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Analysis: Can Dems Pick Up Hastert and Pryce Seats?

It's been a bad couple of days for House Republicans, as two senior lawmakers who once held top leadership positions in the GOP caucus -- former Speaker Dennis Hastert (Ill.) and ex-Conference Chairwoman Deborah Pryce (Ohio) -- said they will not run for reelection next fall.

We've written before in this space that with Republicans no longer in the majority and a national political environment that looks decidedly unfriendly for GOPers in 2008, it's likely that a number of lawmakers who had been contemplating leaving office in elections past will retire this time around.

Republicans currently have four open seats -- two in Illinois, Hastert's 14th District and Ray LaHood's 18th, Pryce's 15th in Ohio, and the 52nd in California, currently held by Duncan Hunter. (House Democrats are so far losing three lawmakers: Luis Gutierrez in Illinois's 4th, Mark Udall in Colorado's 2nd, and Tom Allen in Maine's 1st.)

Wholesale retirements could leave an underfunded National Republican Congressional Committee hard pressed to cover all of its vulnerabilities, creating the potential for another cycle of significant Democratic gains in the House.

Here's a quick synopsis of the political situation in the districts currently held by Hastert and Pryce. We'll provide this synopsis any time a seat comes open between now and next November. These are meant to be sketches; we'll return to each race with additional analysis as events warrant.

Illinois's 14th District

Geography: The 14th runs west out of Chicago, taking in the population hub of Aurora as well as several smaller towns like Geneva and St. Charles (home of The Fix's in-laws).

Electoral History: President Bush carried the 14th with 55 percent of the vote in 2004 and 54 percent in 2000. Hastert has held the seat easily since 1986.

Candidates: Both sides seem headed for a primary. For Republicans, dairy magnate Jim Oberweis and state Sen. Chris Lauzen are seen as the two most serious contenders. Oberweis has name identification as a result of three unsuccessful statewide races -- twice for Senate (2002, 2004) and once for governor (2006); he also has very deep pockets. Hastert will not likely endorse in the primary race to replace him, but he's made clear that Oberweis is his preferred candidate. Lauzen has held an Aurora-based legislative seat since 1992 and has already formed an exploratory committee for the race.

On the Democratic side, national party officials seem to prefer Bill Foster. Foster, a scientist who spent two decades working at Fermilab in Batavia, is independently wealthy and has already pledged to put $2 million into the race. Foster also released a poll conducted for his campaign in April that showed him trailing Hastert by 27 points but with a generic Democratic candidate ahead of a generic Republican candidate 40 percent to 30 percent. John Laesch, the party's 2006 nominee, looks set to run again. State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, seen by some as the party's strongest candidate, has said she will not run.

Outlook: By the numbers alone, this district shouldn't be all that tough for Republicans to hold. But with Sen. Dick Durbin (D) expected to cruise to reelection in 2008 and the possibility of Sen. Barack Obama on the national ticket, Democrats are increasingly optimistic. The 14th District is not all that dissimilar to Illinois's 8th District, which was won by Rep. Melissa Bean (D) in 2004, and the 6th district, which played host to an expensive and competitive open-seat race in 2006 -- eventually won by now Rep. Peter Roskam (R). One other X-factor in this race is that the district is almost entirely covered by the pricey Chicago media market. If Foster and Oberweis wind up as the nominees, this could be one of the most expensive races in the country.

Ohio's 15th District

Geography: The 15th is dominated by the state capital of Columbus but also stretches west into Madison and Union Counties.

Electoral History: After Bush won it by 8 points in 2000, the 15th was among the most closely contested districts in Ohio in 2004. Bush again carried the seat, but this time by just more than 2,000 votes -- 154,105 for Bush to 151,869 for John Kerry. That close call woke up Democrats to the potential of winning the seat; after winning seven terms with relative ease, Pryce faced a very serious challenge from Franklin County Commissioner Mary Jo Kilroy (D) last November -- winning by just over 1,000 votes.

Candidates: Kilroy, already running again, avoided a potentially costly primary when fellow Franklin County Commissioner Paula Brooks dropped her bid in early July; Kilroy reported roughly $80,000 in the bank at the end of June.

The Republican field is far less clear since Pryce only recently decided not to run again. The two most often mentioned candidates are state Sen. Steve Stivers and former state Attorney General Jim Petro. Stivers, a member of the Army National Guard who spent time in Iraq, has held the state Senate seat since he was appointed to it in 2003, winning a full term in 2004. Petro lost a primary bid for governor last year to former Secretary of State Ken Blackwell.

Outlook: Until the Republican field shakes out, it's hard to make any predictions. But Kilroy's close call in 2006 and lack of a serious primary challenge this time around makes the 15th almost assuredly one of Democrats' top pick-up opportunities next year.

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 16, 2007; 8:25 AM ET
Categories:  House  
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Next: The Line: Where Are the GOP Senate Candidates?

Comments

To MikeB: The price of Apple computers have decreased. The new iMacs are $200 cheaper than the last models.

Posted by: the doc | August 19, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

As of now it looks like the Dems will pick up about 10-15 more House seats and 5-8 more Senate seats.

When 2010 rolls around, Dems, having already retaken the legislature in Illinois and Michigan, can redistrict these seats to create 2-3 uberRepublican districts while shifting another 3-5 HOR seats in each state over to the Dems.

And if the Dems can regain Florida and/or Ohio, u can add another 3-5 seats per state.

The Republican Party has been hijacked by corporatists and Religious Right wackos who have been destroying America for decades with the most devastating impact occurring over the past 7 yrs. The GOP may go the way of the Whigs and America can be left with a choice between 2 versions of today's Democratic Party

Posted by: Dave from queens | August 19, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Note that another Democrat besides Laesch and Foster is running for the Illinois 14th District nomination. Jotham Stein ( http://www.votestein.com/ ) has been campaigning for a number of months.

Posted by: Jim | August 19, 2007 7:09 AM | Report abuse

stop feeding the troll

Posted by: Michael | August 17, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Zouk is a fascist. Remember that zouk?

I'm bringing it back.

Zouk is a fascsit. Your party has a year and a half of relevance. Each day wasted is a day closer to the end of your party. Fix the destruction you people have caused the last 30 years. That is your only chance.

Posted by: rufus | August 17, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Zookeeper. If you can't stand up to a zouk debate just indicate that. you are awfully wordy in your surrender proclamation. Maybe you could take notes from Harry Reid on how to surrender in a more pithy fashion.

"completely ignores any direct challenges and refutations" Can you read and comprehend beyond the fifth grade level? It seems the posters are ignoring you, not me.

As usual when a Lib loses a debate, they try to shut it down and pretend the opposition is crazy. As in the debate over global warming is settled - end of discussion. what this really shows is the inherent weakness of your skills and your point of view. but the posters on this site already know that. no sense further advertising your ignorance and ineptitude.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 17, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I was takin a trip out to L.A.
Toolin along in my cheverolet
Tokin on a number and diggin on the radio

Just as I crossed the Mississippi line
I heard that highway start to whine
And I knew that left rear tire was about to blow

Well the spare was flat and I got uptight
Cause there wasn't a filling station in sight
So I just limped on down the shoulder on the rim

I went as far as I could and when I stopped the car
It was right in front of this little bar
Kind of a red-neck lookin joint called the Dew Drop Inn

I stuffed my hair up under my hat
And told the bartender that I had a flat
And ywould he be kind enough to give me change for a one

There was one thing I was sure proud to see
There wasn't a soul in the place except for him and me
He just looked disgusted and pointed toward the telephone

I called up the station down the road a ways
He said he wasn't very busy today
And he could have somone out there in just about 10 minutes or so

He said," Now, you just stay right where yer at!"
And I didn't bother to tell the darn fool
That I sure as hell didn't have anyplace else to go

So I ordered up a beer and sat down at the bar
When some guy walked in and said, "Who owns this car
With the peace sign, the mag wheels and the four on the floor?"

He looked at me and I damn near died
And I decided that I'd just wait outside
So I laid a dollar on the bar and headed for the door

Just when I wthought I'd get outta there with my skin
These 3 big dudes come strollin in
With one old drunk chick and some fella with green teeth

Now the last thing I wanted was to get into a fight
In Jackson Mississippi on a Saturday night
Especially when there was three of them and only one of me

I was almost to the door when the biggest one
Said, "You tip your hat to this lady, son!"
And when I did, all that hair fell out from underneath

They all started laughin and I felt kinda sick
And I knew I better think of something pretty quick
So I just reached out and kicked old green teeth right in the knee

Now he let out a yell that'd curl yer hair
But before he could move I grabbed me a chair
And said "Now watch him Folks cause he's a fairly dangerous man!"

"You may not know it but this man is a spy.
He's a undercover agent for the FBI
And he's been sent down here to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan!"

He was still bent over holdin on to his knee
But everybody else was looking and listening to me
And I laid it on thicker hand heavier as I went

"He's a friend of them long haired, hippy-type, pinko fags!
I betchya he's even got a commie flag
tacked up on the wall inside of his garage."

"He's a snake in the grass, I tell ya guys.
He may look dumb but that's just a disguise,
He's a mastermind in the ways of espionage"

"Would you believe this man has gone as far
As tearing Wallace stickers off the bumpers of cars.
And he voted for George McGovern for President."

They started lookin real suspicious at him
He jumped up and said "Now just wait a minute Jim!
You know he's lying I been living here all of my life!"

"I'm a faithful follower of Brother John Birch
And I belong to the Antioch Baptist Church.
And I aint even got a garage, you can call home and ask my wife!"

Then he started saying somethin bout the way I was dressed
But I didn't wait around to hear the rest
I was too busy moving and hoping I didn't run outta luck

When I hit the door I was making tracks
And they were just taking my car down off the jacks
So I threw the man a twenty and jumped in and fired that mother up

Mario Andretti wouldda sure been proud
Of the way I was movin when I passed that crowd
Coming out the door and headed toward me at a trott

Now I guess I should of gone ahead and run
But somehow I just couldn't resist the fun
Of chasing them all just once around the parking lot

I had them all out there steppin and fetchin
Like their heads was on fire and their asses was catchin
then I figgered I had better go ahead and split before the cops got there

When I hit the road I was really wheelin
Had gravel flyin and rubber squeelin
And I didn't slow down till I was almost to Arkansas

I think I'm gonna reroute my trip
I wonder if anybody'd think I'd flipped
If I went to L.A., via Omaha

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"Good arguements on the illegals, and I think the most effective way is to eliminate the jobs Employers are using to pay the lower wage by enforcing huge santions on the Employers that hire them."

have to agree with that. If you fined employers 10k per illegal caught in their employ, but made temporary guest workers easier, you'd stop the flow across the border in 2 years. No jobs, not illegals. Who needs a wall?

The added benefit is that temporary guest workers will actually get paid better, ship the money back home and help improve the situations in their own country, instead of fostering the problems that force immigration in the first place.

Posted by: DCAustinite | August 17, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin noted yesterday
"Beyond these two threshold issues, there is no national consensus at all, as far as I can tell.

Am I missing something that is apparent to you?"

I think Giuliani's 'amnesty'-lite plan will hurt him in pursuing the GOP nomination. But on the Dem side immigration isn't quite as important an issue as on the GOP side. Someone posted over on The Trail blog a rant about the Dem candidates not talking about immigration - its because the Dem rank and file doesn't view the immigration problem as the same crisis that right-wing talk radio does. Dem primary voters have other issues on their minds instead.

If the economy tanks, as some predict, by Nov 2008, immigration might move up the priority list for all voters, but I'm not convinced that will happen. I think the Dem candidates can limit their rhetoric to enforcing employment law & stepping up border enforcement, and focus on other issues.

As far as stepping up border enforcement goes, I'm skeptical that it will work. As long as jobs are available here & not available in Mexico, people will get across the border. In fact, I think the $700 million they're putting into a fence would be more effective spent on jobs programs in Mexico, in terms of staunching the flow of labor north. Building a wall or a fence or a moat certainly has a visceral feel that makes one 'feel' more secure. But that's all it does - it fools the senses - it doesn't offer real security.

Posted by: bsimon | August 17, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Mark in A. I never read enough Vonnegut (slogged through Joyce and Dostoyevsky instead) so I had to look Bokonon up. Pretty darn cool. "Judge Crater" is common dross by comparison.

"Bokonon is a good pseudonym, too.
Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 16, 2007 09:00 PM"

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 17, 2007 9:36 AM | Report abuse

roo: Does "Mean" Jean include the Gallipolis area??

Posted by: lylepink | August 17, 2007 2:47 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and for OH--I can only speak about the first and the second district and both are pretty volatile. "Mean" Jean Schmidt is probably a goner with Victoria Wulsin losing only by a couple votes almost without support which went to Cranley--who narrowly lost to Chabot.

The latter is also at-risk this time around if you review the historical demographic data: with the anomaly of 2004, presidential elections bring out more overall Democratic votes than off-years do (i.e. the margins are slimmer for Chabot's victory.)

So, 2nd is almost certain, 1st will be a close call but a better chance than 2006.

Posted by: roo | August 17, 2007 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Bill Foster's legit. He made his money before he became a scientist -- by starting a wildly successful business when he was in college. And his views on illegal immigration are fairly right-of-center/populist.

It would not be wise to underestimate him.

Posted by: Walker | August 16, 2007 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin--Yeah, I doubt anyone can surpass Biden's experience, certainly agree with you there.

However, I view experience only as a piece of the whole--the whole being "wisdom," for want of better term. It encompasses experience, intuition, insight, maturity and intellect each of which complements and compensates for the others.

I feel that Obama, despite lacking a bit in the experience department, compensates for it with the other components. His overall approach, while still far too aggressive for my tastes, seems better than Biden's who so far as I can tell toes the traditional Democratic foreign policy line pretty close. As a *gross* oversimplification, I would peg Obama as proactive where Biden is reactionary.

I realise that we will probably agree to disagree in our respective views, just wanted to hopefully give you insight in the workings of an Evil Liberal's mind and why we disagree :)

Posted by: roo | August 16, 2007 11:42 PM | Report abuse

I live in the 16th district with a wooden headed rep named Manzullo for my rep.
Hassert is in a die hard republican district like this one. It takes a really really strong dem to win in this area.
Its a heavy farm area and lots of xurbia. And it is not one to change easily. We use to be democratic around here but, over the 90s the voters became more and more republican.
However, say Obama got the nomination, some of these entrenched republican districts may go towards democrat if a strong candidate was introduced.
We really need Howard Dean to come here and beef up the party. It is not a strong one.

Posted by: vwcat | August 16, 2007 11:23 PM | Report abuse

hi roo -

I think Biden has the depth of understanding of foreign policy, and the international contacts, that the next Prez should have. I think foreign policy is now the most important task of the Prez.

I have said that Obama interests me because of his intelligence and thoughtful approach to discussions - I have said that he looks like he would be a formidable labor negotiator for either side. This remains true for me. I do not think that he, Edwards, and Clinton have as much experience, combined, as Biden.

I value experience and think Dodd has quite a bit.

When I hear Kucinich talk about projecting peace by dismantling the military, I do not take him seriously [sorry, roo].

