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The Live Fix!

Every Friday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., we take your questions. We call it The Live Fix -- creative, no?

The best of the best from today's chat are excerpted below. Spread the word!

* Richmond, Va.: I don't have an issue with having a debate on health needs to happen. But the tone and signs brought to these town halls should concern everyone. The guy rounded up by the secret service with a sign saying "death to Obama" clearly indicates that the anger is not about health care reform....

Chris Cillizza: Agreed.

It's hard at times to sort through the people who are legitimately upset with the way health care is being overhauled and those who simply flock to any event where they know there will be cameras in order to get their 15 minutes of fame.

For those who are genuinely upset about the health care system, the people painting swastikas on offices, shouting down supporters of health care etc. hurts their case.

Look at the USA Today/Gallup poll released yesterday. A majority of Americans said protesting loudly at town halls was part of democracy but when asked about members of Congress being booed or protesters shouting down supporters of health care reform, people were far more likely to say those tactics were an "abuse of democracy".

It's a fine line...

* Lake Forest, Ill.: Hi Chris -- Thanks for taking questions today. If nothing happens with health care in the next couple of months, what does that mean for Obama and his ability to get anything done the rest of his term? Will he try again to get something passed, or will that be it?

Chris Cillizza: Very good question.

If nothing passes, it's hard to imagine President Obama -- and Congressional Democrats -- wouldn't take a major political hit.

The President has made clear that he is willing to put himself on the line politically to pass meaningful health care reform.

At this point, it appears as though Republicans -- and a few wavering Democrats -- are going to make him make good on that promise.

Obama and his political team understand that he is way out on a limb on passing some sort of health care plan and, I believe, will make sure that there is some sort of bill that he can sign and declare victory on the issue.

Whether or not voters see that legislation as a true overhaul of the system or not (and ho they react either way) is likely to be the linchpin of the 2010 election.

* Roseland, N.J.: Hey Chris. Shout out from Jersey -- the state so nice you can bribe us twice.

I'm a lifelong Democrat who has been certain for months Gov. Corzine was burnt toast. Now I feel like I'm being teased with false hopes -- polling that has Christie's lead at just five points, an economy that's stabilizing, and some hard questions about what the former attorney general might have had to do to not get fired by Karl Rove.

I still think this race goes blue in November unless Corzine gives ambivalent Dems a reason to vote for him. Are you moving it down the line?

Chris Cillizza: "The state so nice you can bribe us twice."

Are they putting that motto on the license plate? If not, they should.

I think the Christie-Rove ties revealed earlier this week help Corzine at the margins as it reminds voters that Christie is Republican and links him directly to George W. Bush who is not at all popular in the Garden State.

That said, I think Democrats should be wary of overconfidence that the Rove revelations are a game changer in this race.

The election is and will be a referendum on Corzine and his handling of the state's economy. That dynamic has been building for several years and isn't likely to change dramatically as a result of the fact that Christie and Rove discussed politics when the former was still a U.S. Attorney.

Also, the new Democratic poll that shows Corzine down just six is a good news/bad news scenario for Democrats. Yes, Corzine has closed the gap BUT the fact that an incumbent governor is mired in the high 330s on the ballot test is evidence that he is still in real trouble.

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 14, 2009; 12:17 PM ET
Categories:  Fix Notes  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Morning Fix: Polling the Town Halls
Next: Doyle Won't Seek Third Term in Wisconsin


JakeD--a.k.a."I'm not a liar and hypocrite". I'm going to follow you from post to post to remind you that everytime I read about someone who died (esp. children), without Health Care, I'm going to think of You. You are a Limbaugh Republican and one of the few people in the country (besides the illiterates&Ekim) who would Never find a single issue with an opposite party president that you would agree with. That's virtually impossible--unless one is a racist hiding behind snarky and amorphous comments to give cover as "plausible denialbility". On another post you tried for 'respectability' by going so far as to state you voted for Alan Keyes! Anyone who's followed your racist career in your posts know you're a liar. Don't use your usual 'hurt feelings' reply of "prove it"--You show a post proving me wrong. You're one of the most universally hated posters on the internet but has 'escaped' with your "this is a court of law" attitude of "prove it". Just the fact that you are a "birther", as you stated on another post, is evidence enough that you are a racist embarrasment to the more responsible members of what's left of the Republican party.

