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Massachusetts Special Election: What Does It Mean?

Just minutes after Democrat Niki Tsongas beat Republican Jim Ogonowski and claimed victory in the Massachusetts' 5th district special election, the spin wars began.

The National Republican Congressional Committee sent out a memo entitled "The Democratic Wave Breaks" that argued that he MA-05 special election "provides important insights into the 2008 congressional elections."

What are those insights?

First, that with Democrats now in control of a decidedly unpopular Congress, they will be held to account by voters. The party is "no longer seen as the solution to the problem in Washington -- Democrats have become part of the problem in Washington," according to the NRCC memo.

Second, that the 2006 election was a rejection of a wayward Republican party, not an acceptance of the Democratic agenda. "No longer perceived as agents of change, Democrats are left without policy positions voters embrace," read the memo.

The memo also rolled out a number of facts and figures that make the case for why Tsongas, the wife of late Massachusetts Sen. Paul Tsongas (D), should have won by a far wider margin.

Democratic luminaries like former President Bill Clinton, Massachusetts Sens. Ted Kennedy and John Kerry and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) campaigned for Tsongas; both Kerry and former Vice President Al Gore carried the district with 57 percent during their respective presidential runs in 2004 and 2000; no Republican has held the seat since the early 1970s.

Of course, Democrats had their own set of statistics to argue why the closeness of the contest was expected and therefore meaningless to the larger national electoral picture.

Gov. Deval Patrick was the first Democrat to carry the 5th district since 1994, and he only won it with 50.5 percent -- well below the 55 percent he received statewide last November; then Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis lost this district to President George H.W. Bush in the 1988 presidential race; and Republicans controlled the Congressional seat for 50 years until Paul Tsongas won it in 1974.

So, which side is right?

They both are -- sort of.

Ogonowski did gain real traction by casting Tsongas as the de facto incumbent and running as an outsider to the political process. He also found fertile ground by calling for a crackdown on illegal immigration and decrying Tsongas' support for a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants as amnesty.

With that campaign strategy, Ogonowski may have provided Republicans a blueprint to follow in contested races next year. Congressional approval numbers are mired in the mid 20s while disapproval crests 60 percent in most recent national surveys. And, immigration is an issue that seems to cut across party lines with a call for the law to be enforced a potent political position.

Republicans shouldn't get carried away, however, when analyzing the importance of Ogonowski's near-miss. A loss -- whether by five points or 50 points -- is still a loss.

Remember back to June 2006 when the resignation of former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R) forced a special election in his San Diego area 50th district. Former Rep. Brian Bilbray (R) defeated Francine Busby (D) 50 percent to 45 percent in the race, a result that Democrats cast as a moral victory due to the closeness of the result in a district that clearly favored Republicans.

At the time, we wrote:

"The thought that coming close is almost as good as winning for Democrats is simply not plausible. In order to retake the House, Democrats will need to win in seats that tilt toward Republicans -- maybe not as strongly as California's 50th but close in many cases. 'Close' simply does not count in politics."

The same holds for this race. Had Ogonowski find a way to win, Republicans would rightly crow that all of the doomsday talk about their chances in 2008 was misguided. But, he didn't.

That doesn't mean, however, that Democrats should ignore the result. Now that their party controls the House and the Senate, they must prepare to defend what Congress has (or hasn't done) in next November's elections. It's the burden of the majority.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 17, 2007; 11:10 AM ET
Categories:  House  
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Comments

I live in western New Jersey - Flemington. I make sure to avoid going by a section of town in the morning because its apartments and I don't want to get stuck behind a line of over 40 children getting on the elementary school bus (I counted once). My mother used to live in those apartments, up until only 4 years ago, and it was almost all elderly people. And the new tenants are Hispanics. Are they good people or bad people - I don't know. There was an article in the local weekly paper about a Salvadoran gang and that was terrifying, frankly. It will cost a lot of money for the schools and they are not going to be the ones paying the taxes. Yes, it will radicalize people against immigration.

Posted by: Malia2 | October 19, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

"Recession isn't an 'if' but a 'when'
Housing prices are heading lower. Stock prices are heading down. And it's all systems go for a downturn in the U.S. economy, no matter what the bulls say.
"

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/ContrarianChronicles/RecessionIsntAnIfButAWhen.aspx?GT1=10522

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 18, 2007 6:36 PM | Report abuse

I didn't say look at the ratings. I said that's your people's garbage arguments. It's building consensus amoungst yourselves. With garbage rules you make up. Or ... ..OR you say look at the ratings. i heard some wacko say " the american people have spoken on torture. That is why the show 24 has such high ratings."

The argument is insantiy. You proved that for me. That you very much. You can put a public hanging on tv of an innocent man. I bet the ratings would be huge. Does that make it legal/right?

I guess to you it does. Some people still care about what this coutnry was founded on.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 18, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

rufas11_33,
First off its dave, not Zouk. You asked that I look at the ratings. I did. Now you tell me they don't matter or at least the ones pertaining to Bill O. You allude to the fact that Bill O's ratings are from old people. Well Bill beats Olberman in the 25-50 range too. So instead of stereotyping and denigrating senior citizens, think a little and realize that they have a lot more experience in life than you or I and that we might be able to learn a thing or two from them. These are the people that fought WWII, Korea and the cold war. I hardly think they are treasonous.