I value your opinion, nevertheless.


Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 16, 2007 10:24 PM | Report abuse

I still think Biden's running for Secretary of State, and would make a good one, but he's still not my candidate for the top job.

Posted by: Michael | August 16, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin--"Several of us [I, included] have been posting for months that Biden is the best of the D candidates."

Define "best." I am not for Biden because Kuchinich and Obama closer represent my leanings--not against him either, of course, but I am not attributing it to some vague personality factor.

I cannot honestly say that I have no *feelings* about the candidates, I do, but I try to ignore them the best I can in favour of an objective review of their positions.

The way I approach it for the primaries is to try to research the candidates' positions and based on that narrow the field to "good", "meh" and "nono." Within the "good" field I will look for other attributes such as the ever-elusive "electability" which to mean translates to how others may view the candidate.

Now, policy-wise out of the Democratic field Kuchinich is by far my guy. However, until the electorate is better-educated, he is unlikely to succeed in the General. This leaves me with my only other "good" option, Obama (Gravel's support of the Unfair Tax kicks him straight out.)

A good "electability" question is "who would this guy or gal win over that X does not?" In this respect, I think Obama has an edge over Biden. Biden differs from Obama enough to get in my "meh" list but his differences are not great enough or in the correct areas to elicit support from Republicans or R-leaning Independents--he would be considered Just Another Flaming Lib. Charisma-wise, on the other hand, Obama seems to have the upper hand to the extent that he has been able to garner some I/RLI support already. "Politics of hope" or "Change in Washington," if you will.

I would not mind a Biden candidacy (Biden/Obama, "setting aside differences to help the country," maybe?) to the degree that I would consider a third party* and in fact think much higher of him than, say, Kerry--but at this stage he is not the "best" choice for me.

*Sadly, voting one's conscience is not possible until some type of preference- or runoff voting is implemented. The dominance of the two parties have made third ones unviable until such time that one's vote is not "wasted."

Posted by: roo | August 16, 2007 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Good arguements on the illegals, and I think the most effective way is to eliminate the jobs Employers are using to pay the lower wage by enforcing huge santions on the Employers that hire them.

Posted by: lylepink | August 16, 2007 9:46 PM | Report abuse

"then goes on to sneer at them for having been unable to push through their whole agenda."

bokonon - Actually, the sneering was at the current grumbling and complaining from the left, mainly, about the president's new initiative to step up enforcement of current laws along w/Homeland Security. I agree that both sides are to blame for failing to pass the compromise bill, but it was terminally flawed any way you look at it. I, and I believe the rest of the country, would be more than happy if some real efforts were seen on enforcement and border security -exisitng law!- and not have partisans on either side shrieking about not having enough people to pick lettuce.

Bush is trying to achieve results - and I support that , not from a partisan standpoint, but from the standpoint of a law-abiding, taxpaying citizen. And I recognize that Sen Martinez was talking to fellow Rs....there's plenty of Rs who are moderate-to-liberal on immigration and some who aren't.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | August 16, 2007 9:33 PM | Report abuse

I think you and I are pretty close, Mark. It needs to take time, it needs to assure the proper motivations, and it needs to assure basic assimilation into the culture (I say basic because I do believe American culture is based on constant change as we accept new immigrants, and immigrants shouldn't just abandon their heritage, but their heritage shouldn't be so pronounced and protected that it can make them separatists a la Quebec). I think Irish Americans are proud of their Irish heritage, as are the Sons of Italy, etc., so I don't fret over people marching under Mexican flags, etc.

I think we need to encourage them to learn English, but I don't think it should be required. For instance, we could include a list of four or five criteria of which two or three must be met to be eligible for citizenship, and demonstrating proficiency in English could be one of the five.

I think also that if they are i nthe country illegally, they should be penalized with a fine. Once all the criteria have then been met (waiting period, fines paid, citizenship test and other standards passed), they should be eligible for full citizenship. Otherwise, a new work visa system is an alternative.

But no matter what we do, we must deal with the fact that there are somewhere between 10-20 million undocumented/illegal immigants here today, and simply rounding them up and deporting them isn't an option. It would destabilize or worse destroy our economy, and not to mention that we can't just deport them. We call them undocumented for good reason- these aren't all Mexicans, these are people without a country. We can't just drop them off at the border and tell them to be on their way if they'd be illegally in Mexico too (I know that's the last of some people's priorities, but it's true).

Posted by: Michael | August 16, 2007 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Please ignore the trolls (Zouk and various what-passes-for-witty nicknames as examples.)

Engaging them in ANY way will only assure they will continue to troll.

Kingofzouk is a particularly skillful troll for a mainstream website: he alternates between posing seemingly rational questions (which turn out to contain false or misleading information in the push-polling style) and tantrums of name-calling and completely ignores any direct challenges and refutations.

Arguing with him and others of the troll ilk is pointless. Please stop indulging them.

If you feel you absolutely must respond, please limit your response to indicating the "facts" presented are incorrect and the bearer is a flamebait.

But the advised course is to ignore them, most people on this board are smart enough to understand the information is BS anyway and do not need to be told so (this may not apply to the electorate at large whom the political con-men swindle at will.)

Posted by: Zookeepress | August 16, 2007 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Bokonon is a good pseudonym, too.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 16, 2007 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Judge Crater, hats off for a truly original pseudonym. I had not known that much about the name other than that it belonged to a man who had gone missing, but it's a pretty good story. Reminds me of D.B. Cooper... although maybe more like Hoffa?

Posted by: Bokonon | August 16, 2007 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Bokonon: I read something recently about how it is possible for the dems to get to 60, and the key is Va., plus two other states now held by the GOP and favored to win unless they retire. I just can't remember what states they were, maybe someone else saw the article.

Posted by: lylepink | August 16, 2007 7:59 PM | Report abuse

"I see the end position for undocs as work visas, not citizenship, and I see it addressed in a NAFTA labor protocol"

Temporary work visa's. That's the important thing. Temporary. Anyone who is still loyal to their "old country" should go back there, no. If you are a pakistani man, you should be living in pakistan, not america. China, france. If you are a mexican first and american second (mexican-american) go back to YOUR country. It's great right? You love it. Why am I the racist. Color doesn't matter. National Unity does matter

Posted by: rufus | August 16, 2007 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Michael, I think I got the gist.

What would you propose for regularizing undocs? Give me an idea how you would step
the process.

When I try to do it as a thought experiment
I see the end position for undocs as work visas, not citizenship, and I see it addressed in a NAFTA labor protocol. That makes for a long time frame.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 16, 2007 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that was a really ugly sentence

Posted by: Michael | August 16, 2007 7:25 PM | Report abuse

I know you do ,and part of me wishes it could, but like I say, the easiest thing to move on is the borders and visas, but once those measures are passed, there will be no political will left to address the other half of the equation, as people will still decry "amnesty." Both need to come together at once. I don't even know that we need the grand bargain up front, but if we piecemeal it, we must get both sides of the equation at each step.

Posted by: Michael | August 16, 2007 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Michael, I almost wrote "Golden Bears", but guessed there were more Bruin alums, here, there, and everywhere. I hear that you think the grand bargain must be struck; you know I think we will have to attack it piecemeal.

But now I know that you are not opining from the moon; thanks for that.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 16, 2007 7:14 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP says of the current Congress "they had the momentum, the political timing, and the national will to make some real changes" and then goes on to sneer at them for having been unable to push through their whole agenda.

I would say - politely - that the main reason for Congress' lack of success is the 48 Senators from the party you are so proud to be a part of. It's mathematical - when you do not have 60 votes in the Senate, and the other party almost always votes in lockstep against you (not to mention that the president has all but promised to veto every bill not originating with his party) it's pretty hard to accomplish anything.

So, yes, your fellow prouds have managed to lock up the US government for the past 8 months, and have been successful in preventing almost any change proposed - changes which were, as you say, backed by the "national will."

Posted by: Bokonon | August 16, 2007 7:08 PM | Report abuse

West coast football is back. UCLA USC CAL.

Yeah

Posted by: rufus | August 16, 2007 7:04 PM | Report abuse

"the whole point of the revealation was not that it instantly obviates any global warming theory (loaded but accurate word) but that the MSM ignored it on the downside but trumpeted it on the upside."
-Zouk, 211pm

The data doesn't change the overall results, it's like creationinsts saying the discovery of a fissil that discredits one hypothesis on the nature of evolution discredits all evolution. Like you said, it's a critique of the media, which isn't interested in telling the whole story or news, or even their own political bias, they are interested in making money and selling advertisements- Fox, CNN, MSNBC, they're not in the news business, they're in the entertainment business.

"I think, to quote Biden, that trying to make a grand plan on undocs will "sacrifice the good to the perfect"."

The Bush-McCain-Kennedy plan was a good plan and had strong popular support. It wasn't perfect, and did require both sides to sacrifice some. But, it was undone because the simple fact of our system is the majority doesn't always win- the most passionate normally do. I'm a Californian myself (Golden Bears, thank you very much), I know the issue all too well.

Posted by: Michael | August 16, 2007 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Mark, I actually like Biden as a candidate. I do not support him only because I don't think he ever really had a chance, but I would be glad to be proven wrong, and I think a lot of Democrats would probably agree. He's smart, he's got the foreign policy chops, and I think that one on one, in a debate with almost anyone, he would win. Sadly, I think he's been in the Senate too long and thus probably has too much baggage to win.

Posted by: Bokonon | August 16, 2007 7:00 PM | Report abuse

"clawrence: If I had any money I would hire you to write my thoughts. I am not very good at it. All along I have thought Obama has ZERO chance of being elected in 08, and he is the GOPs best hope, that is why so many of them are supporting him."

Still on that bandwagon pink? YOur sounding very much like a gop'er with you "I know you are but what am I" statements. Didn't we already have this discussion? If they fear someone they do not mention them. If the conservatives fear hillary why is rupert murdoch and fox raising money for her? Why is Ken Starr's company giving to her? Why does fox continuously call her the frontrunner daily and make a point of that?

Posted by: rufus | August 16, 2007 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Zouk. Name three documentaries that have made 100 mill. Can you? I can't.

It's not always about money. I know that's hard for people that only care about money to understand.

His movie's are prompting change. Regarless of what you say. The d's are going to win. Each and every d has a universal health care plan. Sicko lost? HAHAHAHA. Your a joke zoouk

Posted by: rufus | August 16, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

"How come no GOPs are this brazenly shrill and mindless?"

Posted by: zouk actually said this! | August 16, 2007 6:56 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe I've ever said I'm not a lib (though I'm not, I'm mostly a social libertarian and moderate on the economy mostly in line with the Webb, Ford, and Tester wing of the party).

"the movie thing I think is just tooo esoteric for the readers of this blog. you can try and water down the point with insider metrics about screens and averages (funny how you Libs insist on only one metric for Iraq - body count) but the essential point is that the movie stunk, it was all lies, that genre is toast and even Moore was upset with the outcome and the irreverence of CNN. On top of all that, the single objective reality is that it brought in a measly 20M, the level of the worst movies out there, regardless of producer or outlet. so the result is that you can't lie your way out of this hole. QED."

No, the metric for business success is profits related to expendatures, which it did very well on, especially since that sort of movie does better on video than in the theaters when it can be handed out by activists and shown in private screenings (and my metrics showed profit margins, not per-screening numbers, someone else relayed that one). But if the measure of success is the political outcry and the discussion provoked, it has done very well in that as well as it has been discussed on virtually every media outlet and healthcare is at the top of the debate again.

Actually, what makes the esteem of this congress the lowest in decades is the crap like their bowing to Bush on domestic spying and war spending. until they grab a pair on those issues, they'll never pull themselves out of the 20's. Earmarks is just a distractor.

As for the war, maybe you should have read my commentary. the body count doesn't matter- either side. All that matters is the domestic politics of Iraq. Until Article 140 is resolved and until a unification strategy is reached, the whole US campaign is futile and doomed to failure, each death on top of that is just one more tragedy resulting from failure, not a sign of it.

Posted by: Michael | August 16, 2007 6:51 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to raze your argument about global warming. the result of the data change was rather insignificant on its face, although they don't readily reveal the sensitivity of the model to this variable. the point was that if the US has these problems, it is highly likely that others have them as well. We are much more quality controlled than Brazil or china on these tasks. and even the Kos fueled director responsible for the shoddy science admitted if the problem extended to others it WAS a big deal. but you Libs know all about temperaures and climates and data gathering all while sipping latte on the upper east side.

two thinks smell bad here, just like most Lib science - the director was responsible for a stupid error someone else caught. when exposed he tried to hide it, deny it and then claim it was no big deal. translation - I don't know what the heck I am doing. second, he immediatly heads over to Kos to post the explanation. I have been in science a long time and don't know any who considers Kos to be the first place to post scientific results. no conclusive proof but you conspiracy freaks out there would be jumping all over yourselves if the temperature had gone up instead. so is this science or politics? you Libs can't seem to distinguish the two.

but yeah, you're right Michael, that is a very convincing argument on your part - that the data doesn't matter - it's settled science. did you take another poll? Yiikkkes. Let's have Kos become the new head of DARPA.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 16, 2007 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Michael -

I think, to quote Biden, that trying to make a grand plan on undocs will "sacrifice the good to the perfect".

Congresspersons must represent their constitutents. Where I live, thousands of EE and CS types all say what MikeB says: no more H1B visas. But from 70 mi to 1000 mi west of me constituents want to reinstitute bracero, or something like it. These are not ivory tower choices. What's good for NY is not what's good for CA.
There will have to be a lot of regional and
ideological give-and-take before we get anywhere on status change for undocs. And just when we think we resolved something, a new issue will arise. Only the two enforcement issues can be dealt with in the near term - so they should be.

I may sound more strident about this than I have in the past - but this blog has convinced me that much of the country still thinks undocs are a theoretical problem - or opportunity. The 20%+ of the nation that lives in TX, CA, AZ, and NM are living with both the problem and the opportunity.
it. CA and TX are the two largest states in population and electoral votes. I do not think many of you know that; 'Horns and Bruins excepted.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 16, 2007 6:45 PM | Report abuse

clawrence: If I had any money I would hire you to write my thoughts. I am not very good at it. All along I have thought Obama has ZERO chance of being elected in 08, and he is the GOPs best hope, that is why so many of them are supporting him.

Posted by: lylepink | August 16, 2007 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Michael - I thought you said you weren't a Lib. you sure sound like one. I can only guess that you have very little self-awareness. this is evident in your ranting about beating me in a debate. for example

the movie thing I think is just tooo esoteric for the readers of this blog. you can try and water down the point with insider metrics about screens and averages (funny how you Libs insist on only one metric for Iraq - body count) but the essential point is that the movie stunk, it was all lies, that genre is toast and even Moore was upset with the outcome and the irreverence of CNN. On top of all that, the single objective reality is that it brought in a measly 20M, the level of the worst movies out there, regardless of producer or outlet. so the result is that you can't lie your way out of this hole. QED.

