against anything and everything that might have helped bring us back, because they knew if the electorate saw positive change, the GOP would be screwed.

Here's hoping they grow the f*** up and actually try to help govern next year. I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | October 25, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

@kevin: You know there's a new gout drug on the market?

http://www.uloric.com/

Posted by: sbj3 | October 25, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

@schrodingerscat: "C'mon, Kevin. They're just as strong if not worse on the right side of the ideological divide."

I thought that went without saying. ;) You only have to point it out when everybody doesn't already know it's so. ;)

"Lieberman supports the opposing candidate for President and still manages to keep his committee seats."

Yes, well, that wasn't because of the fair-mindedness of senate Democrats, but a practical (and smart tactical) decision that it would be better to keep someone who voted 90% of the time with Democrats in the senate to keep voting 90% of the time with them. If they had stripped Lieberman of his committee chairs, he would have worked at every level to cut them off at the knees, and "the most productive congress ever" would have been a lot less productive for it.

A comparable example might be Christopher Buckley getting the boot from National Review for supporting Obama. Buckley was largely still a squishy conservative, and supportive of conservatism in general, but didn't believe that Obama was a far left socialist. I actually think Buckley's position has been borne out, although even he's recanted and has suggested that perhaps he had Obama's centrism wrong.

But the point being--endorse the wrong person for president, even if you still have interesting things to say and viewpoints to share, you get the boot. While there is still some diversity of opinion at National Review, the tent there used to be bigger.

Trust me, I know about the litmus tests on the right. As some much more pure-blooded right-wingers have informed you, I'm actually a nutty liberal.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 25, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

@Janet8 And so you don't consider our First President George Washington a founding father? You said..."First of all our forefathers created a limited Federal gov't,"

Don't let some facts get in the way of your right wing reactionary OPINIONS.

http://www.georgewashingtonmythsymbolandreality.org/Martinez_GW-Ecomomics.pdf

No study of George Washington would be complete, or more topical, without mention
of the economic policy created during his administration. It was responsible for the formation of many of the country’s most important public institutions: the system of federal taxation, government finance, public credit, banking and currency. This would establish the blueprint for
a STRONG federal government at the heart of all things economic.

It seems Janet that you are also ignorant of the "Commerce Clause". Here's a little help.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commerce_Clause

"The Commerce Clause emerged as the Framers' response to the central problem giving rise to the Constitution itself: the absence of any federal commerce power under the Articles of Confederation. For the first century of our history, the primary use of the Clause was to preclude the kind of discriminatory state legislation that had once been permissible. Then, in response to rapid industrial development and an increasingly interdependent national economy, Congress “ushered in a new era of federal regulation under the commerce power,” beginning with the enactment of the Interstate Commerce Act in 1887 and the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890. ”

The Commerce Clause represents one of the most fundamental powers delegated to the Congress by the founders. The outer limits of the Interstate Commerce Clause power has been the subject of long, intense political controversy. Interpretation of the sixteen words of the Commerce Clause has helped define the balance of power between the federal government and the states and the balance of power between the two elected branches of the Federal government and the Judiciary. As such, it has a direct impact on the lives of American citizens."

Or maybe you are simply unaware of our Founding Fathers or as you call them forefathers intentions when the originally wrote the Constitution.

One of their original intentions...

1. To insert essential principles only; lest the operations of government should be clogged by rendering those provisions permanent and unalterable, which ought to be accommodated to times and events: and

Stop hiding behind your ignorance of the Constitution Janet..it really doesn't back up any of your right wing ideology.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 25, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

janet, de-funding ObamaCare (or NPR) does not concede it is Constitutional.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 25, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

@sbj3: "kevin: You know there's a new gout drug on the market?"

Bless that Obamacare! No sooner do I develop a condition than does the government invent a new drug to cure me. :P

@BBQ: "The GOP would love, love, LOVE to keep America's economy exactly as it is now for 2 more years in hopes of using it against Obama"

I think you're wrong. At worst, they just don't care, because they win, either way. If the economy skyrockets and unemployment drops precipitously, they point to their recent election and say, "What was different? That's right, you elected us, and we pressed the magic buttons, and now the economy rocks. Obama sort of got in the way, but we showed him. And now, you have a roaring Republican economy."

Now, if the economy stays poor, or craters, Republicans will argue that they don't have the necessary majorities in congress and the senate (sound familiar?) as well has having to deal with a hostile president. They don't require a good, or bad, economy to run against Obama. Either one will work, and work just fine.