Posted by: billalves714 | August 18, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

"@DDAWD: Last week construction began on my retirement house in southern Viet Nam. As soon as the market improves and I sell my house, I'm outa here. I expect to watch the news from the USA and see things getting grimmer and grimmer here. I'll be in a very luxurious place with great food and a very warm climate, and lots of friends."

Well, if things go according to plan, I'm going to end up in a relatively high income status which means that I'll be one of the people the government feels the need to cater to. It's screwed up that we've tied income to morality here, but at least I won't be taking the worst of it. Might sound selfish, but I've helped to try and change things.

But yeah, I know money has an influence in politics, but I've never seen it influence anything like it has the health care issue.

But we are going to end up with some watered down bill and I have a feeling the blue dogs are going to pay for this.

I wish the Democrats would show more courage in all this. Bush and his 51 senators were able to get a lot more of his agenda through. I realize that you need to have your political calculations in all of this, but if you really feel this will benefit people, then go with it despite the immediate opposition. It will pay off later.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 17, 2009 1:15 AM | Report abuse

If the public option is dead it's because of the insurance companies throwing around money they've gotten by denying coverage to people who needed it, and taking money from people who expected their expenses to be covered if they got sick, when the companies never had any intention of honoring their promises.

This is the free market in action, making things cheap, starting with human life. Thirty years of indoctrination in this sicko economic determinism has worked .. people believe this fairy dust.

So hard-wrorking people will continue to die of curable diseases, people with cancer will continue to get notices of cancelled coverage, parents will continue to bury their children, the elderly will continue to have to choose between medicine and food.

And the insurance companies will continue to rake in the cash, their executives awash in the stuff.

Free market. A fancy word for sh|thole.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 16, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

@DDAWD: Last week construction began on my retirement house in southern Viet Nam. As soon as the market improves and I sell my house, I'm outa here. I expect to watch the news from the USA and see things getting grimmer and grimmer here. I'll be in a very luxurious place with great food and a very warm climate, and lots of friends.

Best of luck.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 16, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

"And if anyone thinks that a solid factual contradiction is going to stop a single Obama-hater from repeating the same thing all over again, well, "he know nothing about Tuco""

IBD actually wrote a follow up accusing people who honed in on this error of deliberately ignoring the big picture.

I think the battle is coming to an end and the bad guys have won. Seems like the public option is dead.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 16, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

There was only one problem with that Wingnut deather theory: Hawking was born and raised in the UK. Indeed, he is now fighting back, crediting NHS with saving his life.


And if anyone thinks that a solid factual contradiction is going to stop a single Obama-hater from repeating the same thing all over again, well, "he know nothing about Tuco"

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 16, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Is Robert Zimmerman "Only a Pawn in Their Game"?

• "Must bust anyway, orders from the DA"?


But, the young female cop (conveniently made available for interviews) told reporters, he wasn't "delusional" but was acting "very suspicious."

Is this "neurolinguistic programming?" Are we supposed to now wonder what Bob Dylan was doing, walking alone in a "predominantly black" neighborhood (to quote one mainstream media outlet)?

Is it "Show Me Your Papers!" time in America?

Is this reminiscent of the John Lennon treatment?

Is this incident really "local" -- or is there more to it than just a case of a young cop who refused to believe that Bob Dylan might look his age?

Is this a disturbing echo of the John Lennon treatment?

Discuss -- after you read THIS:

OR (if link is busted): RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | August 16, 2009 1:35 AM | Report abuse

According to the GOPer deather nutjobs, if Stephen Hawking had been born and raised in the UK, he would have been euthanized, the victim of Britain's National Health Service which would have deemed his life "worthless" because of his handicaps.