Posted by: dave | October 18, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Zouk. O'Reilly's ratings merly show that the republcians are morons. In the market for lies and propoganda. Nothing more. Unfortunatly most are elderly that don't know the world anymore. Rather than change like every other generation does. This version wants to sabotage rather than roll with the punches. Their choice. Doesn't mean it is not treason.


But o'reilly's rating says more about it's viewers, than any truth on that garbage.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 18, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

rufas11_33,
"Or look at the ratings. You people are a laughing stock...What will you tell your children." I would tell them that O'Reilly typically gets over twice the viewers on his repeat show at 11 than Olberman gets at his normal 8PM timeslot. Don't even bother to look at the head-to-head numbers. And since Olberman is MSNBCs best rated show, that means that a repeat of Bill beats any and all MSNBC shows. In short, I'd tell them the truth.

Posted by: dave | October 18, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Or look at the ratings. You people are a laughing stock. A national embarasment. I can't wait until a real government replaces your paper machet garbage. Liars propogandists, traitors to your country. history will not forget you jason mark and dave. What will you tell your children.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 18, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

iT IS A REAL QUESTION. YOU CAN PLAY GAMES WITH YOUR PROPOGATING BUDDIES ALL DAY. you can agree with each other all day. Doesn't cahgne the facts. You people are living in Rush's and Murdoch's dream world. What will you do without your avatars? What will you do when you have to start thinking for your selves for a change.

You republcain clones are funny. By build consensus amounst your selves you think you are right. To bad reality stands in your way in every instance. If that doesn't work have your own bogus study of poll to counter.

I got a video for you republcain clones. I'm sure you've heard of it. It details these games, along with attack the messanger nicely. you tactics are nothing new. they have been used by fascists for many years. Agree with yourselves till your blue in the face. It only make syou propogaters. The gop is done for a generation. It's time for you people to get out of la-la land and face reality. Or you will be left blowing in the wind.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 18, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

RUFUS11_33,
"What do you come to this site for? What is your goal?" You ask questions in general and sometimes of me specifically and I try to answer them. Are your questions rhetorical? Do you not want answers to them?

JasonL_in_MD,
I know. He was the only one on at the time, I had a little spare time and I thought I would give it try.

Posted by: dave | October 18, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

bsimon,
I wasn't arguing that the poll respondents perceptions were irrelevant. I was arguing that it was a poor question and that the response tells us little about the question asked. One can imply (too)many things from the response, but if they want to know if people's perception of the economy is if it is in good shape or not, they should ask that question.

Posted by: dave | October 18, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

dave writes
"Did the poll ask how many people actually knew what the definition of a recession is? This is an example of a poll question that means absoluetly nothing."

Well, yes and no. Obviously there is a technical definition of what makes for a recession, which is what - some number of quarters in succession with low or negative growth?

But what such a poll question demonstrates is what certain economic statistics also demonstrate: that while the 'economy' as a monolith might be growing, the fruits of that growth are not equally shared by all participants in the economy. If, for instance, the economy grows at 5% a year, but my wages are flat, am I going to say "well, my job might suck, but the economy is great" or do I say "I think its a recession." In other words, during the 'recovery' from 2002 through 2007, if median wages are flat or negative relative to inflation, why wouldn't people think we're in a recession? If people look around their neighborhood & see for sale signs in yards for 6 months or longer, why wouldn't they think we're in a recesion? The DOW and macro economy might be going gangbusters (though not relative to foreign markets), but when you see multiple foreclosures in the neighborhood it can be hard to sit back and think about what a great economy we're enjoying right now.

Point being: the poll respondents are likely not economists. But that doesn't make their perceptions irrelevant.

Posted by: bsimon | October 18, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Dave!, I always try to logically argue points of politics or policy with Rufus and his various straw men but it's like banging my head against a wall. It may be better if we both stop bothering with him.

Rufus, you know we're trying to teach you some things that you obviously don't know about. I appreciate your passion for politics, misguided though it may be, but you have to try and listen when other people talk, try to learn so you can better frame your own views.

Please?

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 18, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Wow dave. No matter what is put up you attack it. What do you come to this site for?
What is your goal?

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 18, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

RUFUS11_33,
Did the poll ask how many people actually knew what the definition of a recession is? This is an example of a poll question that means absoluetly nothing.

Posted by: dave | October 18, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

oN TH ETOPIC OF YESTERDAY. tHIS LAWYERS ARE TRYING TO MAKE IT ABOUT ME. An anonymous poster. It's not always about me, or you. Before attacking teh messanger listen to the message, for once.