Next :

Earmarks? They promised a more open process, they delivered on that

you really think that voluntary revelation of earmarks is a more open process with Harry Reid himself serving as auditor of the process? do you even know what the final bill said? It is exactly that kind of shenanigans that makes this congress the lowest in esteem for decades. but I assume that you are happy with that and look forward to more of the same in the hillary admin. Maybe if you change the word from 'corruption' to something more palletable, like you Libs always do, you could get away with it easier. so if I find 90 grand in your freezer you can simply say you are holding it for a friend. Oh in that case, its OK with harry. and he is the decider on corruption. and he has plenty of experience not finding it, even in his own family.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 16, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

From Proud: "It's about leading on the tough issues," said Sen. Martinez, RNC chairman. "It was easy to say, 'This wasn't good enough, this isn't right, I don't agree with Martinez.' ... But at the end of the day, what is your answer? How would you solve this?"

You know the really funny thing about this quote? Sen Martinez was chastizing Republican presidential candidates, not the Democratic congressional leadership...

http://www.sptimes.com/2007/08/15/Worldandnation/Martinez_chides_GOP_c.shtml

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2007 6:36 PM | Report abuse

"so I will revel in my success without rubbing it in your face too much. Especially since you pulled a Crater on all losing arguments as usual."


hahahahhaha. rIGHT. Go gloat about your imaginary victory's in your imaginary world. Your party has a year and a half of relevance. Everyday you continue this nonsense you waste another day. Your party will soon be irrelevant. Then we'll see how much you run you mouth

To clarence. Hillary is exactly the same a bush. they both get money from the same people. Nothing chances with hil in their. Is the political climate one of change or staying the SAME? Change? ok then. Hillary will not the nom then.

Posted by: rufus | August 16, 2007 6:35 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP: Advair is out of the question, I notice there is a heavy add campaign going on for it now, and it takes many weeks to be effective and the chance for developing pneaumonia is very high, I think I will get Spriva, along with the Combivent, because it is taken only Qd. Hopefully this should work, any other hints will be appreciated.

Posted by: lylepink | August 16, 2007 6:34 PM | Report abuse

"We also have a man who, as far back as 1981, was pushing for a federal focus on border security and potentially criminal illegal immigrants."

Isn't this the guy who said in 1996 that we will never be able to fully control immigrantion and Americans just need to accept that?

Posted by: Michael | August 16, 2007 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Which facts? The movie profits, those were thoroughly discredited (to the point that you just ignored it and moved on, typical). Global warming? No, it didn't significantly change the overall results, and besides you yourself acknowledge that that argument does nothing to discredit Global Warming, only how it can be portrayed in the media, which is irrelevant to the points. As for Dems in Congress, no one argued a number of Dems were gutless on the war and should have stood by and blocked this moronic republican war and the republican tax cuts (that, yes are destroying our economy; 4% unemployment is meaningless if you need to hold down three jobs to cover the rising costs of healthcare while your pay is stagnant, and nevermind the long term costs of the national debt). Earmarks? They promised a more open process, they delivered on that. Don't like what your congressman is doing? Go vote him/her out.

As for sicko/healthcare- even the big corporations are pleeding for a national healthcare plan now, It's coming zouk, get over it, the last seven years have pretty thoroughly discredited everything you believe in. But go on, yack about how Dems believe in raising taxes and handing it all over to illegal immigrants so they can rape our families while al Qa'eda plans their next big attack. Mhmm, that's surely a sign of a superior intellect at work...

Posted by: Michael | August 16, 2007 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Geez, proud, don't you ever get tired of carrying the GOP's water and spreading lies about D's: " liberals like Ted Kennedy and Diane Feinstein are standing in the way and complaining about the president's plan to step up enforcement of existing laws."

So they are totally responsible? I don't see anything in your statement that provides you with wiggle room on that point.

Hmmm, that of course flies in the face of a few inconvenient facts and rather than just misquoting another GOP tool as you did here are the links:
http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/house-gop-rebukes-senate-bill-2007-06-27.html
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/06/08/IMMIGRATION.TMP
http://gopublius.com/an-inconvenient-issue-illegal-immigration-the-gop/

An honest person would agree that it was a bipartisan effort. Running around blaming one side or the other is both pointless and delusional.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 16, 2007 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Contrast that with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who spoke out on the problem of illegal immigration while in office with a clear focus on the safety and security of city residents. And while Mr. Giuliani very publicly called on the federal government to enforce immigration laws, he also faced an extreme situation of a city with an overflow illegal-immigrant population and a city-wide crime crisis.

When Mr. Giuliani took control of New York City in 1994, it was ridden with crime, was home to 2,000 murders a year and 10,000 felonies a week. It was also home to 400,000 illegal immigrants, of which the INS, in spite of Rudy's persistent protests, would deport no more than 2,000 a year. The security of the citizens of New York was, as it had to be, his primary concern. And so, to protect his citizens' public health and safety, Mr. Giuliani continued to allow illegal aliens to report crimes to the authorities to ensure criminals were taken off the streets. He also allowed illegal aliens to seek medical care so infectious diseases were not spread throughout the city, and children were allowed into the schools rather than left roaming the streets as unsupervised truants.

It worked. As happened so often during his tenure in New York, Mr. Giuliani solved a problem others deemed unsolvable. Crime decreased by 57 percent. Murders fell by 67 percent. And New York became a city second to none in terms of crime, safety and dealing with illegality of all different kinds. It was, and remains, America's safest large city.

In Mayor Giuliani we have a proven leader, a problem-solver long committed to the security and welfare of his constituents. We also have a man who, as far back as 1981, was pushing for a federal focus on border security and potentially criminal illegal immigrants.

Posted by: go rudy | August 16, 2007 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Actually take some time to debate a topic for a change (maybe I'm asking too much since you can't seem to defend any point).

Posted by: Michael | August 16, 2007 05:36 PM

Oh really. you are just the latest in a long line of self-rightous Libs to suffer ignominious defeat at the hands of the King of zouk. most amusing is that a single zoukian can handle a debate (if you can call it that) with some 10 or 20 Libs at the same time and never suffer a significant defeat on the facts. this is most certainly an alternative measure of intellect, stamina and brainpower. you see one zouk can outsmart a whole team of Libs over and over. I have been the sole voice in the wilderness here with some help from other fellow travellers (proud). but for the most part, this is a wildly liberal blog.

In all fairness, it is not appropriate to credit zouk himself with the victory. It is indeed very difficult to rally behind Dem and Lib propositions and the facts to support them are almost non-existent. before the internet, the MSM and the spin-meisters got away with this stuff, but it is now so easy to disprove so many of their claims, many consider it sport.

when forcibly confronted with facts, links, stats, math, objectivity, the Libs magically melt into the background - they pull a Crater.

for example - claiming that Moore's sicko was a success, or that changes in the data for a climate model don't change the conclusions, or that flip-flopping on war support is courageous or not eliminating earmarks is actually eliminating them or..... well as you know the list is long and not encouraging to the Libs on this blog.

so I will revel in my success without rubbing it in your face too much. Especially since you pulled a Crater on all losing arguments as usual.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 16, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

"proud makes a good point when she says Ds will be hurt if they do not line up in favor of border and employment enforcement - even self - identified Ds on this blog want both."

And so do most in Congress, they're just not willing to pass a law on that first knowing that if border enforcement is passed, there's no motivation on the right to get behind a path to citizenship. Both need to be tied together, and it is ok when doing so to say that enforcement should come first so long as it is not alone (which will do virtually no good by itself). Clinton and Obama are both nicely positioned to ignore the issue in the primary and come back to it in the general, and the Democratic base isn't as against border enforcement as the Republicans are against a path to citizenship.

Posted by: Michael | August 16, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

elephants identifying mexicans - what next?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

lylepink- Yes, the Combivent gives you both drugs together, which is a good way to treat COPD as it will provide symptomatic relief, improve exercise capacity, and reduce exacerbations. Also, it's only one copay!

Use it on a regular schedule like the directions say. Your physician can discuss with you other options/ additional meds like inhaled corticosteroids (Advair) or longer-acting bronchodilators (Spiriva). Of course, the the most effective way to slow COPD progression is to stop smoking.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | August 16, 2007 5:54 PM | Report abuse

NEW DELHI - Wildlife groups have created individual photo identification cards for wild elephants in southern India to help track the effects of poaching, conservationists said Thursday.

How about we do the Mexicans next?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

bsimon - RG will be hurt by his position on regularizing undocs. As we discuss that issue it becomes more apparent to me that it is very complex and not amenable to a grand solution.

proud makes a good point when she says Ds will be hurt if they do not line up in favor of border and employment enforcement - even self - identified Ds on this blog want both.

Beyond these two threshold issues, there is no national consensus at all, as far as I can tell.

Am I missing something that is apparent to you?

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 16, 2007 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Well, if Biden is too friendly with big business, I wonder what Warren Buffet, Oprah Winfrey, and Frank Clark (a top executive of Exelon and one of Obama's largest bundlers) says about Obama. 60% of his funding for his presidential bid comes from those contributing the maximum of $2600 and includes large bundlers connected to Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, JPMorgan Chase, and Citigroup (it might also be mentioned that Obama received 8% of his Senate Campaign Funds from PAC's and has one of his own called the Hopefund - compared to Senator Clinton receiving 4% of her Senate Campaign Funds from PAC's).

Many of the concerns that those who would work for the Green Party are the exact same thing we heard when Gore was running. If those sympathetic to the Democratic Party's causes, including the environment, don't stick together and defect to the Green Party or an independent candidate, we are likely to have a republican who will deliver the same kind of lack of leadership as Bush/Cheney.

Senator Clinton and Biden are not GOP light - and it doesn't matter how often Obama says it no more than Cheney insisting that there are WMD or an Al Qaeda connection in Iraq.

Obama would be the single worst nominee for the Democrats to put forward, and his supporters who would defect to the green party have shown just how committed they are to real change by throwing the election.

Posted by: clawrence | August 16, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

anon. coward August 16, 2007 05:25 PM :

As noted in Illegal Alien Crime Wave in Full Swing, in April 2005, the GAO released a report on a study of 55,322 illegal aliens incarcerated in federal, state, and local facilities during 2003. It found the following:

Of the 55,322 illegal aliens studied, researchers found that they were arrested a total of 459,614 times, averaging about 8 arrests per illegal alien.

They were arrested for a total of about 700,000 criminal offenses, averaging about 13 offenses per illegal alien.

49% had previously been convicted of a felony, 20% of a drug offense; 18% a violent offense, and 11%, other felony offenses.

81% of the arrests occurred after 1990

56% of those charged with a reentry offense had previously been convicted on at least 5 prior occasions.

Defendants charged with unlawful reentry had the most extensive criminal histories. 90% had been previously arrested. Of those with a prior arrest, 50% had been arrested for violent or drug-related felonies.

All of these crimes would have never happened, i.e. they were preventable, had we had a serious program of deportation of the illegal aliens already here and proper border security to prevent both entry and re-entry.

In reviewing those numbers, note that the study sampled only about 21% of the incarcerated illegal aliens. To get the full extent of the collateral damage, we need to apply the average number of offenses across all 267,000 currently incarcerated illegal alien criminals. Doing so results in 1,288,619 crimes!

http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/homeland .php?id=737771


To be really precise, anon, *AT LEAST* half of all violent crime is due direclty to illegals. It is likely a lot more than that. And, I'll leavce you with just a few recent actual cases.


http://www.immigrationshumancost.org/text/crimevictims.html

Posted by: MikeB | August 16, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

"It's time for the American people to present Congress and the president with a defining choice: Either Congress and the President want to defend innocent Americans from violent illegal aliens or they don't."

Oh god I really hope Republicans flaunt this as a key message for the next election, imply that all illegal aliens are violent murderes and that demands immediate action - and in doing so hand the Dems Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Colorado on a silver platter for the next generation, just like they did with California and Prop 187...

Posted by: Michael | August 16, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse

trosky asks, about the cojones comment
"How come no GOPs are this brazenly shrill and mindless?"

Oh, don't be so coy. GOPs are that shrill and mindless - they just aren't that funny.

So who has the Grandest Old Pair?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2007 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Marty: Don't under play Zouk, he is highly intellegent and I am the only one, I think, that has been able to point this out to his dismay. By ignoring him, he will go away again, though I do get a laugh from time to time from the stupid things he posts.

Posted by: lylepink | August 16, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP writes
"Because they had the momentum, the political timing, and the national will to make some real changes and now.... liberals like Ted Kennedy and Diane Feinstein are standing in the way and complaining about the president's plan to step up enforcement of existing laws."

I thought there was a bipartisan plan ready to go that was scuttled by the xenophobes as having too much 'amnesty'. Meanwhile, I read over on The Trail blog that Giuliani has announced an amnesty-inclusive plan for immigration. Amnesty killed the McCain candidacy, is Giuliani the next one to suffer fratricide from his GOP brethren?

Posted by: bsimon | August 16, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

As for spoilers in 2008- The likely candidates are going to be clinton and Guiliani, and if so the biggest potential spoiler will be Huckabee or another conservative runnning as an independent (or Constitution Party nominee) because, as Huckabee has stated, he cannot support a pro-choice Republican nominee. Bush taught the left their lessons about the Greens and they will fall in line at the presidential level, though it might hurt candidates down ticket. The conservative die-hards, on the other hand, vote abortion above all else. Clinton may be 45-45 in terms of love/hate, but the 45% who love her aren't going to budge, and the other 45% aren't guaranteed to go into the R column.

Zouk, drop the strawmans, you just look like a raging fool. Actually take some time to debate a topic for a change (maybe I'm asking too much since you can't seem to defend any point).

Posted by: Michael | August 16, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

"Geez, why are you blaming just THIS session of Congress?"

Because they had the momentum, the political timing, and the national will to make some real changes and now.... liberals like Ted Kennedy and Diane Feinstein are standing in the way and complaining about the president's plan to step up enforcement of existing laws.

"It's about leading on the tough issues," said Sen. Martinez, RNC chairman.
"It was easy to say, 'This wasn't good enough, this isn't right, I don't agree with Martinez.' ... But at the end of the day, what is your answer? How would you solve this?"

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | August 16, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

'At the next debate, GOPpers are gonna drop trou and compare cojones. Largest pair wins."


the Lib intellectuals have emerged again. and we were doing so well. How come no GOPs are this brazenly shrill and mindless?

Posted by: Trotsky | August 16, 2007 5:32 PM | Report abuse

sicko is not a failure. Lib's don't measure success by dollars, like you and the facsits. It will be seen by everybody. The rent number will be high.

Only dittohead slave live their live by paying conservative avatars. The left doesn't run on money. It runs on ideas and ideals.

F911 was not a lie. Almost everything was %100. Research buddy. But the time in

Posted by: rufus | August 16, 2007 5:25 PM | Report abuse

"And, I would like to mention, OVER HALF of violent crime is due to that one small group."

Now you're just making things up. Stick to the facts about work documents instead of conjuring fanciful statistics out of thin air.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2007 5:25 PM | Report abuse

"the sicko movie was not about profit - that is a dirty word in Lib circles - it was inteneded to be a political statement. It failed."

We'll see physco. Do you think the dem's are going to get elected across the board? Do you think we are going to get universal health care?