There was only one problem with that Wingnut deather theory: Hawking was born and raised in the UK. Indeed, he is now fighting back, crediting NHS with saving his life.

"I owe my life to the NHS': Stephen Hawking tells US to stop attacking health service
Professor Stephen Hawking has defended the NHS after its severe criticism during the American political debate over health care reforms.
The physicist spoke up for the NHS after the Republican Right in America claimed it was 'evil' and 'Orwellian' in a direct attack on President Barack Obama's plans to overhaul health care in the U.S.
Critics of the president have said his plans would introduce a 'socialist' system like Britain's.
Prof Hawking, who suffers from Lou Gehrig's disease, said: 'I wouldn't be here today if it were not for the NHS.
'I have received a large amount of high quality treatment without which I would not have survived."

I don't know what's more impressive about the Wingnut deather morons? The fact that they are willing to peddle such easily disprovable garbage with a straight face, or that they have managed to convince a few Democrats that they are worthy negotiating partners?

The good news is that most of the members of Palin's imaginary "death panels" will probably quit, anyway.

Posted by: DrainYou | August 16, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

"It's a fine line"


What nonsense.

People support and agree with the role of dissent in our politics.

People don't agree with suppression of others' freedom of speech.

There is no line, there's a chasm.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 15, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

I have not submitted anything to you ever, so this is a fix like the padded town halls!

Posted by: merecote | August 15, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

What is happening with this President, he can't let go and it is not because he is so hot on health care, his ego won't let go. We have a recession to deal with, 15m people out of work, banks going belly up every day, two wars going, of which he never speaks, young men dying every day and not a word out of the President, he is totally unengaged in these wars. Money flying of the Capital at horrendous pace, yet he keeps running about the US lecturing us, same old thing...I think he has lost it. What would it do if he just took care of the items at hand now and postponed the health care obsession until later on when we can look at it in a quiet objective way, Huh.

Posted by: merecote | August 15, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you, Dick4.

The President has been making wonderfully calm sense hasn't he? Fox commentators will just pretend he is speaking a language they don't know and will continue to spread their vicious, malicious lies.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | August 15, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

As in the USA Today/Gallup poll that is cited, the polls show what republicans, democrats and independents think, but they fail to show us what the current percentages are in each of those groups. If 54% of republicans are against something but only 21% of the population is republican, then that should be made clear. If 59% of democrats are for something but democrats represent 42% of voters then that is significant too. When we see polls that make it look like democrats and republicans are out there in equal numbers, that is deceptive if there are actually twice as many democrats as republicans. See the Washington Post article today about craziness being a pre-existing condition in America. It shows a history of exactly this kind of crazy far right wing behavior going back to the 1800s whenever liberals have any power. The descendants of the current crazies screamed that FDR was guilty of treason and was trying to turn America into a communist nation. When JFK took American defense toward intercontinental missiles instead of long range bombers, they said that he was trying to disarm the country. They claimed that the Civil Rights movement was hatched in the USSR and intended to "enslave white people". There are a certain number of people who are afraid of everything and a certain group of politicians who know better but are willing to generate as much fear as possible in these people so that these politicians can have power. Disgusting and despicable, but not new. They must not be allowed to take over the country with their unreasoned fear and cowardice.

Posted by: karela | August 15, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I say that we pass a law that makes everyone opposed to a public health plan option inelgible for Medicare
Dick Monteith
Wake Forest, NC

Posted by: Dick4 | August 15, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse


• R. Emanuel, D. Axelrod, V. Jarrett, Gen. J. Jones

As manufactured mobs distract mainstream media...






And, Mr. President, what caused that bald streak on the back of your head behind your left ear? The victims of this covert torture program fear that you are among the targets of these crimes against humanity.

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled): RE: "GESTAPO USA" ("stream" or "stories" list).

Posted by: scrivener50 | August 15, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Kelly -- The list of 'responsible republicans' keeps shrinking. I think you can count them all on one hand now, if you don't have any fingers.

Posted by: drindl | August 15, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Postscript: Oh yes, and nary a word from Senators Brownback and Roberts denouncing the threats against Congressman Moore.