"Poll: Nearly half think U.S. in recession
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Nearly half of Americans think the U.S. economy is in a recession -- close to 46 percent of those surveyed in a new CNN-Opinion Research Corporation Poll out Thursday morning say the country's economy is in a recession while 51 percent of those questioned say no.
"

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2007/10/18/poll-nearly-half-think-us-in-recession/

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 18, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

rufas11_33 (and I guess con_crusher)
"Did inovation in the past equal less opportunity or less back then? Why does it change now?" Yes. My mother, when she was young, worked as a telephone operator. Inovation basically eliminiated that job. Things have not changed from a market perspective. Jobs come and go. Why use a travel agent when you can book the cheapest flights online? Why hire an accountant to file your taxes when software practically does it for you? Why have tollbooth collectors when electronic passes are cheaper and faster? Your question about Ford needs the following perspective. Henry Ford almost single handedly caused the demise of the horse-drawn-carriage industry. The auto boom helped a lot of people but it did not help those employees that worked in the horse-drawn carriage business.

Posted by: dave | October 18, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

lets not get our (Gop) hopes up too fast. after all she is not a traditional canidate not long ago she was just a reps wife, thats quite a leap. lets hope we dont see the same outcome with

Posted by: ace37648 | October 17, 2007 11:59 PM | Report abuse

lets not get our (Gop) hopes up too fast. after all she is not a traditional canidate year ago she was just a reps wife.

Posted by: ace37648 | October 17, 2007 11:41 PM | Report abuse

response to: (RUFUS11_33 | October 17, 2007 06:34 PM)

Well said. I'm still waiting for the media to report about the real situation in America. They only report about Wall Street and corporate mergers, but they fail to report how it affects Joe worker. They report that Michael Moore made a movie about the health care industry. However, they fail to report how much control the Republican party has over that industry. That's a little bit funny.

Posted by: con_crusher | October 17, 2007 11:35 PM | Report abuse

response to (jandrew | October 17, 2007 09:31 PM)

The same reason, uhhhhhhhhhh, a lazy, bumbling, ret@rd like George W. Bush gets elected. Although Curious George cheated, so it doesn't really count.

Posted by: con_crusher | October 17, 2007 11:27 PM | Report abuse

The GOP is finished. They lost by less than they thought they would, and they consider that a victory? What would the Rover say? They're whining like schoolgirls 'coz Dem heavy hitters campaigned for Tsongas? Pathetic. Repub presidential candidates are spending more than they make, with Romney giving loans to himself. RIP GOP.

Posted by: con_crusher | October 17, 2007 11:25 PM | Report abuse

When I saw Tsongas' margin, I was surprised. This is a longstanding Democratic district. I expected a larger Democratic margin given how pathetically stupid Massachusetts voters are. Down here in the Bible Belt, we hope Massachusetts secedes from the Union. How does a fat, sloppy, adulterous, Socialist scumbag like Ted Kennedy keep getting elected?

Georgia Boy

Posted by: jandrew | October 17, 2007 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Rufus11_33,
"Whatever you propogandist and gop lawyers say is true I guess." Glad to know you are beginning to see the light. What I will tell you is this, if you have been working at the same job for the last 6 years and your employer has cut your pay by 7 dollars an hour, you need to forego the blogging and focus on Careerbuilder.com. You ask " Did I change or the market." Apparently you did not and the market did. One of those you have control over, the other you don't.

Posted by: dave | October 17, 2007 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Whatever you propogandist and gop lawyers say is true I guess.

I used to make 7 dollars more an hour, six years ago. Did I change or the market. My business market is now in india.

Trickle down econmic only works if the money trickles down. Not at burger king, to your employee's.

you gop is done for a generation. Early warning for you republicans out there who believe the lies their avatars tell them

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 17, 2007 8:44 PM | Report abuse

What is a newsperson if they have zero credibility, or lie all day everyday.

Are they still bringing news, or are they then a propogandist? If they are inciting violence agaisnt their own coutnry, are they then a traitor?

do you care to opine, GOP. How do you justify your double think?

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 17, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

"Our eBay Auction Is a Perfect Example of How to Go on Offense

Never accept a false premise and play defense on it.

"

From rush.com

There's an approuch. BUY YOUR WAY OUT OF TROUBLE. It's waht the gop does. "I'm not a bad person, I just gave $5,000 to (fill in the blank). In some twisted galaxy that is called morality, but not this one. Fascists. Criminals. Top to bottom.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 17, 2007 6:46 PM | Report abuse

You republcians are wackos. Because we invented all these things we should be happy and not have health care and electricity. We should all rent. Not that I am any of these, but americans are.

you are a joke to me. Before kennaddy there was no space program. Should we all take a pay cut because people now go to the moon? Did the auto industry boom by ford maek everyone MORE poor. Or did it give them jobs? Did inovation in the past equal less opportunity or less back then? Why does it change now? Your arguements run counter to themselves.

this is a wake-up call if you do not understand your own doublethink. Your party is done for a generation. Don't blame me. blame yourselves. There is no free market. We have a skewed market that keeps the rich rich, and the poor poor.

The peopel reject your rosy picture economy. It's eron. it's a big fraud, just like your party. Everyone see's this now. other than those that are making money screwing their own countrymen. what the republcains are doing used to be called treason.