Yes and yes. Or, so it didn't fail. Mike moore is not a liar. To prove it tell me one MAJOR thing he lied about. Not one or two minor thing. One major lie. Your silence will be deafening

Posted by: rufus | August 16, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

"Republicans are not just looking for the usual John Wayne-type signifiers as they go about selecting a candidate, but thinking about who can best loom over Hillary Clinton and make her look like a shrill, small, silly little woman."


At the next debate, GOPpers are gonna drop trou and compare cojones. Largest pair wins.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

clawrence - Several of us [I, included] have been posting for months that Biden is the best of the D candidates. So about a month ago I asked drindl if Biden was just too conservative for the base, and she told me he was too "corporate", which means, I was told,roughly, too friendly to big business for the base. drindl is not a doctrinaire person, in my view, but she is a committed D who is not amused that I also want the Rs to run their best candidate [in my view, Sen. McCain]. So I took her to be someone who would give me a straight answer, and I am guessing that the KOS followers would have at least that "negative" a view of Biden, which is not a negative, really, for me.

But I am seeming likely to end up with no candidate I actually think can step in and do the job of leading American foreign policy out of the wilderness, so I am trying to learn about the others.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 16, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

clawrence35 - Well, given her stance on economic issues, I'm not only voting zGrteen, I'm ging to work for them. There is no way I can support a candidate that would give my job away for personal gain or "foreign policy". I honestly believe the majority of the voting public will feel exactly the same way.

Anon idiot August 16, 2007 04:58 PM - Actually, there are AT LEAST 12 million illegal WORKERS in the country. These are people, actively competing against Amercian's for their jobs, bidding down wages, bidding down health care, committing wholesale identity theft for fake i.d. with which to get jobs. And, I would like to mention, OVER HALF of violent crime is due to that one small group. I imagine, if you thought about it, and this is the argument used by those for rounding up and deporting all of them, think about the fact that virtually every one of those 12 million has fake i.d. as a result of identity theft (a felony, I might add) the old saw of "most of them are law abiding, hard working", etc. would make you look like a fool. Most are felonies, most are criminals that have at least engaged in felony identity theft and one can only imagine what other crimes they commit as a group. Someone has to answer that question...but evidently, it is too difficult for you to think about.

Posted by: MikeB | August 16, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Judge Crater makes a point:
"Certainly, part of the answer has to be (as always) enforcement of current laws. Which means funding the agencies in charge of enforcement. Wonder what those budgets have looked like lately. Anybody know?"

I think border security funding is up, but until there's enough to put a line of officers with linked arms from san diego to the gulf, people will slip through. Meanwhile, I hear that if, say, state troopers call ICE to pickup some illegals, ICE won't show up unless there are 'enough to make it worth their while' which is apparently something more than a half dozen. Furthermore, HR departments get zero support from the feds in even determining whether documents are fraudulent or not - their answer is 'if they show a card, give them a job.' As long as the jobs are available, people will migrate to fill the jobs. Step 1 in effective immigration policy is not to build a fence, but to take away the work. No work means no reason to sneak in. Simple supply & demand.

Posted by: bsimon | August 16, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP: The Ipratropium is the generic name for Atrovent, I think, and I use this with the Albutersol. I have the Combivent, just got and haven't used yet, 2 pfs Qid. I am not sure, but think this is a combination of the two refered to earlier that I have used for years. Let me know, Thanks

Posted by: lylepink | August 16, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

"In May, Rep. Zack Wamp (R-Tenn.) said Thompson is qualified for the presidency because he's tall. A month later, MSNBC's Chris Matthews got a little creepy in praising Thompson, complimenting the former senator's odor:

TAP's Garance Franke-Ruta spoke to a "leading figure in the Iowa Republican Party" about the actor-lobbyist-senator, who explained why so many conservatives are excited about a Thompson campaign.

"Can you imagine what debates are going to be like with great big Andrew Jackson-looking Fred and Hillary on her stubby little legs, stamping her feet?" Thompson, if elected, would be the tallest president ever. Republicans are not just looking for the usual John Wayne-type signifiers as they go about selecting a candidate, but thinking about who can best loom over Hillary Clinton and make her look like a shrill, small, silly little woman. Thompson's booming voice will make her "sound like Madame Defarge."

In other words, the GOP wants a big guy. Not in terms of stature or intellect, but in physical size. (For what it's worth, like Kevin, I think Hillary would humiliate Thompson in a debate).

It's discouraging enough when campaigns descent into personality contests, but rank-and-file Republicans apparently are looking at this race as a contest to pick the captain of a basketball team."


iT'S FUNNY CAUSE IT'S TRUE :)

Posted by: FRICKIN REPUBLCIANS | August 16, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

clawrence writes
"I can only hope the Green Party doesn't spoil this like they did in 2000."

Perhaps if the Dems nominate a decent candidate, people won't seek out a better alternative elsewhere.

If the Dems nominate Hillary - they shouldn't be too surprised if people do exactly that; its not as though they haven't been warned.

Posted by: bsimon | August 16, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

"The do-nothing Congress has not lifted a finger to address this issue..."

Geez, why are you blaming just THIS session of Congress? Name a session that DID address this problem.

Certainly, part of the answer has to be (as always) enforcement of current laws. Which means funding the agencies in charge of enforcement. Wonder what those budgets have looked like lately. Anybody know?

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 16, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

the sicko movie was not about profit - that is a dirty word in Lib circles - it was inteneded to be a political statement. It failed. you could see the seething rage on moore's face when he was interviewed on CNN. Imagine, his own homeys turning on him.

"Why can't you leave politics out of your response, I didnt mention it in mine.'

Ummmm - because this is a political website, not a hollywood spin machine. the movie was bad, it didn't live up to its hype, Moore was pissed, it made less money than many other total bombs out there. these are the facts. anything else is simply Lib math designed to hide the truth as usual.

can we compare Mel gibson's movie (an indie release) to this one. go right ahead. the overall point behind all this is there is a groundswell of interest in enviro claims - true or partially true or not. the impetus for drastic changes in our health care system to align them with cuba's in non-existent.

we even have an objective metric (I can feel you Libs cringing) to compare these now - Moores indie release of F911 - 200 M compared to Moores indie release of sicko - 20M. so according to my simple cave-man method - only the truly devoted communists bothered to make the trip to sicko while F911 had wider appeal. Or maybe the novelty of a movie about highly stylized and edited lies has passed. 15 minutes is up.

either way Michale Moore is a big fat liar, but like the clintons, he is very good at it. Must be a Dem thing.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 16, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

MikeB - "anon - "...Obama is not going to be on the ballot...". I truly hope you're wrong on that."

Sorry to disappoint you, but Obama will not be on the ballot, and just as well, he would be bad for the DNC as Hillary. He has set himself up for failure, and he can't live up to his rhetoric due to past behavior, like fundraising and foreign policy positions, and most importantly, his utter lack of understanding of our Armed Forces or military relations.

The best positioned candidate is Biden - and unfortunately, the press is ignoring him and the D-Kos crowd continues to vilify him for some unknown reason.

Senator Clinton will not be as bad as everyone thinks she will. She went into NY and went upstate - leaving the NYC press to itself. That was very smart. She understands that this race will be decided in the Midwest, and the Midwest is going to go Democratic, regardless of whom the Democrats nominate. I can only hope the Green Party doesn't spoil this like they did in 2000.

Posted by: clawrence35 | August 16, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

mikeB - I mentioned it...that's the whole point, with which I'm sure you agree. The do-nothing Congress has not lifted a finger to address this issue; we need real change in the way these illegals are dealt with, instead we are given excuses for failure dressed up as "comprehensive" reform.

What would Mexico do with illegals such as this? The answer is easy: deport them on the spot.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | August 16, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

"And proudtobeGOP - a little something you forgot to mention... The suspected shooters, all three of thrm, are ILLEGALS. So was the guy who murdered three people last Sunday at the church in Misouri."


My God. And you say there are 12 million of these people on the loose? I'm gonna go get me a gun so I can protect myself before they take out 36 million people.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

FYI

U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) said today that he plans to seek another term in Congress next year, reversing a previous announcement that he would retire.


10:38 AM CDT, August 16, 2007
www.chicagotribune.com

Posted by: aaron | August 16, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

And proudtobeGOP - a little something you forgot to mention... The suspected shooters, all three of thrm, are ILLEGALS. So was the guy who murdered three people last Sunday at the church in Misouri. That guy, an illegal immigrant from Peru, was on release after beinbg jailed for molesting a five year old girl.

Posted by: MikeB | August 16, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

"so in summary - Moore beat out daddy day camp but lost to chuck and larry. It is on par with stardust. Yeah I never heard of it either. a whopping success in Lib circles, probably because you understand profit so well."

I do. And politics aside, I see 2 million investment turning to 21 million profit. I wish I could've been a producer on that, I'll take a 10 time return on my investment any day. You feel free to get a more paltry return from Chuck and Larry, which though it earned more box office, cost a lot more to make. You do understand how profit and loss work, right?

Posted by: Republicans find math hard | August 16, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

"so in summary - Moore beat out daddy day camp but lost to chuck and larry. It is on par with stardust. Yeah I never heard of it either. a whopping success in Lib circles, probably because you understand profit so well."

I do. And politics aside, I see 2 million investment turning to 21 million profit. I wish I could've been a producer on that, I'll take a 10 time return on my investment any day. You feel free to get a more paltry return from Chuck and Larry, which though it earned more box office, cost a lot more to make. You do understand how profit and loss work, right?

Posted by: Republicans find math hard | August 16, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

KOZ - Seriouly, there are three very active independent parties in Oregon, any one of which is capable of fielding candidates that can actually win, not just act as spoilers. The Pacific Green Party, The Constitution Party (actual, honest to god conservatives, that most liberals would be glad to see elected), and the Oregon Working Families Party. My quess is, if Ms. Clinton is nominated, the Green Party will pick up 30% of the popular vote in Oregon and cost the Democrats any chance at Senator Gordon's seat AND will cause them to loose two Congressional seats. Rep. David Wu is especially weak and I think the Green's can actually beat him. Darlene Hooley would certainly loose enough support that, if the Repub;lican's are smart, they would defeat her. If figure even a Republican's win is almost as good as a Green win, if Hillary is nominated, becasue it would send a loud message to the DNC to not inflict another corporate owned scumbag like CLinton on us ever again.

Posted by: MikeB | August 16, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

The night of Saturday, August 4, four young, college students were forced to kneel against a wall in a schoolyard in Newark, New Jersey.

They were then shot, execution-style, in the head. Three were killed and a fourth survived.

Just as the entertainment and free barbecue of the Iowa presidential beauty contest was getting underway, the news broke that the shooter in the Newark killings was an illegal immigrant who had recently been indicted for repeatedly raping a five-year-old relative and threatening the lives of her and her family.

It's time for the American people to present Congress and the president with a defining choice: Either Congress and the President want to defend innocent Americans from violent illegal aliens or they don't.

Either Congress will pass a bill to establish a new system for winning the war here at home and protecting Americans from criminal illegal aliens or Congress will fail to act and we will know we need a new Congress.

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MDVhOGQ1YWQ0MjJiMTYyOWRlYzBhNDgzMTg4Y2M3YTY=

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | August 16, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Can the dem's pick up these two seats?

In a word. Yes.

Posted by: rufus | August 16, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

kingofzouk - Calling me a liberal is hilarious, I am far from being a liberal. I am looking at this without bias as an independent person, politically and otherwise. It is a shame that you cannot do that same and have to call me a liberal and assume that because I am making a valid comparison, I must be a liberal cheerleader. Why can't you leave politics out of your response, I didnt mention it in mine.

I was making a point that those in the movie industry tend to look at average numbers, not total box office. You are comparing movies that were released by major comglamorates against one released by The Weinsteins. I agree that Sicko had limited appeal, I said that in my post, but its not valid to compare indie releases to major studio releases.

My point was that NBC is a major network, MTV2 has limited distribution. Nobody compares their total viewers, they look at ther share among their distribution. The same goes for movies, judging by your theory all movies that are not released by major conglamorates and don't play in every theatre are bad. That's a ridiculous theory, Sicko was not a good movie, I didn't enjoy it, my wife is in the health care industry but my opinion of it does not matter nor should yours. Make a fair honest comparison, compare its numbers to other movies that only played on 1,000 screens. Sicko blows most of those away. That's just a fact.

I don't think Moore or anyone else really thought it would make $100 million, lets face it, health care documentaries arent very exciting. How many movie theatres are actually going to book this movie?? There was no major studio behind it and no real shock value in it either to attract a wide audience. If anyone did expect Sicko to be as successful as Farenheit, I would consider them sick, for thinking that. Bowling for Columbine was what Weinstein publicly compared it to before it came out. They wanted similar numbers and bettered them.

Why you are mentioning FNC, CNN or MSNBC is beyond me. How are they relevant in your statement besides making the assumption that I am Hillary and Barack's and Dennis' number one fan? I didnt compare FNC to anything. But if you want to, we can I can make an analyze that for you. Do you consider FNC a bomb because it is not in as many as homes as NBC??? I hope not but this is basically your theory on Sicko. FNC is a success for its distibution level just as Sicko was for its studio. That's my comparison. Now, please go ahead and resume calling me a lib while I pass my peace pipe around LOL

Posted by: Marty | August 16, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

"And his fellow GOP'ers will do everything BUT leave his family alone when push comes to shove in the primaries."


Actually it is the NYT and the other yellow journalists who are already doing this. It is their last attempt to remain vital and relevant. too late. Of course you Lib bloggers will harp on this since you have no policies or ideas that make sense to anyone outside the Kos orbit.

Posted by: Trotsky | August 16, 2007 4:37 PM | Report abuse

KOZ - Seriouly, there are three very active independent parties in Oregon, any one of which is capable of fielding candidates that can actually win, not just act as spoilers. The Pasific Green Party, The Constitution Party (actual, honest to god conservatives, that mosr liberals would be glad to see elected), and the Oregon Working Families Party. My quess is, if Ms. Clinton is nominated, that the Green Party will pick up 30% of the popular vote in Oregon and cost the Democrats any chance at Senator Gordon's seat AND will cause them to loose wo COngressional seats. Rep Woo is especially weak and I think the Green's can actually beat him. Barring that, the Republican opponenet would win - almost as good becasue it would send a loud message to the DNC to not inflict another corporate owned scumbag like CLinton on us ever again.

Posted by: MikeB | August 16, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Later that evening, Crater went to a Broadway ticket agency and bought one seat for a comedy that was playing that night called Dancing Partner at the Belasco Theater. He then went to Billy Haas' chophouse on West 45th Street for dinner. Here, he ate dinner with his friend, a lawyer, and his mistress, a 22-year-old showgirl called Sally Lou Ritz.

Sally Lou Ritz disappeared in August or September 1930 and was never seen again.

so you have much in common with clinton judge

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Though no longer in wide use, the phrase "to pull a Crater" suggests vanishing to avoid facing responsibility.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

so judge - are you advocating the usual Dem line, that you attack his family because if you were to compare the positions and policies you would be led to a humiliating defeat? Isn't there one policy prescription the Dems can be proud to call their own and defend based on fact and substance. I can wait. do nothing is not what I had in mind. Raise taxes and go weak isn't going to go over well here in the Kingdom of Zouk. how about a non-european idea?