Again I ask, "responsible Republicans" Drindl?

Posted by: Kelly14 | August 15, 2009 2:24 AM | Report abuse

Opa2, I understand what you're saying but it can be complicated. My Blue Dog US Representative is the ONLY Democratic congressman in Kansas. He's received two separate death threats triggered by the health care reform debate. Not far from him lives a man who allegedly murdered Dr. George Tiller, the so-called "abortion doctor." My state has recently had to fight Creationism being taught as science in schools (shades of Sarah Palin).

Conservatives play hard and some of their followers are more than a bit outre. Putting too much pressure on Blue Dog congressmen who operate in climates such as Kansas may be counterproductive. I dunno.

Posted by: Kelly14 | August 15, 2009 2:16 AM | Report abuse

It's real simple. If the Democrats stick together, health care reform, insurance reform, whatever you want to call it will happen. The only ones that can kill this are Democrats and do not think this could not happen. Senator Nunn all by himself, a Democrat would not let Health Care reform come to a vote in 1994. The democrats had majorities than too. Now it's the so-called "Blue Dog Democrats" that are holding things up. Remember who they are and let's keep their feet to the fire. These bastards are more interested in getting re-elected than in doing good for the country. If your Congressman/woman is part of this cabal, make sure they understand that there will be consequences if they again kill this thing. Real Democrats, not semi-republicans will see to it that they will have well financed primary opponents and they will pay for their transgressions with their seat. his is the time that health care must pass!

Posted by: Opa2 | August 15, 2009 1:40 AM | Report abuse

My guess is that the chat producer isn't a racist?

Just a guess.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 14, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Oh, wait, the full chat is on the main page. Think, then post. Gotta remember that.

As for your question, I assume it's based on a challenge to the legality of Obama's presidency. To paraphrase Horton, a birth certificate, is a birth certificate, no matter how small. I doubt any such challenge would be treated seriously by any court of law, so the question is moot.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | August 14, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

If you don't understand the allure of going to a coffee shop for an hour after being home all week, then its been too long since you had a 6-month-old.

He answered more than 3 questions. He just posted what he considered "highlights." Birther questions would not fall in the top 10. Or top 50.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | August 14, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse


RNC Site Selection Committee Members have been announced. My best guess for the 2012 GOP Convention: Jacksonville or Miami, FL.

Holly Hughes, Michigan National Committeewoman (Committee Chairman)

Midwestern Region:
Kevin DeWine, Ohio Republican Party Chairman
Mary Buestrin, Wisconsin National Committeewoman
Alternate: Helen Van Etten, Kansas National Committeewoman

Northeastern Region:
John Frey, Connecticut National Committeeman
Virginia "Ginny" Haines, New Jersey National Committeewoman
Alternate: Betsy Werronen, District of Columbia National Committeewoman

Southern Region:
Alec Poitevint, Georgia National Committeeman
Cindy Costa, South Carolina National Committeewoman
Alternate: Ruth Ulrich, Louisiana National Committeewoman

Western Region:
Bruce Hough, Utah National Committeeman (Committee Co-Chairman)
Lilly Nuñez, Colorado National Committeewoman
Alternate: Randy Ruedrich, Alaska Republican Party Chairman

Posted by: JakeD | August 14, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

" why did he answer my question about legal challenges to any purported "law" that pResident Obama signs?"

From the looks of it there plenty of more interesting questions to choose from.


Posted by: bsimon1 | August 14, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Me too, but since he went ahead with it, why did he answer my question about legal challenges to any purported "law" that pResident Obama signs?

Posted by: JakeD | August 14, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Well, Jake, he is on vacation. I was surprised to see a chat today.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | August 14, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why it didn't occur to me, but now that I've heard it, I'm surprised the suggestion that some of the town hall protesters might just be looking to get on TV for their 15 minutes of fame hasn't been used more widely.