Actively governing would require (as Obama can testify) cutting in golf games and vacations, so I'm not sure you can expect a lot of that from any politician we send to DC, but I'm just cynical like that.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 25, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

"* Does early voting challenge idea of "enthusiasm gap"? Dems are cautiously encouraged by early voting that shows them holding their own in turnout, and the DSCC is out with a new memo this morning arguing that Dems are ahead in Senate early voting in key states like Nevada and Wisconsin."

If you want to do a quick check on the enthusiasm gap, just pay attention to political signage. This late in an election there are all those special places that u8sually hold whole forests of pulpwood trees turned into cardboard signs. Even the $500 running for local priority board candidates get signs out.

Well, in Montgomery and Greene Counties in Ohio, the for sale signs still outnumber the republican candidate's signs. In Western Greene County, Steve Austria signs do outnumber all the other signs combined. but in his own neighborhood there are still more for sale signs than Austria signs.

The ONLY real "Enthusiasm" pocket is T-nuts and their unfocused, inchoate rage. EVERY body else is approaching this election with reluctance at best. The Democrats are now deciding that they may not be all that fired up, but they aren't willing to let the T-s own the country either. Since thereis no way to count Independent and proud signs, guessing how they will really split, (Since "Independent" usually means never voted for anyone but a Republican but won't admit it.) When real independents, kids, and minorities remember that they don't have jobs and the Republicans answer is, "Just tough it out and if you don't starve to death first you may find a McJob eventually", they may find just a bit more motivation.

Today the optimist in me is rampant. The Dems hold the line in both the House and the Senate. They may even gain a seat or two in both houses.

Because it isn't necessarily enthusiasm that brings out the voters, but a jarring sense of reality.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 25, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

"Greg: "Must-read of the weekend: Amy Gardner on why the notion of a Tea Party "movement" is a whole lot of hype." A must read indeed. Sort of puts the lie to all the claims from the left that the Tea Party is not in fact a grass-roots movement. Posted by: ScottC3"

The T-Party Movement is a case of "It is and it isn't".

It WAS an astroturf movement, financed and organized for the enhancement of Fox News. It WAS a mostly feckless publicity stunt that had no real meaning beyond Nielson Ratings.

Then it got out of control. Lots of marginalized republicans found a banner they could flock to, and one into which they could read anything they wanted. So lots of Republicans found what they perceived as their cause, and got active.

This is going to be a problem for the republican party for some time, because the T-s now have a taste of authority and don't care if in the process they cost the Party seats it ought to have won with reasonable candidates.

It WASN'T intended to be a force, but it is now the driving force in the Republican party. It isn't even a majority of ACTIVE Republicans except in an election when the general state of demoralization holds Primary turn outs low enough that a minority like the T's can win, Come January, regardless of who controls the House, those few true T-s who get in are going to be a pluperfect gluteal agony for the current Republican leadership. JB is surely history regardless of the election results, as if the T-s do poorly, he gets the blamer, and if they do well they are going to want the spoils. Mitch is probably a dead man walking as well, because even if Rubio turns out to be the only T to get in the Senate, he is going to want his Kowtow from the Party, and Mitch's head on a platter will be one of the Items of Tribute he is going to want.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 25, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

@ceflynline: "Since "Independent" usually means never voted for anyone but a Republican but won't admit it."

Given that this is how conservative pundits often refer to independents, only in reverse (I.e., independents and moderates are "liberals who don't want to admit it"), I'm going to assume that the truth in somewhere in the middle, and that there are independents who swing vote, independents who usually vote for Democrats, and independents who usually vote for Republicans. Even I've vote for a Democrat, and I do not call myself an independent. ;)

"Today the optimist in me is rampant. The Dems hold the line in both the House and the Senate. They may even gain a seat or two in both houses."

Dude. History. Come on. That would be the first time, in history, that that has ever happened with this sort of economy and unemployment. It would be only the second time in the past century that it's happened with any first-term mid-terms? In any case, the house always tends to be more volatile, and usually the incumbent (Whitehouse) party loses seats, even when they don't have huge congressional majorities so they don't have a ton of seats to defend, unlike the Democrats in the house this year.

It's perfectly reasonable not to expect a bloodbath in favor of the Republicans, but the Democrats are going to lose several seats in November, no matter what. The house has a high likelihood of flipping, and the Democrats will lose, at least, two or three seats in the senate (unless, as sometimes happens, history takes a holiday and precedence means nothing).

But I'd argue it is more likely that the Republicans take the house and the senate (based on historical trends and patterns) than it is that the Republicans could take the Whitehouse in 2012. I call the house for the Republicans, the senate is a 50/50 tossup, and Obama gets the presidency back in 2012.