**crickets**

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 16, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I have lived in Aurora for about 10 years, and this good be a real interesting race. First, the district while fairly large in size, the vast majority of its population on the eastern side at the edge of the Chicago suburbs. In an election the rural parts would play a very tiny part in any open seat. Secondly, it's much less Republican than people think. In the last cycle there were two open state senate seats in the district that both went to Democrats, and even Ronald Reagan's hometown in Dixon elected a Democratic mayor. The people running against Hastert in the past were just so bad. Most of the population pouring into the district in Aurora, Geneva, and St. Charles is in no way strident Republicans. The Republicans also have fairly poor nominees. Oberweis is fairly disliked throughout the state, and has little support among state party leaders (comes off very much as a rich white guy running because he's bored.) Lauzen is extremely socially conservative in a district more concerned with lower taxes, and has traditionally been an anemic fundraiser. Also, Hastert and Lauzen supposedly have a huge dislike of each other.

Posted by: chuddery | August 16, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

"Crater then waved goodbye to his friends and entered a cruising taxi on West 45th Street he hailed down. His next location remains a mystery. Theories about his disappearance have suggested that he was murdered, that he ran off with another woman, or that he had been involved in corrupt practices that were about to be revealed."

Judge - you sound just like a typical Dem supporter of clinton - corruption, other women, murder. If you team with the clintons, as we learned on the sopranos - you end up dead, in jail or in witness protection. now I get it.

Posted by: Trotsky | August 16, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

"DERRY, N.H. - Republican Rudy Giuliani said Thursday that people should "leave my family alone" when asked by a New Hampshire woman why the presidential candidate should expect loyalty from voters when he doesn't get it from his children."

Perhaps Mr. Guiliani should instead refer 'people' back to his well-documented outrage regarding Chelsea Clinton's handling by the right-wing press.

**crickets**

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Guiliani's family problems. And his fellow GOP'ers will do everything BUT leave his family alone when push comes to shove in the primaries.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 16, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

MikeB - can you give me the address for the green party there. I would like to contribute.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 16, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I see it now "This field is weak enough that perhaps even Judge Crater could come back again."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20214115/page/5/

Not a particularly funny joke. Oh well, it keeps the cultural reference alive.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 16, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

so Marty because it was a bad movie and very few theaters wanted to show it, it shouldn't be compared to good movies. I see. the claim by your fellow Lib was that it was all about the money and that Rs didn't understand profit. fine, there are so few movies that make less than 20M.
But my basic point was that Michael Moore was probably expecting to get above 100M and this movie never will. therefore - it is a bomb.

do you Libs really want to try and spin this into a success? don't you have any eneemies you need to surrender to or at least a crooked land deal that requires your attention?

so on a side note then Marty - how can you explain the astounding success of fox News, even if you compare it to NBC. Remember you said they can't be compared side by side. go ahead and compare fox to MSNBC or CNN or even to all of them combined.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 16, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

"by the way Judge Crater,
Did you know that you were mentioned on Meet the press last weekend.
Posted by: Andy R | August 16, 2007 02:17 PM"

Get out. Really? Was Tim Russert drawing a parallel between my untimely demise in 1930 and Bush's support amongst the GOP base?

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 16, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

anon - "...Obama is not going to be on the ballot...". I truly hope you're wrong on that. The alternative is Hillary Clinton and out here, in Oregon, we are getting emails returned, asking for donations for the Democratic Party, saying essentially that they wont send money or commit time becasue Hillary Clinton might be the candidate. If so, they are telling us, they will work for a third party across the board. Ms. Clinton will be a complete disaster for the DNC and will damage Democratic candidates everywhere.

Posted by: MikeB | August 16, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

On Stephen McIntyre:

"Stephen McIntyre has worked in mineral exploration for 30 years, much of that time as an officer or director of several public mineral exploration companies. He has also been a policy analyst at both the governments of Ontario and of Canada. Stephen McIntyre is a former mining executive; prior to 2003 he was an officer or director of several small public mineral exploration companies. He is most prominent as a critic of the temperature record of the past 1000 years, particularly the work of Michael Mann and his co-authors.

McIntyre was the President and founder of Northwest Exploration Company Limited and a director of its parent company, Northwest Explorations Inc. When Northwest Explorations Inc. was taken over in 1998 by CGX Resources Inc. to form the oil and gas exploration company CGX Energy Inc., McIntyre ceased being a director. McIntyre was a strategic advisor for CGX in 2000 through 2003.

McIntyre is the primary author of Climate Audit, a blog devoted to the analysis of paleo climate data and frequently critical of positions of the climate science community."

Hmmm, an energy exec and a blogger himself, he should fit in nicely with the Kossacks in terms of validity and respect, especially since his stuff still isn't peer reviewed.

Actually, yeah- you need to compare the gross earnings of the move with the cost of production, not just a strait up comaprison of gross earnings to other movies. Production costs for Fahrenheit were about $6 Mil, yielding a profit of 3233%. Harry Potter, with production costs of about $150 million, would require making $4.8 billion to be as successful.

"In thought this was a civil war and al queda was only in Afghanistan? can't you Libs maintain a consistent story line for longer than a month? Are you for the war or not? Are you for corruption or not? Are you for spending or not? do your endless flip-flops rely on substance and positions or just the desire for power?"

We'll have to ask Romney, McCain, or guiliani about Flip-flops, but for all the strawnas you throw out here on a daily basis, you only continue to demonstrate that you just don't get it. The Democrats argue that IRaq is a much more complex fight than Bush and Republicans let on, that the primary threat to Iraq is sectarian strife, that AQIZ does in fact exist but is marginal in the overall fight. They occasionally get off one masive blast like this one, but these attacks only drive up opposition to them as they are very unpopular in Iraq. Defeating them won't solve a damn thing in that country, because what really matters is political control, and with issues like Article 140 still hanging out there and no unity between the Suuni minority and the Shi'ite-Kurd coalition (even though the Sunni leadership is strongly allying with us to fight AQIZ who is continually increasingly marginalized), the Iraq mission will continue to fail. AQIZ, meanwhile, is a domestic led terrorist organizations that uses the name to try to gain international legitimacy and draw some support from the AQ network, but are not themselves a creation of AQ, nor are their operations directed by them, nor are they a threat to the US mainland. AQ's hope in the 1990s was that their cause would be so broad that all islamic terrorist groups would one day, on their own, raise up the AQ banner and thus draw the wrath of the US, gradually depleting our strength and undermining us in the long run despite a serioes of military victories. AQIZ and the Iraq quagmire represents the success of that strategy, and we continue to fall for it.

Posted by: Michael | August 16, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

lylepink - congratulations on your ability to spell generic drugs correctly.

Your statement "Albuterol works great for me and I have used two of these a month for years" leads me to believe that you, like many other COPDers, have fallen victim to over-reliance on albuterol and although it may give short-term immediate relief of your airway constriction, it's chronic overuse is harmful to you and may be actually worsening your disease progression.

Newer evidence suggests a higher risk of unstable angina and MI in patients using high doses of inhaled beta-agonists, like albuterol. High doses are defined by using albuterol more than twice a week. If you were consistenly using two units per month, that constitutes overuse. And despite you feeling of relief, the underlying airway inflammation was not controlled or addressed by using albuterol.

The anticholinergic bronchodilator ipratropium is a reasonable alternative to beta-agonists. It does not appear to be associated with cardiovascular risk, and it is an effective agent - another reason why this more expensive product is the preferred agent many times.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | August 16, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Mark, that was you. Silly of me. I missed your response but I have it now so let's see.

"Jason, I assume that we have national security interests involved in helping Iraqis fight Al Qaeda and in keeping the Kurds and Turks happy with each other and with us. I think that is why we cannot follow Richardson's advice."
I'd agree if we seemed to make any progress doing so using our current strategy. What we've seen is an enemy that would appear to recruit as quickly as we can kill them and weapons and capital that can't seem to be found. Presumably, at least some of it has found it's way back to the very forces we're trying to stop. We're hemorrhaging everything we have to stop them and we don't seem to make a dent as evidenced by the recent bombings of communities and infrastructure.

"I also think we have national security interests involved in talking to Iran and Syria - and not continuing to be Iran's strong right arm of foreign policy [we destroyed their 2 most significant enemies, the Taliban and Saddam for them, and they do not appear grateful]."
I think our silent treatment of them has been an awful mistake, but I agree with HRC that we can't just meet with these governments unless some substantive changes are made.

"I am not understanding why we would have national security interests involved in keeping the Sunnis and Shias forcibly apart from each others' throats, unless it was the only way to keep the Saudis and Iran from having a war that would devastate oil flows from their two countries. I know, I sound like Cheney about that, but it is a fact of life and on the ground."
Directly, we have no reason other than the fact that they wouldn't be fighting if Saddam was still exerting his dictatorial control over the country. Indirectly, it's quite possible that the Shia majority in the country would win a civil war and become the second modern theocracy in the world alongside Iran. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it very well could be.

Posted by: JasonL | August 16, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

kingofzouk - You compare Sicko with movies that were on double and triple the number of screens that Sicko was on. Instead of total gross numbers, you should compare the per screen average. Sicko was an independent movie, not a big budget film with a major studio behind it, like all those you mentioned above.

Sicko's per screen average ($5,800 on its first wide open weekend) was much higher than the majority of those movies you listed. Was it a blockbuster? No, but its per screen average was solid. Sicko's max was 1,117 theatres. The movies you listed above all had more screens, even Stardust was on 2,500 screens this weekend. You bought into Hollywood's press numbers system, but most movie people look at the averages to decide whether the movie was a success. Sicko had limited appeal for sure, but your comparisons are out of bounds. Its like comparing the ratings for a show on NBC to one on MTV2.

Posted by: Marty | August 16, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Judge C. Crater writes: "bhoomes: we have clawrence35's reasonable yet GOP biased view of IL; can we get yours on OH?"

How exactly was my point of view GOP biased? As a Democrat who worked on Duckworth's campaign, I think both open districts are going to have the GOP beating up the Dems on the immigration stand - I never said it was right to manipulate the election based on the one issue, but it is going to have a very receptive audience in both districts.

I also think that Mark Kirk is in trouble and urged the DCCC to look at Gerry Weller's seat - and I make no apology for wanting the GOP light Lipinski beat by Para. I just think everyone is overestimating the support of a much more fragile Democratic Party in IL than many on the outside looking in think it is in. There are serious problems with the Democratic Party leadership in Springfield, Cook County, and Chicago. Even die hard Dems are sick of their antics.

Any Republican in IL is going to run away from Bush, and they are going to look far more independent than the Dems to their party leadership. And Obama is not going to be on the Ballot - so if you can't get past that reality, you are not looking at this coming election cycle realistically.

Mr. Carter, I am a loyal Democrat who worked for Gov. Coumo prior to serving in the Army in Bosnia, Kosovo, and most recently Iraq - and volunteered and worked on Maj. Paul Hackett and Maj. Tammy Duckworth's campaigns for congress. I don't have a GOP bias.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Hillary - can you arrange to have my student loan and mortgage go away. I am tired of paying them. I promise to forget everything I learned in exchange. thanks

Posted by: free ice cream | August 16, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Due to our Blago's insane antics, Oberweis should run again for Gov. Almost everyone now wishes they voted him in last time. He used his own money in the last 3 campaigns & still has money to run again. His business acumen & his dairy products are great! He's the only one who can pull us out of the bankruptcy hole that Blago won't stop digging.

Posted by: Maureen Falcon | August 16, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Due to our Blago's insane antics, Oberweis should run again for Gov. Almost everyone now wishes they voted him in last time. He used his own money in the last 3 campaigns & still has money to run again. His business acumen & his dairy products are great! He's the only one who can pull us out of the bankruptcy hole that Blago won't stop digging.

Posted by: Maureen Falcon | August 16, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I am convinced that it is entirely due to American corporation running wild, without any sense of social obligation, conceredn only for "profits" (as JD and KOZ would have it).

so all those homeowners who had bad credit, no downpayment and a history of not paying hold no responsibility for the legal documents thay signed. they are victims. they wanted the american dream and were granted it due to lax lending regs, but this situation is perfectly predictable as evidenced by the increased return on their loans. It has always been this way. now hillary wants to bail all them out on your dime. they (and eventually all of us) are simply unwitting victims of greed. Can't you Libs even advocate paying back money you borrowed? Or at least allowing the foreclosure process to proceed? Or in your world is everyone assured the right to own a home? How about we start in Pelosi's district with some price fixing? how does a 2% mortgage with no collateral sound to you - but you must be incapable of paying it back to qualify. Dem finance.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 16, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"all of a sudden they were taken off the list of covered meds"

this is what hillary care is all about. and you get to wait in line all the time.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 16, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

blarg - from your article:

"Now, this isn't a huge number, but it's enough to make a difference -- if, that is, the mistake applied to the whole planet. But the mistake involved only the United States, which covers but a small fraction of the globe.

When the new data was factored into the rest of the world, noted Hansen himself on the Daily Kos blog, "the effect on global temperature was of order one-thousandth of a degree, so the corrected and uncorrected curves are indistinguishable." (Take note of accompanying graphs.)"

Two interesting features:
1. they admit it IS a big deal if applied to the world but NOT to the US. this ignores the concept that a similar mistake might be applicable to the rest of the world. We don't know but it is not a far fetched idea. and if it is true, then even your article admits it is a big deal. this is called CYA in scientific circles.

2. Quite interesting that the lead scientist blogs on Kos. Is this also his source for data and opinion. I have never heard of a scientist who publishes outside of journals in this fashion. I wonder if he headed there right away to find an excuse for his sloppy science? that Kos can always be counted on for providing excuses and victimhood for its poltroon followers. But alas, such is the state of Lib science.

and this is what you are building your call to tax us to death upon? you are going to have to do better than that. Maybe Moore can make a movie about it. and al gore can tour. Oh wait you already tried that.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 16, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

bsimon - I know you are wrong. We are just beginning to see the effect of the current messs. I am convinced that it is entirely due to American corporation running wild, without any sense of social obligation, conceredn only for "profits" (as JD and KOZ would have it). The result is going to be that the 2008 election will be fought over jobs, and not Iraq. Candidates like Clinton, who are completely unprepared for this (and incompetent to handle it in any event) are going to fade. Same for the races cites here. Illegal immigration and the recent illegal immigrant "protests" demanding "their rights", is going to result in a backlash that will cost Democratic candidates dearly.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | August 16, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Bobby W-C: I haven't been to the VA since the mid 80s. I have both Medicare and Medicaid and just this year am having a simular problem. Albuterol, an Inhalation Aersol works great for me and I have used two of these a month for years, all of a sudden they were taken off the list of covered meds, the two cost less han $50.00, the closest thing to it cost about $100.00 each and I can only get one a month. If you have Medicare or Medicaid, Your Flonase nasal spray should be covered, if not Fluticasone Propionate surely will be and your cost will be $3.10 or less for each Rx. Your Dr. visit also is covered. Hope this helps, good luck, lylepink

Posted by: lylepink | August 16, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

bsimon, you neglect to mention that the risk is incorporated into the return. these loans get a higher note rate (or discount points) to cover the risk. this is working exactly as it should. the highest risk takers got some money at firat and now at the margins they are losing it. some people are renters, like 60% of the folks in Pelosi's district. some coincidence huh?