I say this not because I have some sort of inside line into the heads of the protesters, but because I see that kind of political grandstanding all the time in local politics. For a while there, I spent a lot of time at school board meetings in the large urban district where I live. Meetings were televised in their entirety on one of the local access channels, and without fail, the public comment period always featured visits from a few regular nuts railing against perceived and largely imagined injustices and conspiracies. But when the board decided to stop the recording before public comment on non-agenda items, those nuts -- after spending a few meetings admonishing the board to put them back on TV -- slowly faded away, to the point that they're now practically invisible. Now, though public comment is still often negative, it's constructive. People come in with real issues and aren't concerned about being on TV, because it's been made clear that they're supposed to be talking to the board, not the cameras.

Again, I'd not seek to accuse the town hall protesters of just seeking out fame for fame's sake. I can't read their minds. But given how many accusations we've all seen that the protesters are semi-secretly being backed by various centers of Republican power, I'm surprised more of the folks protesting the protesters, as it were, haven't tried this tack to make them sound irrelevant.

Posted by: GJonahJameson | August 14, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse


I ask again: HOW can even opponents be so angry when there IS NO BILL as yet? It undercuts their credibility entirely--IF they are indeed protesting the health care overhaul (which it's pretty clear they aren't).

Do these people who 'want their country back again', or tell Arlen Specter that he will one day 'face Jesus' (not likely to impress Specter as he is Jewish) really expect to be taken seriously when all they bring to these 'town meetings' is ANGER, not coherent questions and responses, just a lot of yelling. This all sickens me--and the media is roped into reporting this nonsense as well--it IS news, after all.

If they hate Pres. Obama, fine, but let's not manufacture faux outrage on a subject that they are hard-pressed to give a rational answer on.

I saw the young woman who 'wanted her country back' on one of the political shows, being most respectfully interviewed. She couldn't articulate a single, concrete objection to the proposed health care overhaul (other than the 'Death Panel' nonsense) except a general feeling of anger at her and her family's helplessness.

Well, dearie, we're ALL helpless when faced with the many inequities which are part of life, but why go ranting to a town hall about it?

We all feel the past (because it's definite) is more congenial than our and our kids' futures (because it's unknown), but stop the blasted whinging!

Posted by: sverigegrabb | August 14, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

New Jersey makes and Trenton takes

Posted by: NotBubba | August 14, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse


No grand "conspiracy" was needed (unlike, for instance, the claim that GWB planted demolitions at the WTC ; )

Posted by: JakeD | August 14, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Who are all these birther nuts? People, the McCain campaign and the Supreme Court (which is majority republican) would have been all over this and never let Obama become President. And some states, like Florida where my daughter was born, only give certificates of live birth. That's all she has, she was born in the U.S. and is a citizen, passport and all. So if she ever runs for President, I guess you won't recognize her too!

You conspiracy theorists are really crazy!

Posted by: JeanFrancis | August 14, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Three (3) questions? That's it? Why didn't you answer my question about legal challenges to any purported "law" that pResident Obama signs?

Posted by: JakeD | August 14, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

All hat, no cattle:

So, if a presidential candidate tries to hand me a barebones certificate of live birth in lieu of a valid, long-form birth certificate, my skeptical antennae go on alert. I automatically question his motives and whether or not he may be trying to play a little fast and loose with the U.S. Constitution. When that same president purportedly spends over a million dollars on legal fees, merely to keep a simple document sealed, then I'm starting to become curiouser and curiouser.

All in all, though, I might be able to get past the whole long-form birth certificate issue if this president had released the whole host of other life documentation, generally required for high-level job applications.

To whit, what is in the following documents that might diminish the Obama "narrative," as sold to the public by marketing guru, David Axelrod, and a strangely incurious media?

Panahou Academy school records, 5th through 12th grades
Occidental College records, including financial aid information.
Columbia University records, including the missing senior thesis and financial aid information.
Harvard University records, including information on how a student who never wrote anything (that can be found) was elected president of the prestigious law review, and including information on how Harvard Law School was afforded by humble community agitator, Barack Obama.
Obama's Illinois state senate records and papers, mysteriously lost.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 14, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

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