And I say this based on an interest in historical trends that came from me making a prediction much like yours, in favor of the Republicans, in 2006. I was clearly wrong, then, so I delved a bit deeper into historical trends. Which leads me to conclude that bloodbaths generally aren't predicted, but that first-term mid-terms, especially in times of economic volatility, will tend to favor the party out of power. FDRs first mid-term would be an exception (and the only one I can think of), but it's not 1934, and Obama is no FDR (as much as I like Obama, which I do).

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 25, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

"But I'd argue it is more likely that the Republicans take the house and the senate (based on historical trends and patterns) than it is that the Republicans could take the Whitehouse in 2012. I call the house for the Republicans, the senate is a 50/50 tossup, and Obama gets the presidency back in 2012."

Historical trend: The House flipping but NOT the Senate hasn't happened in a LONG time.

The Senate doesn't flip.

Hawaii, maryland, New York, and vermont are totally safe. Oregon is Safe. Deleware and Connecticut are safe. That is seven seats. there are only ten other seats available for the R''s to swap, and that ties the Senate. With a tied Senate, Biden votes with the dems to Organize the Senate.

Nevada and Caslifornia, and washington aren't going R. 53-47 Dems.

Pennsylvania and WV aren't going R, but they are closer. 55-45 Dems. Lousiana may go Dem, 52 -48 Dems. Kentucky? Arkansas? Wisconsin? two out of three go or stay Dem and the R-s are on the cusp of filibuster.

Colorado, likely Dem. The Filibuster is broken.

The polls, being very small samples that simply CANNOT be directly applied to individual House races, which are always local, mean nothing. Only actual polls in each district mean anything at all, and they don't seem to actually mean very much this year.

But enthusiasm does have one very good indicator. Yard signs need some one with enough enthusiasm to put up the signs, and someones to offer their property to place the signs. And at least around here that indicator of enthusiasm is solidly Democratic.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 25, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Kevin

Okay here goes. Some of this will probably surprise you but we left all of this out of my husbands diet for one month and then were able to gradually add some of it back in and discovered the foods that seemed to cause him the most harm and now just stay away from those.

The usual suspects are shellfish, red meat, alcohol, gravy and legumes. Unfortunately the list is quite a bit longer than that but manageable with some creative thinking.

Stay away from all fish with the exception of a little cod, halibut or red snapper. No turkey, so if you hurry your month will be done by Thanksgiving, but you may still want to cook a chicken instead. You could substitute a little pork for the red meat and the thing with the gravy is not the flour but the meat stock, as in bones, so avoid all stocks that are meat based. When making soup use veggie stock, you'll hardly notice.

Legumes, all dried beans, peas, and lentils are a huge bummer so completely eliminate for at least a month and then really curtail consumption afterwards. If you're dying for a burrito, aren't we all, try chicken and rice. Sorry, but peanuts are also out, other nuts are okay though.

Stay away from all cabbages including broccoli and brussel sprouts but you can have cauliflower. Likewise, dark leafy veggies are out, kale, collard greens, spinach etc. and I see you already know about mushrooms.

Here's a very little known culprit, soy products, including tofu and soy sauce. Also, essentially all salad dressings have something called xantum gum, a preservative I think, in them, which is a huge no no. There's lots of good recipes out there for home made dressings.

This one will surprise you and made no sense to me but we followed it anyway and like I said he hasn't had a bout of gout, heh, in several years. Stay away from whole grains, yep you heard me, oatmeal, brown rice, whole grain breads and pastas, bran, etc. etc. Obviously substitute white rice, flour, corn products for the much more nutritious whole grains, try not to get too carried away though. Here's another counter intuitive one, use real butter over margarine. You need to be careful with high fat content though so stay away from some of the cheeses and processed foods with high cholesterol, there are alternatives. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables just not the ones listed above and you can also eat eggs for a little protein. Cherries, even dried, are especially good for the kidneys.

That about covers it, good luck.

Posted by: lmsinca | October 25, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

@ceflynline: "Historical trend: The House flipping but NOT the Senate hasn't happened in a LONG time."

This is true, which is why I think the Senate has a chance of flipping. But I thing there's also a strong chance that we get a house flip, but without the senate flip (because of the Tea Party senate candidates, actually, where we'd otherwise get clean wins in Nevada and Delaware that we might not now get).

You offer a fair analysis, but I remain compelled to believe the Dems lose seats in both the house and senate, but that warnings of a bloodbath may be way overblown. Not "are definitely", just may well be.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 25, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

@lmsinca: "Stay away from all fish with the exception of a little cod, halibut or red snapper."

Sigh. I'm a tuna addict. Already, this is killing me. I hope it's not gout!