The american worker is coming back in a huge way. I know you republcians tried to sabotage that. The unions will be more plentiful and mor epowerful than you ever would have dreamed. If that was your goal by the last 15 years, then good for you. But I doubt it. good luk gop. your party is done. We used to be one nation. You splinted us. Either by choice or incompetance, you divided us into two. Now you will reap what you sow. I guess unions are the only way. Greedy fascists will never do waht's right willingly. They must bo forced. Remember that gop, when you have no power. Remember how you ran this nation into the ground.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 17, 2007 6:34 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin,
Yes, there is that...

Posted by: dave | October 17, 2007 6:13 PM | Report abuse

dave, I suspect Rufus' parents did not have 24/7 access to the internet.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 17, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Today's political email was different than any I have had this year. Got my usual daily from McCain ["Lawyers for McCain" invite me to big fundraising deal in DC] and Biden [Yepsen in DMR says Biden climbing] because I give them money.

But I got an new one. "Kristina Whitaker" said she had given to Obama for the first time, so I should, too. This, supposedly, was Ms. Whitaker's response to Obama asking "Kristina" for $25 so he could close the "gap" with HRC.

AND SO IT GOES...

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 17, 2007 6:00 PM | Report abuse

RUFUS11_33,
"Screw the country, you need a ferrari. Screw the laws. Right gop/dave?"
Last I checked, it was not against the law to earn enough money to buy a ferrari. If I did have enough to buy one, I could go to the Ferrari dealership where there are regular people willing to sell it to me. If I buy it, they make money. If they sell enough of them, they can buy one. It seems the problem is that there are not enough rich people buying Ferraris.

There might be many reasons why you make a third of what your parents did. Maybe you are one third the worker they were? Maybe you are making an invalid comparison - comparing what they made at the end of their career to what you are making at the beginning of yours? Maybe the industry you are working in has more competition for jobs than when your parents were doing it? I can't say for sure but I would suggest that you must be reasonably happy making what you make - otherwise you would be looking for work elsewhere or doing things that would improve your value as an employee. I would also suggest that if your employer tripled yours and your co-workers salaries, your employer would probably go out of business. And the owners would probably still have nice cars.

And please tell me how I can find GOP businesses so that I can start spending my money there. You'd think, being the conservative that I am, I'd be in the know as to how to spot them.

Posted by: dave | October 17, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

My cell phone is so small now. I liked the really big ones they used to have. and I liked paying several hundred bucks for them too. Since they're free, you know that americans are getting paid less.

I used to walk uphill, both ways, to school in the snow, without shoes. now all the snowshovelers have been put out of business by the foreign shoemakers.

and now that violence is down in Iraq, all the gravediggers are losing their jobs.

Hillary, Edwards, do something!!!

I may have to move off my amish farm soon.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 17, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

My new Porsche costs much more than a model-T Ford. and they both have four wheels. what a rip off! those Germans are fooling us and taking our high paying jobs.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 17, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

What a waste of time. Dave, spinning himself nto a frenzy. The point is. the pay of americans does not figure into the overall cost. These companies are making huge profits. differant feilds. That wealth is not "trickling down."

the prices go up. the workers salaries go down. That runs coutner to everythign said by the lying propogating fascists on this site today (those that are, if not ignore)

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 17, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

lie spin and discreidt. Frame the debate. Put up straw men to attack. Isolate your own. Your way or the highway.

this is everything the gop is about. The root of this DISORDER runs counter to everything this great nation was founded on. You ready jason to hear what that is, cause it's gone now?


FREEDOM


AND


JUSTICE

Both are now just ideals.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 17, 2007 5:42 PM | Report abuse

mibrooks27,
"My MacBrook Pro was $2500. In 2001, I bought the equivalent, a Titanium G4, for $1800."

If you can say that a 2001 Titaniam G4 computer contained the same processor, same memory, same HD, were the same size screen, contained the same software as your new MacBook Pro, had the same cards and the price between them was 1800 vs 2500, I give it to you. But I have a hard time believing it's the "same" machine. Going a PC route, if I spend 2 grand (the same I spent on my last PC) on an HP desktop, I can get a machine that would be lightyears ahead of my current P2/Win98's capabilities. There would be no comparison. If I wanted the same machine, it would probably cost me nothing.

Posted by: dave | October 17, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

newspeak. framing the debate. You people are lost in a world that is not reality. Where it all makes sense if you think in your terms. That is the defination of a lunatic.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 17, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

"The classic definitions of innovation include:

the act of introducing something new: something newly introduced (The American Heritage Dictionary).
the introduction of something new. (Merriam-Webster Online)
a new idea, method or device. (Merriam-Webster Online)
the successful exploitation of new ideas (Department of Trade and Industry, UK).
change that creates a new dimension of performance Peter Drucker (Hesselbein, 2002)
the process of making improvements by introducing something new [citation needed]
In economics, business and government policy,- something new - must be substantially different, not an insignificant change. In economics the change must increase value, customer value, or producer value. Innovations are intended to make someone better off, and the succession of many innovations grows the whole economy.

The term innovation may refer to both radical and incremental changes to products, processes or services. The often unspoken goal of innovation is to solve a problem. Innovation is an important topic in the study of economics, business, technology, sociology, and engineering. Since innovation is also considered a major driver of the economy, the factors that lead to innovation are also considered to be critical to policy makers.
"

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

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 17, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Rufus, according to the technical definitions, anything that isn't agriculture or manufacturing is called a service. That's what we're talking about.