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 16, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

bsimin, So, do you have overly simplistic answers for all of life's problems? Of course the current economic mess is due to job insecurity. What do you think drove those subprime loans to begin with? Most of those loans were refinanced loans, not nerw home loans, and consumers refinanced becasue they were being forced to take lower wage jobs in huhe numbers entirely due to the global corporate search for ever lower wage and benefit costs. Globalization is soley the cause of this.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | August 16, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

No wonder the economy is in the toilet, you guyus don't know how profit margins work.

Posted by: Republicans say anything | August 16, 2007 02:39 PM

Yeah I would say that 4% unemployment and virtually non-existent inflation is a toilet for Libs. I know you prefer the carter days of malaise and ineptitude.

Meanwhile, let's compare the exhalted F911 - At the box office, Fahrenheit 9/11 remains the highest-grossing documentary of all time, taking in close to US$200 million worldwide, including United States box office revenue of US$120 million.

200 million vs 20 million. hmmmm could it be expectations were elevated (like air america). One could compare this to other movies out there. I don't suppose you have heard of any of these but nevertheless: (as of Aug 12th)
the simpsons - $152M
bourne - $131M
hairspray - $92M
chuck and Larry - $103M
no reservations - $32M
daddy day camp - $4M
stardust - $9M
harry potter - $272M

so in summary - Moore beat out daddy day camp but lost to chuck and larry. It is on par with stardust. Yeah I never heard of it either. a whopping success in Lib circles, probably because you understand profit so well.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 16, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Jackie, my snake has its head in Jollyville, NW of Austin, its belly in Brenham full of BlueBell, and its tail in western Harris County.

JasonL, thanx again - I proposed the list of problems related to Iraq and I did read both your and proud's thoughts and responded to them, late in the evening.

I think Petraeus will still answer to Congress in honest fashion, but it is disappointing to think he will not be the author of the interim report.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 16, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Get used to losing, Republics. America is sending you truth-disabled combat-avoiding Red Bushies into the wilderness for another 40 years.

We're returning to Dem rule, with competent smaller government, less bureaucracy, surplus instead of growing debt, and no wars of foreign adventure to prop up Islamic theocracies that fund attacks on America.

Get used to it. Want to profit by this? Buy stocks in orange jumpsuit manufacturers for your CEOs and CFOs who have been stealing investors money and ripping off the employees.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | August 16, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

"Under Reagan, trickle down economics worked becasue it was new, because the capital received was reinvested here, and it wasn't abused."

Actually, Reagan didn't like how trickle down economics worked at all. After he saw the harm it was doing to the economy, he fired a number of his senior staff and raised taxes three times in as many years.

Posted by: JasonL | August 16, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

mikeb writes
"The subprime mortgage and other credit problems do not exist in a vacuum. They resulted from the pinch felt by the Middle Class, who was desparately trying to hold onto their life styles in the face of outsourcing, guest worker replacements, decreasing wages and benefits, increasing taxes and other pressures from public employees, etc."

Hogwash. The subprime debacle resulted from one thing: pie-eyed optimism that real estate values would rise in perpetuity. Buyers, borrowers and lenders all started acting as though they couldn't lose; they all ignored the existence of a little thing called risk. Buying a house, like making any other investment, has associated risks. Buyers that buy at or above a level they can afford risk losing what they've put into the house. Lenders that lend to people incapable of making payments risk losing the principal they are owed. Hedge funds that buy bonds built on subprime loans risk losing their expected payout. Private equity firms that lend money to hedge funds (so they can leverage their investments) risk losing their loans when the hedge funds buy bogus bonds.

The whole problem is built on people assuming that risk didn't exist.

Posted by: bsimon | August 16, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I notice that your article, unlike mine, doesn't actually describe the size of the error that McIntyre found. Maybe that's because it's so hard to get excited by a .3 degree difference. The difference is so small that it doesn't even show up on graphs of the data; follow the link I posted before and see for yourself. McIntyre's correction to the NASA data was very minor and does nothing to disprove, or even cast doubt upon, global warming.

Posted by: Blarg | August 16, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Al-Qaeda is the main suspect in a series of co-ordinated suicide attacks that targeted two villages in north-western Iraq, killing several hundred people, the US military said yesterday.


In thought this was a civil war and al queda was only in Afghanistan? can't you Libs maintain a consistent story line for longer than a month? Are you for the war or not? Are you for corruption or not? Are you for spending or not? do your endless flip-flops rely on substance and positions or just the desire for power?

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 16, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

In the Washington Post, Hansen said that the critics were "making a mountain of a molehill. The change does nothing to our understanding of how the global climate is changing and is being used by critics to muddy the debate."

"Hansen said that NASA generally does not release or discuss national weather statistics because it is more concerned with global patterns," the Post reported. "The agency that pays more attention to American temperature trends is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which has said that most of the warmest years in the past century have been in the past 12 years."

"Hansen said the revised data do nothing to change that overall trend," the newspaper added.

Burnett was highly critical of the Washington Post's coverage of the story.

"The Post gave James Hansen -- the one who made the error -- four paragraphs to tell you why it's not important and why it should be ignored," he stated. "Hansen basically said, 'I screwed up, but just ignore the man behind the curtain,' and they let him get away with it."

Burnett also dismissed the idea that the change is "statistically insignificant" because the numbers concerned were so small.

"A few years back, an error in satellite data was found and corrected from 0.04 degrees of cooling per decade to 0.01 degrees, and that was front-page news," he said. "If a change of 0.03 degrees is significant, then what about this, which is five times more? If the one is important for making your case, then the other is important for undermining your case.

"What's really important is not that it shows whether it's warming or not -- because it doesn't," Burnett stated. "But we've supposedly got the best data in the world, and we're relying on data from a lot of places where they're not checking it nearly as closely as our guys."

http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewCulture.asp?Page=/Culture/archive/200708/CUL20070816b.html

Posted by: no facts please, we're Dems | August 16, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

"too bad his health care movie bombed as badly as air america did, same as hillary care did, same as hillary will."

Are you that stupid? 23 million in box office for a movie that cost less than 2 million is a huge profit margin. Is that republican math? 21 million in profit before even going to DVD is a 'bomb'. No wonder the economy is in the toilet, you guyus don't know how profit margins work.

Posted by: Republicans say anything | August 16, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

But, notes Canadian mathematician Stephen McIntyre, who exposed the false figures, "The Hansen error . . . has a significant impact on the GISS estimate of U.S. temperature history"... (Emphasis added.) Is this important because we're a major world power or that we produce the best fried chicken? No, it's important because we have a far more sophisticated system of temperature monitoring than countries with far larger land masses. Hence, data from each of these nations affect the global model more than the American data.

"Many of the stations in China, Indonesia, Brazil and elsewhere are in urban areas (such as Shanghai or Beijing)," observes McIntyre. This can produce hotter temperatures, yet some of the major trackers of the data from these countries, including the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration, make no attempt to adjust for monitor placement errors. In any event, for some reason "the U.S. history has a rather minimal (warming) trend if any since the 1930s," while the ROW [rest of the world] has a very pronounced trend since the 1930s.

Thus if the U.S. model, by far the most accurate one, became the model, it would be a gut punch to those claiming we must take drastic, horrifically expensive measures right now to ameliorate warming.

Therefore, for the GISS to say this "only" affects the U.S. data is rather like a used car salesman insisting, "This automobile defect is trivial; it only affects steering and braking."

Then there's the whole issue of how the revised data came about and came to light.

Perhaps you noticed that in writing "it was revealed" I appear to have violated a cardinal rule of grammar in using the passive voice right there in the first paragraph where my third grade teacher couldn't possibly miss it. This was actually dramatic foreshadowing because, you see, NASA didn't change the figures without being pushed and once it did it refused to publicize them.

McIntyre was already the bane of the hotheads for debunking the infamous "hockey stick" graph promulgated by University of Virginia geoscientist Michael Mann and colleagues beginning in the late 1990s. Mann's calculations, using new imputs, showed temperatures to be flat over the last thousand years like a hockey stick shaft before suddenly angling up like the blade in the last half of the 20th century.

This statistically wiped out both the Medieval Warming Period (c. 900-1300), which unleashed the Vikings, and Little Ice Age (c. 1250-1850), even though historical information for both is overwhelming. Yet the highly-politicized Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) eagerly adopted the hockey stick graph in its 2001 Assessment Report. But then McIntyre and fellow Canadian economist Ross McKitrick showed Mann's methodology produces hockey-stick shapes even when applied to random data -- bringing back those scary Scandinavians and ice-skating on the Thames.

McIntyre's latest debunking was the discovery of an error in GISS records for the years 2000 through 2006. In simplest terms, they hadn't been adjusted to compensate for the location or time of day where the data was gathered.

But nobody correlated those newer figures with the older ones until McIntyre did, even though later Hansen admitted it was "easy to fix." McIntyre published the data on his own website (which is currently down because it's overloaded with traffic) and got the agency to admit it was wrong and post new figures. It even sent him a thank you note.

http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=11883

Posted by: actual non-lib science | August 16, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin - Even when you don't agree with someone you aren't a fountain of rhetoric and belittlement (Rufus, I'm looking at you). That's good people in my book. I just didn't want you to be offended by my "mensch."

Boko - I just read that bit about Petraus, too. I'm really disappointed. I think it was myself, Proud to be GOP and someone else that were talking about the enumerated problems in Iraq, and that we would see what was going on when the good general, roundly acknowledged as a smart and capable leader, spoke in Sept. Now it seems the information we should have gotten as a matter of course will be politicized like earlier government reports on abstinence-only sex ed and global warming.

I'm pretty disappointed, although I'm not sure why I should have expected more.

Posted by: JasonL | August 16, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

August 15, 2007 -- A surprising 94 percent of Americans say they are satisfied with their lives - although far fewer in New York and other Eastern states think they're better off than they were five years ago, according to a new survey.

The Harris Poll of more than 1,000 people reported the overall "satisfaction" level, defined as people who said they were either very or somewhat satisfied with their lot, was up 4 percentage points, from 90 percent two years ago.

But only 42 percent of people in the Eastern U.S. said things had improved since 2002. By contrast, 60 percent of Southerners and 62 percent of Westerners said their lives had improved.

Posted by: blame it on bush | August 16, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Based on todays headlines about the subprime mortgage mess, the associaed effects on credit and the looming economic collapse, my hunch is that jobs and the economy will replace even Iraq as THE issue and the Democrats simply don't ahve an answer. Senator McCain is reporting that his stance on amnesty for illegal immigrants AND globalization wrecked his bid for the Presidency. Likewise, polls out today shows these two issues as climbing rapidly in public concern.

I think the economic problesm facing this country are much worse than our business leaders and politcian's realize and the publics's insecurity about them are far more profound than the current crop of candidates and their parties know. I thinkt the underlying problem is how globalization is practiced in this country. No other country has the sort of open borders, to heck with job skills necessary for national survival, lower costs and high profits, no matter what the ultimate cost, philosophy. It is this attitide, one which permiates our business and political communities, that led directly to the current mess. The subprime mortgage and other credit problems do not exist in a vacuum. They resulted from the pinch felt by the Middle Class, who was desparately trying to hold onto their life styles in the face of outsourcing, guest worker replacements, decreasing wages and benefits, increasing taxes and other pressures from public employees, etc. Everyone expected, heck still expects, a bit of sanity to enter into the picture, where politcians and businesses realize that they have gutted the Middle Classes ability to spend them out of the current bust cycle. Well, the Middle Class is tapped out! There ain't no money!

The whole theory driving this disaster has been trickle down economics, coupled with globlization. Under Reagan, trickle down economics worked becasue it was new, because the capital received was reinvested here, and it wasn't abused. In the interim, businesses and the wealthy have learned to abuse this. The excess capital, due to globalization, isn't invested here, at least here to create jobs for Amercian workers, it is invested in China and Indian and other places that realize maximum profits due to cheap labor costs and on a variety of scams to bring in cheap foreign workers, dodge government taxes, and so on. This has simple exasorbated the "living wage" jobs crisis here, causing even more jobs to be lost to outsourcing. It has also led to millions of guest workers taking American jobs in everything from engineering to construction jobs to meat packing. This, fundimentally, is what is driving Amercian distrust for "immigration reform" as outlined by everyone in Washington.

THIS is the root cause of the current crisis and there is nothing on God's green earth that the fed can do to fix it unless our leader fix the underlying causes of job and income loss. That is going to mean ending the notion of trickle down economics, at least ending it for anything other than job creation at home. It is also going to mean an end to the nonsense of "immigration reform", at least as avocated by cheap labor advocates like Bush, Clinton, Richardson, and Kennedy. And, it is going to mean severely curtailing our participation in the global economy. Companies that outsource jobs and services need to be taxed for that. When they try to bring those goods and services back into the U.S., they need to pay hefty duties and fees. It's insane that Apple Computer outsourced the manufacturing of their computers to CHina and is allowed to direct ship them back to the U.S. from Shanghai without paying one dime of duty. They ought to be paying several hundred dollars per computer. The U.S. treasury needs it to at least pay for the thousands of Amercian worked who lost their jobs as a result of Apple's outsourcing their jobs. The consummer, I might note, has not reaped any benefits from this, either. The cost of Apple's hasn't gone down at all. It's software and hardware prcies have actually increased. Now, this is being repeated thousands of times with company after company - IBM, Microsoft, Dell, Matel Toys, help and hot lines for everything from your local phone company to the doctors office, you name it. I maintain, and I am going to be proven correct in this in the *very* near future, either we end this globalization nonsense or it will end us.

Posted by: MikeB | August 16, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

As you can see from my comments above I have finally been convinced and had an epiphany. I am a full fledged, non-thinking member of the Green party. can anyone direct me to the Green candidate in OH, FL, IA, NJ, NM, VA and OR? I wish to max out my contributions right away.

I also now support immediate troop withdrawal and required spending of the money on wind farms. I insist on 95% taxation rates for anyone making over $50K to be spent on ending cars. I also will be lobbying for toilet paper dispensers that charge $1 per sheet in all public places. most of all I want to end the livestock industry which is responsible for over 1/3 of the gas we generate, which is killing our planet.

I will be instigating these changes on the Island of Zouk and will be looking for a giant handout from the US to support our economy as a result. but you are rich, you can afford it.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 16, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

OK, durbin flops, how about one of the largest one-day casualty figures this past weekend?

"Al-Qaeda is the main suspect in a series of co-ordinated suicide attacks that targeted two villages in north-western Iraq, killing several hundred people, the US military said yesterday.

The attacks - among the deadliest since the US invasion in 2003 - occurred on Tuesday evening in areas that are home to the Yazidi, a pre-Islamic, mainly Kurdish sect, near the town of Sinjar close to the Syrian border."