"collard green"

Ugh. I love my greens. Well-cooked, with salt and pepper and pepper sauce. What a conundrum. No xanthan gum? Xanthan gum is in everything. Ugh. You are a bringer of sad tidings and woe!

"You need to be careful with high fat content though so stay away from some of the cheeses and processed foods with high cholesterol, there are alternatives. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables just not the ones listed above and you can also eat eggs for a little protein. Cherries, even dried, are especially good for the kidneys."

I love high fat foods. And, of course, cheese. I do like cherries, though, so one bright spot.

I will let you know if it turns out that I've officially got the gout. If it does, I will be a sad person, but if the frequency and severity of attacks keeps increasing (as it has this year), it'll obligate me to reform my diet, no matter how much I'll miss the tuna.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 25, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I left the discussion of alcohol out because you said you don't drink but in case anyone else is reading, beer is one of the worst. A little wine is much more preferable.

Back to politics, I hope to be back in the swing in a day or two, I almost feel human today. We need to begin planning our PL election night party, no gloaters please.

Posted by: lmsinca | October 25, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

"but I remain compelled to believe the Dems lose seats in both the house and senate, but that warnings of a bloodbath may be way overblown. Not "are definitely", just may well be. Posted by: Kevin_Willis"

I am old enough to remember 1964 and 1966, so the realist in me expects R gains, just not many.

But one thing has changed in the seventies that makes the almost obligatory shift in seats after a landslideless likely.

Johnson had such strong coattails in 1964 that Democrats that even Democrats wouldn't vote for because Straight Ticket voting was still the system nationwide. People went in the booth, pulled the straight ticket lever, and left, having voted for people whom they absolutely hated. Comes the next election, where those people you really hate are the only people on the ballot, you correct your mistake of two years earlier.

Straight ticket option went away in the 70's. Now you HAVE to check the box or pull the lever to vote for your guy, and it tends to significantly reduce buyers remorse. In essence, if you were willing to vote for that wretch you voted for for alderman, you tend to be defensive about switching. It removes some of the volatility from Representative elections.

The Republicans base their claims to a wave on totally unrepresentative national polls. In general those polls are somewhat predictive, but they are too small and too general to be used to call races in districts that don't in any way resemble the samples used in the poll.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 25, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7:

I know what the IC clause states and it has been used, unconstitutionally, to extend the Fed gov't's power over the States.

Evidently you aren't following the Healthcare lawsuit in Florida. The Feds are contending the HC insurance is a tax in order to have it come under the IC clause which in itself is conveniently and continuously misinterpreted by the Feds to suit their needs.

Posted by: janet8 | October 25, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Kevin, it was very difficult for my husband at first, but he was really suffering and even had to walk with a cane some days, so he's a happy camper now. We've managed to add a little tuna, red meat and even a few greens back into his diet. You sort of have to purge the uric acid first. The hard part for me was the whole grains, I'm a nut for brown rice, buckwheat noodles, oats, bran and all that stuff. I hadn't cooked white rice in 30 years. Being the softy I am, I tried to join him in the diet but there were a few things that ran in the wrong direction for non-gouters and I just couldn't do it.

Posted by: lmsinca | October 25, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

" "Anyone here ever made a donation lower less than $250? Is this the case?" I gave to Obama in $50 increments in 2008. I recall filling out my personal info each time. Whether that was a FEC requirement or for marketing purposes only, I don't know. Posted by: schrodingerscat "

If the payment was by check, someone in the organization looked to see if the check put the donor over giving limits. Cash by computer, or cash in a jar wouldn't get tracked, but would equally not particularly encumber a candidate in obligations to obviously anonymous donors.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 25, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

mark in austin,

"but I know of no purely legal analysis that says that radio frequencies do not affect commerce among the states or that Congress cannot regulate commerce among the states. Do you have a citation or scholarly link?"

Since the Commerce Clause says that Congress has power to regulate commerce among the states, I don't know who would argue that it can't, but I don't see your argument that power to regulate the air waves (assumed arguendo) carries the power to fund a broadcast network. Giving (the public's) money to some people to produce and broadcast Morning Edition or ATC has no connection to regulating commerce among the states, and in addition it should to reasonable people raise a serious First Amendment problem.

But if you have some reasonable argument that paying for production and braodcast of NPR broadcasts is part of regulating interstate commerce, I'll be glad to hear it. These questions tend never to be asked about 90% of what Congress has done in the past century.


Posted by: quarterback1 | October 25, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

@janet8

"Evidently you aren't following the Healthcare lawsuit in Florida"

Actually Janet I live in Florida and so yes I'm very aware of that suit...which proves absolutely nothing...especially in Florida where ignorant Republicans have filed absurd nuisance suits before...in fact the same moron is reponsible...Bill McCollom.