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 17, 2007 5:30 PM | Report abuse

mibrooks27:

I've made support for free trade a condition for receiving my vote in past national elections. Without me and other voters like me, the economic system you decry would not have been possible. Given those facts, it seems fair to say that I have given material support to people who have committed what you believe ought to be a capital crime. In your judgment, am I therefore an accessory to that crime? If so, could I get away with a few decades of jail time, or do you want me dead, too?

Posted by: tjmaness | October 17, 2007 5:30 PM | Report abuse

"Invention is a service? Ok."

Widely defined, yes. The design services performed by engineers (and others) of all types are services. What would you call them - manufacturing? Eventually a product might be manufactured based on those designs, but the design aspect is a service. The inventing comes in the design stage. Certainly it might be implemented in a manufacturing environment, but even a manufacturing process has to be designed - 'invented' - before it can be implemented.

Posted by: bsimon | October 17, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

when I read the results of the election in the 5th Mass congressional I bet my wife "the fix' have something to say about it. Good I was right. In Massachusetts it seems to be ho-hum, another Democratic rep.

Posted by: quintons | October 17, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

"The thought that coming close is almost as good as winning for Democrats is simply not plausible. In order to retake the House, Democrats will need to win in seats that tilt toward Republicans -- maybe not as strongly as California's 50th but close in many cases. 'Close' simply does not count in politics."

But the difference is that to take back the House Republicans won't have to win in districts that are as blue as the 50th is red. And let's not forget, coming close in CA-50 was a harbinger that Democrats could win in places like WI-08 and KS-02, red-leaning districts where their challengers ran better-than-average campaigns.

This isn't a huge victory for Republicans, and special elections are sui generis -- Stephanie Herseth's 2004 win didn't portend great things for Democrats -- but it does provide something of a template for how Republican challengers can wage successful campaigns in unfriendly territory when America is mad at both parties.

Posted by: seantrende1 | October 17, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Your people are lost. What a huge waste of time this site is. Invention is a service? Ok.

I got a bridge to sell you.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 17, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Rufus, the point I'm trying to make is that is the direction of all advanced economies. The Us is included in that list. We didn't all decide that this was the best course at a big "fascist" meeting. We can buy goods cheaper from developing nations. We then offer the services that get those goods to consumers or improve the goods themselves.

By the way, innovation and invention are services. Thought you might like to know.

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 17, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

All advanced economies in North America and Europe are on service based economies now. Canada is almost 70% service based. Germany is 70% service based. The UK is 73% service based."

If you don't love your country, by all means, move elsewhere. We are the inovators. We are the inventors. Those in power's greed stole this country. Don't try and spin it.

Taking econmic lessons from germany? Are you nuts. how far this great nation has fallen in such a short time. Germany and the uk.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 17, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

you say the same thing so much more elegantly than I do mibrooks27. Get em'

I have the knowledge but not the words to articulate. Differant strokes for differant folks. But the reality always stays constant. It's the way reality is shone or spun, that is the differance. But the reality stays constant. Get rid of the liars and spinsters. Get rid of the propogating saboturs who cloud the argument and divide us for personal profit. then we can get to the root of "what is", and what is not. Slavery is over. The future is now. Think about the children. think about the histroy books.

the future is now.

On globalization. I believe at one time we can have one world, without borders. The borders are merely drawn on a map by those with peopel to divide us for wealth and ...power tot eh few. But the illegal method of strong arming the system cannot work. We must get our democracy and governmetn right here first. Teh result would be so huge and so breathtaking that all nations would want to be a part of it. If we are all really free, if we all are invested in the nation/world succeding, then the results would be extreamly prospurous for all. At present time we have divide and conquer, every man/woman for themselves. But as one, there is nothing that is unacheiveable.

We get our country back. The results would flow over the globe like a giant volcano. We would need no borders. this has been prophsized many times. The only thing stopping it is fear. fear of what those that currently hold all the power will do to us, if we do to this country what it's entent has always been.

ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE.

This country was that at one time. We let them take the country from us. Our apathy took this coutnry from us. The time to feel sorry for ourselves is gone. Now is the time to do somthing about it. The only power the politicains have is the power WE give them. they are not our masters. We are their's. This country was always ours, we just forgot. Just like how men in the middle ages and before were always free, they didn't know it. they have been conditioned, like us now.

the only thing stopping change is fear. Fear doesn't really exist. My girlfreind is in pain today. I taught her an army trick. Focus on the pain. Turn the pain a color, in your mind. Pull that color out of your body, in your mind, and look at it. Is it really pain? Is it a warning your brain sends to alert you that something is happening and take action? So if youo know pain is only a sensor in your brain alerting you, does pain exist? Fear is the same "sensor."

We can change the world for the better. The only thing stopping us is you, and us:)

Sorry for the book. I feel good today. My baby is getting cuter and more alert by the day :) He's going to the nba. He likes to jump already.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 17, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

"Krugman may be right when he talks about deranged behavior."