What you hawks don't get is the following:
1. This was orginally a war of choice, not necessity, and BUSH MADE THE CHOICE.
2. Bush made said choice even though the intelligence available at the time did not justify ANY of his (stated) reasons for going to war.
3. We are on the road to spending over $1 TRILLION on this war... a war the neocons insisted would largely pay for itself due to oil revenues. Only oil companies - read: Hallibrton, read: Cheney - have seen any profit.
4. Our involvement in Iraq, far from dealing a blow to al Qaeda, has strengthened them, both by taking our eye off the ball in Pakistan and by serving as an incentive for recruiting. This is happening WORLDWIDE.
5. Finally, even if we ARE defeating AQ and other Iraqi insurgents militarily RIGHT NOW, how long can we afford to stay, both in terms of $$ and in terms of manpower?

Don't ask the Iraqi government - they're on vacation. All month.

Posted by: Bokonon | August 16, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

No, the point is that you want to pretend that this is some huge revelation which reveals global warming to be a hoax, when it's really a miniscule correction that changes nothing.

Now that you've been called out on your exaggeration of the NASA data, you quickly try to change the subject. Collectors are next to AC units? What the hell does that have to do with the recent updates to NASA's findings? And maybe we'd be able to discuss the costs of fixing global warming if oil-industry shills would stop pretending that it doesn't exist.

Posted by: Blarg | August 16, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

This is just too funny. And I thought libs were smarter than this...

"With a click, a credit card and $99, visitors can pay a Silver Spring nonprofit group, Carbonfund.org, to "offset" a year's worth of greenhouse-gas emissions. Whatever the customer put into the atmosphere -- by flying, driving, using electricity -- the site promises to cancel out, by funding projects that reduce pollutants.

The business of selling carbon "offsets" to individuals who want to minimize their footprint on the environment didn't exist 20 years ago.

However, the market is chaotic and unregulated, and some researchers say offsets don't always deliver what they promise. (Ya think?)

Sites such as Carbonfund.org, offering absolution from the modern nag of climate guilt, have created a $55 million industry...duping guilt-ridden urbanites.

But in some cases, these customers may be buying good feelings and little else.

"The offset is among the most unusual of commodities. Its substance is intangible, the absence of something. Some pollution would have existed, somewhere, sometime, the seller says, but now it won't."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/15/AR2007081502432.html?hpid=moreheadlines

What was that P.T. Barnum phrase?

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | August 16, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

The Columbus area really is turning blue, so I suspect Pryce made a wise decision to retire. With an open seat, I think Dems should be slightly favored to pick that one up at this point -- although obviously it is still early and a lot can and will change.

Posted by: Colin | August 16, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

by the way Judge Crater,
Did you know that you were mentioned on Meet the press last weekend.

Posted by: Andy R | August 16, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of the green religion - I have surmised that the election as it is looking to be will be between Rudy and Hillary. the electorate will split fairly evenly, as before, with 45/45 going to each. that leaves the election up to a few urgent states with the strong possibility that a third party will throw the results to one or the other, as the Greens did for Bush in FL. I am going to do an analysis of the most likely states to be in this predicamant. I will then begin working hard for the Green party of that state. If the Greens can hand rudy NJ, the election is a done deal.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 16, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin, Are we in the same snake? Mine runs from the east side of Austin to the northern subs of Houston. Our favoite comedy act, Shelly Sekula Gibbs, has new competition this week for the Rep nod according to this morning's Chronicle. State Rep Talton from Pasadena is in...Jackie

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Blarg - the US is the only reliable gatherer of the data. the climate models are heavily dependent on these figures. the fact that they are collected in cities and not rain forests additionally skews the data and there are reports about the collectors being next to AC units and in parking lots. the whole point of the revealation was not that it instantly obviates any global warming theory (loaded but accurate word) but that the MSM ignored it on the downside but trumpeted it on the upside. Still no debate over the costs or the nature of the man-induced aspects, just the usual Lib chanting about a dire emergency which requires massive taxes to fix.
Is it still your contention that it is useless to debate this and we should begin collecting taxes now and spending them on your own personal pet projects?

this requires a person to ignore the models, ignore the data and succomb willingly to a political mindset that insists on unquestioning fealty to the new green religion.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 16, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

bsimon

Free trade also expands the number of customers for American products. Comparative advantage, in economic theory, states that countries should produce what they can most efficiently produce and sell and buy everything else from the most efficient foreign producers. There are many American companies reliant on exports for their business.

Posted by: JimD in FL | August 16, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

The only thing this surge will accomplish is a surge of more death and destruction." That was the prediction of blogger and anti-war activist Arianna Huffington back in December of last year -- one month before the Senate unanimously confirmed Gen. David Petraeus as commander in Iraq.

"I believe ... that this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything." That was the judgment of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in April -- two months before the reinforcements General Petraeus needed to fully implement his new "surge" strategy had arrived in Iraq.


In mid-June, just as troop strength was reaching the level needed to carry out the revised mission, Senator Reid added: "As many had foreseen, the escalation has failed to produce the intended results."

But now those intended results are being seen - as even some critics of the war, to their credit, are acknowledging. "More American troops have brought more peace to more parts of Iraq. I think that's a fact," Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill) told reporters.

Operation Phantom Strike, if it is successful, will mean more "death and destruction" - mostly for America's sworn enemies. No doubt, the anti-war crowd will both oppose that and pronounce it a failure even before it's fully underway. But other Americans - if they learn what is really happening in Iraq -- will support the troops. Most will favor giving them the time and resources they need to complete their mission.
...clifford

Posted by: durbin flops | August 16, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

It's true; NASA made a mistake in their average temperature calculations. Turns out that they were off by .3 degrees F. Of course, the NASA numbers only applied to the US, which covers about 2% of the Earth's surface.
http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2007/08/nasa-weather-er.html

So I have to admit it: Zouk is right. Global warming has now been proven completely false. The entire global warming hoax depended on that .3 degrees over 2% of the Earth's surface. Without those falsified numbers, the entire house of cards collapses like so many dominoes. Al Gore should be ashamed of himself!

Posted by: Blarg | August 16, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Trotsky/Zouk, I would like you to go on record as saying that you think it's OK for the "Petraeus" Report to be written by the White House. Remember, it was the White House who insisted that Congress wait for the report from the "commanders in the field" before passing judgment on the surge. Now it appears that the report will be written in Washington and passed off as an unbiased assessment. Your thoughts?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Edwards's rank hypocrisy is boundless. While jointly spreading fear about global warming and fossil-fuel-related greenhouse gases, he and his wife, Elizabeth, built a 28,000 square-foot house in North Carolina, which he claims to be "carbon neutral" but whose utility bills he and his campaign have refused to share with the public.

There's the nearly $500,000 he pocketed as a 15-month consultant to the Fortress Investment Group, a New York-based firm with $30 billion in assets. Fortress's hedge funds are incorporated in the Cayman Islands, enabling investors to delay or avoid paying U.S. taxes -- a policy Mr. Edwards has vehemently condemned. Mr. Edwards claims he signed up with Fortress to learn the relationship between capital and poverty, but he says he did not know that Fortress had greatly expanded its subprime-mortgage operations while he was a consultant and investor. Moreover, during his Katrina-related New Orleans speech in which he formally announced his candidacy for president, Mr. Edwards neglected to mention that a Fortress subsidiary had pursued efforts to hold a 67-year-old New Orleans resident in default on her subprime mortgage in October 2005, two months after Hurricane Katrina flooded her out of her house.

There's his widely scorned $400 haircuts, a couple of which were originally charged to his current presidential campaign before they became public. (During the 2004 general-election campaign, Mr. Edwards paid up to $1,250 for his haircuts, but a spokeswoman reminded The Washington Times that $1,100 of that amount was spent flying his hair stylist from Beverly Hills to Atlanta and paying for his travel time and hotel expenses -- a detail that no doubt resonates throughout middle America.)

There's his famous $55,000 speech on poverty -- it was titled "Poverty, the Great Moral Issue Facing America" -- to a crowd of 1,787 at the taxpayer-subsidized University of California at Davis. His spokeswoman pointed out that part of that fee went to the booking agent. She also noted that former president Bill Clinton charged $100,000 for a UC-Davis speech, although she insisted that she wasn't comparing a two-term president with a one-term senator, who, by the way, would not have won re-election.

Posted by: times - the truthy one | August 16, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

JimD in FL writes
"Free trade results in winners and losers - on balance, it is a definite plus for the economy."

Seems to me free trade is little more than expanding the free market we already operate in, economically anyway. All free trade does is expand the number of competitors, thus requiring existing participants to either develop new niches/adaptations, or expire as a viable species. Wait a minute, am I confusing evolution with markets again?

Part II of the unseen benefit of free trade: even while some 'losers' go out of business, the consumers of their products still benefit. In some cases this may keep other companies from going under.

Posted by: bsimon | August 16, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

As a resident of Ohio's 15th, I think Stivers would be the best choice. He is squeaky clean, an Iraq vet, and fairly moderate, which may be what that district needs to keep it in the hands of the GOP.
As for Kilroy, she is more or less a socialist. I would think with some good opposition research, her past writing and appearances in foreign documentaries could totally sink her in this semi-moderate district.

Posted by: Buckeye99 | August 16, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Free trade results in winners and losers - on balance, it is a definite plus for the economy. However, the winners are not always that aware of how much success they owe to free trade. The losers, though, are acutely aware of the negative impact on their lives. So, the losers are far more vocal in their opposition to free trade than the winners are in their support. Given the evidence of middle class wage stagnation and the general feeling of economic insecurity among many middle class voters, it is not really surprising that free trade is an emotional issue for a key constituency.

Vocal and motivated minorities can exert inordinate pressure on our political system - on the right you can point to gun rights activists and extreme social conservatives. Polls consistently show that the majority favors gun control, at least to some extent. Yet gun control measures almost never pass. The Republicans' official position on abortion is not supported by a clear majority of Americans. However, most of the people who favor legalized abortion are not abortion rights activists and that issue generally doesn't determine their vote. One of the reasons many Republican operatives privately dread the overturning of Roe v. Wade is that they fear motivating the moderately pro-choice majority.

Posted by: JimD in FL | August 16, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Chris: Could you look out the window? It sounds like the Republicans are launching lifeboats into the Potomac!

Hastert is a shrewd politician who apparently believes he'll be on the short side of the aisle if he stayed. Pryce must have noticed that she's lost some of the skin on her teeth. I don't think they'll be the last to get in the boat with Karl.

Posted by: pacman | August 16, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

boko - that sounds like the method you Libs use to conduct science. take a vote and edit heavily, then turn it over to Michal moore for final production. too bad his health care movie bombed as badly as air america did, same as hillary care did, same as hillary will.

Posted by: Trotsky | August 16, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

The much awaited "Petraeus Report" on progress in Iraq will apparently NOT be written by General Petraeus, but rather by the White House.

From the Post today:
"(T)he document would not be written by the Army general but instead would come from the White House, with input from Petraeus, Crocker and other administration officials.

'Americans deserve an even-handed assessment of conditions in Iraq. Sadly, we will only receive a snapshot from the same people who told us the mission was accomplished and the insurgency was in its last throes,' warned House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.).

'That's all the more reason why they would need to testify,' a senior Foreign Relations Committee aide said of Petraeus and Crocker. 'We would want them to say whether they stand by all the information in the report.'"

I bet Cheney's in charge of this. He will convene a secret gathering consisting of himself, Gonzales, Scooter, and various executives from Exxon and Halliburton.
The event will be catered by Betty Crocker. Petraeus will be invited to give a short presentation, but no notes will be taken, and he will not be under oath.
Once Dick + Co. have determined the party line, an illustrated copy will be made available to the President, with a helpful index defining the longer words and a quiz at the end of each section.
Mission Accomplished!

Posted by: Bokonon | August 16, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

no one listens to a mean-spirited poster who can only insult others. Crawl back down your hole loud and dumb einstein.

"a female president in pants" - did "cry uncle" harry reid announce her candidacy?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I do not see NAFTA as a net negative, although I think it should have added to it both labor and environmental protocols. One of the labor protocols should recognize that guest children are to be considered citizens of the parents' home country, neatly avoiding the 14thA, by treaty.

I have said before that my knees tend to jerk toward the right when I listen to the Ds pander to organized labor.

The only major exception to our policy of relative free trade that I favor is toward countries that do not comply with ILO standards - like CHINA.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 16, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

no one listens to trolls who use a new name for every post. get a clue, ace.

Posted by: Lib science: dipschit says what? | August 16, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

LV -I am assuming that bhoomes would have kept up with the R candidate possibilities in OH better than I, as did Judge, I think. bhoomes often offers an R perspective that is not infected with invective.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 16, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

congressional Democrats already have done on trade, blocking new pacts with Latin America and South Korea. It's plain that free-trade Democrats have been routed by those spouting union talking points.

So what if protectionism helped keep Europe stagnant for generations; so what if there is massive evidence that protecting jobs quickly becomes a drag on job growth; so what if U.S. trade policy has helped make us a much richer nation than ever. Democrats see votes to be won by lying about trade, and they're not going to let the facts get in their way.

Their maligning of the North American Free Trade Agreement is a perfect example. Its adoption in 1993 helped kick off one of the great periods of sustained economic health in U.S. history. The resulting explosion in trade with Canada and Mexico was crucial to the creation of more than 17 million new jobs, resulting in a five-year stretch in which the jobless rate was under 5 percent every year for only the second time since World War II.

Yet to hear Democrats tell the story, NAFTA has actually been catastrophic - especially for those with manufacturing jobs. In fact, economist Daniel Ikensen reports that in 2006, "the manufacturing sector achieved record output, record sales, record profits, record profit rates and record return on investment."

Posted by: is the earth flat ?? | August 16, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

mark: how would anything bhoomes has to say be of any value to anyone? there's a reason he vanished for months after last year's elections: his nonsensical pre-election predictions were proven laughably wrong.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | August 16, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Time after time, Hansen and other global warming alarmists present their data as 'the facts,' and [say that] 'you can't argue with data,' " he said. "Well, it turns out their data is just wrong. And when it's wrong, they want to say it's not important."

Burnett, however, called the miscalculation "a serious math error" and noted that according to NASA's newly published data:

The hottest year on record is 1934, not 1998;

The third hottest year on record was 1921, not 2006;

Three of the five hottest years on record occurred before 1940; and

Six of the top 10 hottest years occurred prior to 90 percent of the growth in greenhouse gas emissions during the last century.
'Ignore the man behind the curtain'

The NCPA analyst also charged that because the change does not fit the mainstream media's view of global warming as an immediate and ongoing crisis, the incident was being ignored by television news networks and newspapers across the country.

As for NASA, Burnett charged that "they need mathematicians on their staff, not climatologists. What does it say when we had to have a blogger go in there and discover their error?"

so you see rufas and loud and dumb and IC, you don't need a math degree to make expensive predictive calculations about our future policy, just go ahead and make stuff up, all the Libs do.


Posted by: Lib science | August 16, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I have come back here at lunch to find that several "in-district" posters have floated the kind of information that only residents have - thanks.

JasonL, I do not know what I did to deserve the compliment, but I thank you in particular.