I can file a suit...you can file a suit...filing a suit proves absolutely nothing...I think even our Consitutional law expert Q.B. would agree with that. The fact that a PARTISAN suit was filed doesn't back your point one iota.

McCollom also responded to a suit to back up a law that prevented Gay adoption. Like a typical HYPOCRITICAL Republican Janet...McCollom brought in an "expert" witenss to testify to the damages caused by Gay adoption. His testimony was already disallowed in a neighboring Southern State as nothing more than religious propaganda...and the clincher...McCollom's expert was the same guy who later purchased a gay male prostitute from Rentboy.com...to "carry his luggage". LOL By the way..in case you don't live in Florida and haven't followed that suit...McCollom got his ignorant R behind handed to him by the courts after WASTING 100'S of thousands of TAXPAYER $$$ something you and the other wingnuts wish to do with your frivolous lawsuit on Obamacare. I can only assume you think Medicare is also "Unconstitutional" after reading your comments. You're a harsh woman Janet with little or no compassion for your fellow Americans. Why do you profess to love your country while you hate it's citizens?

"conveniently and continuously misinterpreted by the Feds to suit their needs."

And so Janet I can only assume that you are arrogant enough to believe that your opinion has more validity than more than a century of legal interpretation by the SCOTUS.

Are you aware of what the Committee of Details responsibility was at the Constitutional convention? They were to present the goal or mission statement of writing the Constitution. Why do we have a Constitution and what should it look like...again Janet..their 1st order was...

"1. To insert essential principles only; lest the operations of government should be clogged by rendering those provisions permanent and unalterable, which ought to be accommodated to times and events:"

Can you comprehend what the phrase "clogged by rendering those provisions PERMANENT AND UNALTERABLE" ?

Forgive us Janet if we respect 100's of years of interpretation from dozens and dozens of SCOTUS more than the OPINION of a wingnut or even a group of ill educated wingnuts.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 25, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

This one is headed QB's direction, but anyone's response is welcome. With all these claims of what is and is not constitutional, in this case funding of NPR. Note: it's about 2% of its budget and dedicated to specific programs.

These newfound constitutional scholars seem to know what is and is not prohibited. It seems profoundly obvious. Given that there are four very conservative justices (Roberts, Scalia, Alito, Thomas), why aren't there four votes for challenging the constitutionality of, well, nearly everything? Isn't it possible, just possible, that all of these truths aren't so self-evident?

For 20 of the last 28 years, the judiciary has been filled by Reagan and the two Bushes. The Senate was controlled by Republicans for 18 of those years. Someone who has actually studied the law might be a bit better qualified to judge the law. Carrying a paperback copy of the constitution in your back pocket no more makes you an expert than carrying the periodic table makes you a chemist.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 25, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

@Blade...normally I agree with your posts but I believe you jumped the shark with this one...at least you came up with a very poor metaphor. The Constitution is written in pretty plain English. Again..read the first goal of writers at the Convention where they haggled these things out....they specifically wanted the document to be pretty general so as to again...not have government..in their words..."clogged by rendering those provisions permanent and unalterable, which ought to be accommodated to times and events:"

Janet8 and her friends are doing precisely that..attempting to place such a tight meaning and interpretation that indeed they do wish to CLOG by rendering provisions PERMANENT AND UNALTERABLE..so as to hamper the document's ability to be ACCOMMODATED TO TIMES AND EVENTS.

Hence more than a century of interpretation from SCOTUS of ALL political persuasions that enables Medicare etc. and will also enable Obamacare. The periodic chart on the other hand is a VERY SPECIFIC SCIENTIFIC document that requires study just to learn what the symbols mean. I studied it back in high school and what do I remember..H maybe O...it's one thing to read English another to decipher specific scientific terms.

BTW I am not a fan of Obamacare. If he had simply gone for Medicare for all this entire Constitutional cr&p would be a moot point now wouldn't it?

As for what the Conservative Supremes may do I agree with you...I live in fear of these suckers because at least ONE of them...who happens to be the Chief Justice basically lied in his confirmation hearings when he said how much he hates "activist" judges. You can support the C.U. decision or not...but it was the result of a very activist Chief..and in fact at least one Congressman is considering bringing immpeachment...a joke I readily concede since it won't..nor should it IMHO get anywhere in the House. But at least let's be honest...Roberts IS an ACTIVIST judge. When decisions are coming your way I guess it's judicial restraint and when they go against you it's activism...as for me I consider decisions that reverse decades of precedent activist.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 25, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: aldojoe26 | October 26, 2010 4:24 AM | Report abuse

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