I suppose it is possible. After all even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Eventually Krugman will be right about something. And when it comes to deranged behavior, I can think of no one more experienced on a personal level than Kooky Krugman.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 17, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Oops, should have been "Marine Corps." Apologies to marines. Semper fi.

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 17, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Mibrooks, you're throwing up straw men.

We're not talking about trickle down economics.

And what's wrong with a service based economy? Services include lots of lower and middle class jobs. Doctors and lawyers provide expensive services. But there are middle class people doing massage, occupational, and physical therapy. Programmers, retail sales people, and Wal-mart greeters offer services, too. Don't forget government employees, from the EPA to the Marine Corp.

All advanced economies in North America and Europe are on service based economies now. Canada is almost 70% service based. Germany is 70% service based. The UK is 73% service based.

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 17, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

"those numbers are based on constant dollars based on the GDP price index"

oK.

what are they based on again?

Do the same studies say global warming is a farce? Just kidding :)

It must be true then. You studies based on a based estimate based on finacnial rises based on blah blah blah. HAHAHA


Same job, a third of the pay. Everywhere else prices rise. the american workers pay goes down.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 17, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

JasonL_in_MD - If you think this country can survive on a "service based economy", you've got rocks in your head. In the service based economy we have right now, investors and corporate managers stiffle new technologies, step on upstart companies, and the money they make goes to a very small, select group. There is no "trickle down", becasue there are no U.S. wage earners for it to trickle down to. So, what you see is a Middle Class in a slow motion collapse. The problem with this is that the economic havoc being wrecked is leading to an increase in crime, devorse, juvenile delinquency, and social problems of all sorts. The wealth few at the top are loath to pay taxes in any economy, but more so in the present mess, so the problems are getting worse and spiraling out of control and there is no monye to fix any of them, no safety net, no social services. What little social services money there is, is being gobbled up by the hordes of illegals that caused this to begin with. The damage done by "globalization" is not something that can be fixed easily nor very fast and right now the race is as to whether we will survive the free traitors, the illegals, and nut cases practicing ruthless sociopathic conservative economic voodoo science. I, for one, would like to make economic crimes capital crimes. Stap a few investment brokers, mortgage brokers, and corporate CERO's to a board, stick a needle in their arm and film them whining as they die and these economic crimes would stop PDQ. When will we recognize that a white collar criminal, a free trader or the investors that suppport them, are no better than a pedophile, a mugger, a rapist, or a murderer, and treat them the same.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | October 17, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

"We should go the way of russia jason. A wheel barrel full of money for a loaf of bread ?"

Flood the market with funny money? How did the above work out for russia?

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 17, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Rufus, those numbers are based on constant dollars based on the GDP price index. It has nothing to do with the strength of the dollar.

Please read the entire post for comprehension.

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 17, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

We should go the way of russia jason. A wheel barrel full of money for a loaf of bread ?

hahahahahha

OOOOOOOKKKKKKKKKKAAAAAAAAYYYY. :)

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 17, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

So what your saying then jason, is the dollars is worth more on the world's stage NOW than it was in the past, relitivly speaking?

Nope.

Isn't the dollar lower now, in terms of other coutnries, now than we were in the past? That is good, your saying?

WOW. Please explain the fall of the dollar, in terms of others rising, as being good for us. I'd like to hear this one.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 17, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Boko, according to pollster the two most recent polls in NH have Romney ahead by 6 and 8 points. Look for Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 17, 2007 01:40 PM to find my post.

Mibrooks and Rufus, older generations were paid more for skilled and unskilled labor, manufacturing, and the like. They were, in fact, paid more. Prices of goos were higher, though, because it cost more to produce them. No people in some jobs make less because the economy (over 70% service based) isn't based on their jobs. But goods are cheaper. Much cheaper. So we buy them. You only have to look at the changes in our GDP to see the appeal of this market system. In 1960, the GDP was just under 518 billion dollars (using constant dollars of course). In the 40 years after that as the economy shifted, the GDP grew to over 9.7 trillion dollars. Thats nearly 19 times bigger! During that same time the population didn't even double.

I'll drop numbers on you all day if that's what it takes. Your thinking is simply prehistoric. This is the new economy. It's better. Even for the people that make $10/hour instead of $20 because, thought they make half what they might have, the goods that they buy are only a quarter as expensive as they might be.

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 17, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

"Living it up means spreading the wealth. I would argue the the wealthy are not living it up enough!
"

Or recycling "their" wealth to other GOP business's, in terms of republcians. Which shoul dbe more important to an empolyer of people with children and grandchildren. Your employee's being happy and loyal. Work hard and bend over backwards for you. Or YOU driving that new ferrari? You fascists are just recycling your money amounst yourselves. The rich get richer, the poor get porrer. What if you had no corporate slaves to do your bidding? How would you afford that ferrari? I know I know. Get someone that will work for slave prices. Import them in right? Screw the country, you need a ferrari. Screw the laws. Right gop/dave?

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 17, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"Personally, I think that citizenship and guest working should be completely separate. That, it seems to me, is beneficial for everyone. Employers get the labor they "need". Guest workers get to work like they have been, only legally. Prices remain stable."

tHAT'S THE TICKET. gIVE THE FARMERS THEIR HELP, THEY NEED. At the same time ALL other programs are not drug down, ie social programs, schools, rental markets.