[You're not my-cousin-Jason, are you?]

bhoomes reporting on OH would be welcome by me, too.

bsimon, I take note that the "Economist" page worked for you. I did not know if it was public or subscription when I posted it.

Bobby W-C, I am real sorry to hear about the SA VA experience. A friend of mine hates going there if he can get to the facility in Temple. I wish you well - can you get the right med with your personal doc's rx, or is it just too costly? Your point about paying to treat vets outside VA is taken, but was not the VA system much better just a few short years ago? lylepink probably has a thought or two about this. And, are you a 'Horn?

Y'all keep posting about OH and IL - I will remain your interested reader.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 16, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Ultimately the greatest importance of all of this is that it strongly appears to substantiate the intuitive belief that, with scientist-politician Hansen at the helm the GISS, whose data are far more important to modeling global temperatures than it lets on, is not a neutral collector and disseminator of statistics but rather a politicized mouthpiece.

Posted by: just another Lib with his hand out | August 16, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

As to the stuff about the hottest years...Well, whaddya know! Turns out that's wrong, too. Figures from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) now show the hottest year since 1880 was 1934. Nineteen-ninety-eight dropped to second, while the third hottest year was way back in 1921. Indeed, four of the 10 hottest years were in the 1930s, while only three were in the past decade.

The real 15 hottest years are spread over seven decades. Eight occurred before the chief "greenhouse gas," atmospheric carbon dioxide, began its sharp rise; seven occurred afterwards.

Rush Limbaugh was incorrect in saying the new figures are "just more evidence" that "this whole global warming thing is a scientific hoax." Conversely, global warming hotheads are also wrong in insisting the revelation deserves no more mention than the back of a Trivial Pursuit card. The GISS, which is directed by global warming guru James Hansen, is saying likewise. He's wrong. Part of the importance is in the data and part is in how Hansen's agency behaved, which might be labeled a cover-up.

Posted by: darn those facts | August 16, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

and a male president who wears a dress will definitely put fear in the hearts of terrorists more than a female president in pants, right?

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | August 16, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

the second reason for those dramatic bombings was that al Qaeda needs to portray Iraq as a continuing failure of U.S. policy. Those dead and maimed Yazidis were just props: The intended audience was Congress.

Al Qaeda has been badly battered. It's lost top leaders and thousands of cadres. Even more painful for the Islamists, they've lost ground among the people of Iraq, including former allies. Iraqis got a good taste of al Qaeda. Now they're spitting it out.

The foreign terrorists slaughtering the innocent recognize that their only remaining hope of pulling off a come-from-way-behind win is to convince your senator and your congressman or -woman that it's politically expedient to hand a default victory to a defeated al Qaeda.

Expect more attempts to generate massive bloodshed in Iraq in the coming weeks. The terrorists are well aware of the exaggerated-by-all-parties importance of Gen. David Petraeus' Sept. 15 progress report to Congress. They'll do all they can to embarrass the general and provide ammunition to the surrender caucus.

Meanwhile, our military progress has become undeniable. Even Democratic presidential aspirants have started hedging their peace-at-any-price positions. To the horror of al Qaeda and left-wing bloggers alike, cutting and running is starting to look unfashionable.

"I was for the war before I was against it and now I am for it again" Dem nominee

Posted by: can we flop back now | August 16, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

The 30-second Giuliani v. Clinton commercial that practically writes itself
Cliff Thier

Narrator: In 1999 Suha Arafat, Yasser Arafat's wife, said, "Our [Palestinian] people have been submitted to the daily and intensive use of poisonous gas by the Israeli forces, which has led to an increase in cancer cases among women and children."


Although Hillary Clinton was sitting on the same stage and receiving a simultaneous translation of Mrs. Arafat's speech, she sat silent.


When the speech was finished the First Lady stood up and walked over to Suha Arafat. Hillary Clinton's response to the accusation that Israel was using poison gas?


A kiss and a hug for Mrs. Arafat.

In 1995, as Mayor of New York City, Rudolph Guiliani threw Yasser Arafat out of a New York City concert honoring the United Nations."


Clip of Rudy saying, "New York City will not honor terrorists and dictators."


Two very different views of how to deal with terrorists and their supporters isn't it? America, time to choose.

Posted by: when you put it that way | August 16, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Despite the posturing by Clinton and other Democratic candidates, Obama's blind faith in diplomacy and reluctance in asserting military force is what Hillary and the others embrace too, though discretion may prevent most of them from admitting it. "Strength through peace," as Rep. Dennis Kucinich put it in a recent debate, is how to confront hostile powers.

President Bill Clinton's dovish approach toward Communist North Korea was a case in point. His secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, made a pilgrimage to Pyongyang and raised a toast to the "dear leader," Kim Jong Il -- only to be duped into believing he'd freeze his nuclear weapons development.

• Obama can make a gaffe a week -- and on substantive, life-and-death issues -- but the establishment media will simply not expose a black liberal running for president as being over his head and drowning in the political big time. By contrast, Vice President Dan Quayle misspelled "potato," and the media fanned it into a seemingly endless firestorm.

The Associated Press even issued a "fact check" defending Obama, stating that "Western forces have been killing civilians at a faster rate than the insurgents have been killing civilians" -- beside the point, since what Obama said is that we're "just air raiding villages and killing civilians . . ." The journalistic double standard for Republicans vs. Democrats has never been clearer.

We're not sure which is more alarming: a Democratic Party so removed from reality in the middle of a global war on terror that Obama's outrageous comments don't end his candidacy instantly, or a media establishment that excuses and even defends such comments.

Posted by: IBD | August 16, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

bhoomes: we have clawrence35's reasonable yet GOP biased view of IL; can we get yours on OH?

I have to agree with CC about IL: if Obama is the nominee there'll be some very wide coattails to ride upon. The media exposure alone will be enormous and a couple of Obama-Candidate photo opportunities at a critical time coupled with votes from Obama Republicans would really seal the deal.

Pryce is merely reading the writing on the wall.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 16, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm from Geneva originally and have high hopes for a Dem pick-up in my district since it has been represented by Da Coach since I was literally months old. I believe this seat hasn't been held by a Dem since 1947 when it was actually a different part of the state.
The netroots seems to be solidly behind Laesch, and I understand the sentiment. He ran in 2006 and has stump experience and a good background (war vet). I haven't seen much of Foster but he's independently wealthy, I just worry that in the western, rural parts of the district "scientist" doesn't play well, as opposed to "carpenter and veteran." But when you're running against a neo-con or an accountant, it helps. Also look for Republican mayor of Geneva Kevin Burns to jump in the race. He's very popular around here and there are rumors in the local papers he's considering it.

Posted by: Ryan Gallentine | August 16, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with some of the posters from IL - It looks to me like Gutierrez is running for reelection (too bad, Manny Flores would have made a much better congressman). For everything that Dems have going their way in IL, it is unlikely they will pick up either Hastert or LaHood's seats (I think both races could be competitive much like the Duckworth/Roskom race - but the immigration issue and current Democratic failures in the statehouse and Chicago are going to harm the Democratic candidate and give the edge to the Republican's, despite the Republican's not inconsiderable problems in party organization here in IL much like Ohio's). Chapa LaVia would have the best shot at Hastert's seat, and unless she is willing to jump in (and she may have seen some generic poles that is keeping her out), I don't see an unknown rich man with little name recognition being able to overcome such a formidable task. I still think the most interesting races are the Democratic Primary for Lipinski's seat, and the Mark Kirk rematch with Dan Seals in the general. I wish the Dems would take a serious look at Gerry Weller - that is a seat were the demographics and the opponent should give the Dems an opportunity for a pick up.

Posted by: clawrence35 | August 16, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see Chris Spielman get in the GOP primary race. He's a conservative and has high name ID as a two-time All-American football player for the Buckeyes in one of the nation's most college football crazy towns.

Posted by: beatmichigan | August 16, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Also, while much of the population of his district may be rooted in the Chicago media market, the district actually stretches WAAAY beyond. By the time you get much past Kane and Kendall counties, you're in downstate media markets. I mean, look at the map. The district goes almost all the way out to the Mississippi!

Posted by: Illinois Guy | August 16, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Lylepink, 60 plus advantage in the Senate would be sweet. That however will be a tough sell, but you never know with Hagel, Domenici, Warner, Cochran, and Craig all possibly retiring. If the dems pick up 2 or 3 of those seats then the may well be on there way to 60 seats.

Posted by: Andy R | August 16, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Gutierrez is running for re-election after all...

http://www.wqad.com/global/story.asp?s=6940923

Posted by: Illinois Guy | August 16, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

JasonL writes
"Lyle, while the historical average for reelection in Congress has been around 90% for this and last century, the '08 cycle is arguably a realignment cycle. The turnover during such a cycle can be quite high."

It certainly could be. Predicting such an environment at this point would likely be bad strategy though, on the part of Democrats. Republicans, on the other hand, should definitely plan as though they're likely to suffer another defeat like 2006.

I still maintain that Republicans, in particular, are in need of a new message, and a new messenger. The de facto messenger will be their Presidential nominee. The question is what that person will be promoting as the new focus (or renewed focus) of the party. Thus far, none of the candidates have distanced themselves from the Bush presidency, which seems like a losing strategy. For backing data, I'll reference the David Broder article of a week or two ago & the article in The Economist to which Mark in Austin linked in another thread.

While the Dems also seem to be in search of a new message & new leadership, their Pres candidates each have something they're promoting. That party will likely rally around whoever their nominee is & promote the '2 americas' or 'hope' or whatever it is that Senator Clinton is pushing.

With regards to the Congressional races, the party with the most cohesive & positive message coming from the top down will likely have better success across the board, or at least for the open seats. If the Dem message is "we're not Republicans" they'll likely not win as many seats as they could.

Posted by: bsimon | August 16, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

OH 15 potential candidate Jim Petro is from the Cleveland suburbs. He's hardly a native son.

Posted by: Jim S | August 16, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

This is slighty off topic but it really isn't - they are leaving office because they only cared about power - the people they claimed to represent all of a sudden do not seem to matter now that they have less power.

John MCCain the other day in NH had to admit he did not know how No Child LEft Behind works in terms of testing - he thought there was a national test when in fact there is not - every state has their own testing.

The politicians thrive on being completely disconnected from the people.

With all of the problems facing Veterans it blows my mind how the politicians still are so disconnected from veterans - why? It is about power not the people - a brief story:

The VA has spend thousands of dollars learning that I stop breathing. It is most dangerous at night. My sister died from this problem. Funny thing is, when you stop breathing your heart stops and then you're dead. Anyway, the VA spends thousands more to make sure I have oxygen available to my system while I sleep. When I sleep I where a full mouth and nose mask.

For years and after multiple surgeries the VA finally found a medicine which keeps my sinus passages open. It is called Flonase. The generic costs less than $50.00. The latest CAT scan shows the latest problem - a problem which can be fixed with surgery or the continued use of Flonase. Understand, the decision to use Flonase came after multiple surgeries, and an endless use of a number of other drugs which did not work. In Dallas, because of the long-term nature of the problem I had a real specialist assigned to my case, instead of a doctor in training which is what is normally afforded veterans.

Well naturally, the doctor in training assigned to me in San Antonio, decided to overrule the real specialist in San Antonio and the real specialist in Dallas and discontinue my generic Flonase. This quack has insisted I try the same old medications which did not work in the past, or to which I had an allergic reaction. I will not try the medications to which I had an allergic reaction. I have tried the one he asked that I try, and it does not work.

I wake up every morning about 3 a.m. choking. My sinus track is too swollen to allow the oxygen to flow into my body. With the mask on you cannot breath through the mouth. So basically, I am suffocating. My personal doctor has filed the appropriate requests with the higher ups at the VA. This is going to be a six month battle over a $50.00 prescription. Meanwhile, they have me hooked up to oxygen at night, which does not work because I have been cut off from a $50.00 prescription.

Meanwhile at the other side of the loony bin I am to be tested to see if I can tolerate a medication which costs $4,000.00 a month to treat pulmonary hypertension. In 2 weeks they will spend thousands of dollars at University Hospital in SA to perform this test, and then possibly prescribe this medication at $4,000.00 a month, but they are prepared to allow me to suffocate over a $50.00 prescription.

I have come to the conclusion the answer is not a VA hospital in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. They need to try a private pay system wherein we continue with our Primary Care Physicians who can refer us to specialist who are under contract to the VA. This has to be less expensive than maintaining a hospital. Creative minds can solve this problem. A VA hospital in the LRGV will not solve the problems which come from forcing veterans to be treated by doctors in training. Not that it matters, I just learned my doctor in training during the last colonoscopy dropped the polyp he removed from my colon and was unable to secure a full biopsy of the polyp. There has to be something better than these doctors in training.

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | August 16, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Mensch, I can spell German words correctly! I'm just messin' with you. You're good people Mark.

Lyle, while the historical average for reelection in Congress has been around 90% for this and last century, the '08 cycle is arguably a realignment cycle. The turnover during such a cycle can be quite high.

That said, I also don't see Dems getting a 60+ majority in the Senate but it's possible with steady gains in '08 and '10 that Dems could manage 60 seats.

Posted by: JasonL | August 16, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Kilroy lost narrowly last time, and is likely to win Pryce's seat in 2008 UNLESS the Rahm Emanuel crowd steps in and recruits someone (former military?) to run against her in the Democratic primary, as they've done in other races (where their candidate LOST the election). There's nothing like snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Posted by: Mamou | August 16, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Mench, I forgot! I live in a DeLay district myself. Looks like a snake, sort of.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 16, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Mark, only your state has been subject to Gerrymandering since the 2000 Census realignments. The rest of us have been set going into our 4th election cycle now.

Posted by: Mench | August 16, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Andy R: The dems should gain seats in both houses and I would love to see them get to the magic #60 in the Senate, but I doubt it. The House is more of a local thing in that members keep in contact and once there, they are hard to beat. The re-elect figure is in the 90+% range.

Posted by: lylepink | August 16, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

When you look at individual districts, it is so hard for outsiders to get a feel for them.
If they are meandering gerrymanders, it is even more difficult.

Is Haestert's District safely R? Let us hear from residents, if possible.

Andy R, it would be interesting to consider the ages of Congresspersons up for election in contested races. That demographic would tell more about retirement or career change options than any other, I suspect.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 16, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

It's worth noting that Jim Oberweis has very high negatives here in Illinois. His extreme conservativism - extreme even for a Republican - combined with an endless series of gaffes and mis-statements - have resulted in defeats in three statewide primary elections, despite his deep pockets. Since he's too conservative (and too inexperienced) to win a Republican primary, how in the world could he ever win a general election?

Posted by: KS | August 16, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

This is just the tip of the iceberg for retirements from the GOP house. They know that the chances of getting the majority back are slim and Bush will continue to drag them down, barring a serious change in Iraq. I would imagine that the RNCC will be spending most of its money trying to keep incumbents that don't retire in swing districts.

Posted by: Andy R | August 16, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

"an underfunded National Republican Congressional Committee"

I don't remember ever hearing that before.

Posted by: Mench | August 16, 2007 8:38 AM | Report abuse

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