And I don't make near the minimu wage dave. At the same time I am working at what is basically the same job as my mother and father, BUT MAKING A THIRD of what they made. My owners sure do have a lot of nice cars though.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 17, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

dave - My MacBrook Pro was $2500. In 2001, I bought the equivalent, a Titanium G4, for $1800. A Dell notebook, say the Inspiron 1520, now costs $2,560 for an equavent Inspiron my wife purchased in 2000 for $1200. That's almost double! As for your cheap batgain computers, thney have always been available. I can recall low end HP's for under $300 in 2000, when we were looking for a computer for my wife. The fact is, and every computer publican bears this out, prices have gone up steeply as the manufacturing of computers has been offshored. Furthermore, taxes on those imported electronics ARE NOT being paid. If we added the minimum taxes, duties, and fees due, your silly bargain computer would cost at least 50% more.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | October 17, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

dave writes
"I have failed to see why this is so hard."

Well, I, again, tend to agree. I think the right tactic is just enforcing existing law and driving down demand for undocumented workers, knowing full well that labor costs will go up. A week or two ago, there was an example of 'why this is so hard'. A court decided that the DHS was overstepping its bounds in requiring employers to enforce labor law. I don't recall the intricacies of the opinion, but can generally agree with the premise: it is the job of the gov't, not of private business to enforce the law. I have cited the example before, but when my wife (who works in HR) has called the Social Security admin about suspicious cards, she is told "if they have a card, give them a job." One guy had the cojones to argue that he was the cousin of a guy who'd worked there before - when he was actually the same guy. Upon being confronted, he left the job & hasn't been seen since. But he had documents, both times. The feds apparently don't have the resources - or just plain aren't organized enough - to enforce the laws. That's why it is so hard.

Posted by: bsimon | October 17, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

"I don't think it's puzzling at all, Judge. Extremism begets extremism. The R's have become the party of fanatics and hysterical, violent lunatics like Limbaugh and Malkin"

Yes, but can't they consciously understand how much damage they are doing to themselves by publicly aligning with the absolute worst elements of the GOP? Even Faux News, always ready to rush in where angels fear to tread, stayed away from the Frost story. For any pol with an interest in appealing to a swath of the electorate beyond the 'base,' this seems tantamount to electoral self-destruction. It's like Clinton showing up at Young Communist events. Heck, maybe they just don't care any more. Krugman may be right when he talks about deranged behavior.

Posted by: judgeccrater | October 17, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

RUFUS11_33,
"The top is hording the wealth. Living it up." Just how are the wealthy "living it up"? By being consumers? If people buy a lot of stuff, hire people to take care of their houses, families, etc., who does the payment go to? Living it up means spreading the wealth. I would argue the the wealthy are not living it up enough!

Posted by: dave | October 17, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

RUFUS11_33,
"Paying your employee's the minimum is corporate slavery." I would suggest that if an employee is making minimum wage and is unhappy about it, they should look for a different job, one that pays more. I have worked for minimum wage before and I have worked for more than that. I decided long ago that I did not like getting minimum wage and did things during my life that enabled me to earn more and looked for positions and employers that paid more. Employers are not forcing people to work for them.

Posted by: dave | October 17, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

mibrooks27,
"There wasn't ONE DIME of a decrease in the price of those computers. Indeed, the prices increased." What? When I bought my last PC (a Windows 98 Pentium 2), it cost me around 2000 bucks. I can't buy that machine anymore but I can certainly get a SUBSTANTIALLY better one for well under 2000 bucks (not even taking inflation into account). I don't do Apple but I would imagine the same for them. If you think that computer prices have not fallen and fallen drastically and continue to fall, you are whacked.

Posted by: dave | October 17, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

More on the global economy. A child died in Bloomington, Illinois, after her mother gave her an over-the-counter infant cold and cough medicine. Nationally, there are nearly 100 cases of infant deaths, all related to.....Chinese made over the counter infant cold and cough medicines.

Kill a baby, support free trade. Kill this country, support globalization. How low do you have to be to support globalization? Someone needs to start asking this of ruthless swine like Bill and Hillary Clinton, part owners of a company that outsources jobs and displaces Amercian workers, usually older workers and workers with families that have sick children and high medical bills, with Indian and Chinese guest workers. End corporate greed and end the profit incentive of paraitical scum, called investors. Raise their taxes.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | October 17, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

"Andy, is Romney really that hated among R's in MA? Why is he still in a comfortable lead in NH?"

JasonL, last I heard Romney + Giuliani were practically tied in NH. do you know differently? He IS more of a known quantity there, and there is a large-ish Republican base there (plus independents), so I actually think it says sth that he isn't doing better than he is... and yes, as a MA resident (I think Blarg is also), Romney does NOT have much "home state support." He could not have been re-elected if he had wanted to be.
Honestly, I don't get the support for Romney. Yes, I know, "the Olympics." Yes, "good businessman." That still leaves him many cards short of a full deck in terms of his ablility to govern... and remember, he has only has 3 years of more or less disinterested experience anyway.

Posted by: bokonon13 | October 17, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

bsimon,
"Lets say we can only find & deport 20% - 1 in 5. Thats still potentially 2 to 5 million jobs suddenly unfilled." Potentially. Not all the illegals of the 10-25 million are workers (some could be children, etc). It could be .5 to 1 million. We just don't know. Now taking hundreds of thousands to millions to potentially 10's of millions of workers out the economy will probably drive up labor costs. Realistically, it would not happen overnight and we don't know which of those jobs could be filled by US citizens. Additionally, I think most people put a guest worker program into the mix which would mitigate some of the labor shortage. Personally, I think that citizenship and guest working should be completely separate. That, it seems to me, is beneficial for everyone. Employers get the labor they "need". Guest workers get to work like they have been, only legally. Prices remain stable. Borders are more secure and guests in the country are tracked and checked. People that have been waiting in the line to become citizens don't get irked because people not playing by the rules get placed in front of them. Since the workers are documented and here legally, there is less chance for abuse. The only real drawback that I see is that wages for guest workers would probably rise which would push up prices for consumers a little. And there is the problem of illegals that are established with houses and family having to uproot. But I would argue that that is a cost of doing things illegally. I have failed to see why this is so hard.

Posted by: dave | October 17, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

It should also be pointed out that Nicki had to fight a brutal primary battle, and there was a lot of linger resentment for the way she won. Also, considering the fact that the 5th is very conservative for MA, and that the RNCC poured all kinds of money into the race should give the Reps pause. Add to the fact that her opponent wrapped himself around 9/11 and pressed all the hot buttons on immigration, the district STILL went for the Dems.

Posted by: ethanquern | October 17, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

JasonL_in_MD, bsimon - Prior to the current flood of illegals we did pay American workers decent wages and gave them at least basic benefits. Since illegals have taken their jobs I certainly haven't seen any decease in prices being charged. Same thing for outsourced jobs. Apple outsourced the manufacturing for their new MacIntosh computers to China. There wasn't ONE DIME of a decrease in the price of those computers. Indeed, the prices increased. This in spite of that fact that the wages went from an average of $16 an hour paid to U.S. workers to less than 50 cents an hour paid to CHinese workers. Housing prices climbed at precisely the same time as swarms of illegals took jobs from American construction workers, jobs from landscape compnaies, jobs from manufacturing.

Now, I don't think it is coincidental that all of this occurred at about the same times that housing construction companies went from your local guy and his long term loyal crew to some corporation led by swine in a blue suit and a a gaggle of investors clammering for obscene returns on their monopoly money. The same is true of landscaping, meat packing and processing, RV manufacturing, everywhere you look. I blame corporate activities for most of the modern evils we see, everything from the invasion of Iraq to the subprime mortgage mess. It's time to impose taxes on investors, punitive taxes on investments that lead to outsourcing or the hiring of "guest workers", taxes, tarrifs, duties and fees on goods and services that are produced as a result of outsourcing (those new Mac are shipped directly from Shanghai without one cent of taxes, tarrif, customs or other duties being paid).

As for H1-B and L-1 and other guest workers, the usual excuse is that no "qualified" Amercian worker can be found for the position, even though one is *usually* laid off as a result of the hired guest worker. My idea is to tax the company using that worker at a rate of 50% of their salary or the difference between the displaced Amercian worker received, whichever is higher. I would, again, add addition taxes onto any money invested in such an exterprise, whether it made money or not. That would level the playing field and provide an incentive NOT to hire those workers unless they were genuinely necessary. But, I would take every dime of those tax monies and put them in a fund that would be used to educate and train American workers to replace those guest worker within (say) 4 years.

We can fix this mess. All we need to do is make certain that greed and illegal activities do not pay.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | October 17, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

The only way the Democrats can get bills signed is if they pass what BUsh wants. Democrats are doing to the work of the people but bush is vetoing it all so what can be done?

Posted by: nivbri21 | October 17, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

"It is apparent that *everyone* else is recognizing that the global economy is a bad deal and pressure is being brought to end it.... The EU's trade relationship with China is deeply unequal... Mandelson said that tariff barriers and Chinese interventions were limiting how much the EU sold to the Asian giant - costing firms billions."

You have now segued to globalization, rather than undocumented workers in the US. But, regarding globalization, the solution is to address barriers to trade, not cease trade entirely. If you understand why a lack of trade barriers between US states is a good thing, you will understand why removing international barriers to trade will also benefit us.

Posted by: bsimon | October 17, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

as of now we have "trikle down econmoics". Meaning the rich get paid and the money is supposed to trickle down. That is not happening. The top is hording the wealth. Living it up. That is the problem. their is money in the economy. But it is not flowing as it should. we need more unions. Without the people slaving for their masters, the masters would have nothing.

A wise man once said, "In a free society no man is under another. Both the business owner and the worker exists with mutal need. And mutual benifet."

Read that again. We are not a free nation.

Fascists, your time is almost up. Fear the future. Your reign of terror is almost at an end.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 17, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

How did we exist as a nation paying americans a decent wage up to this point jason? Did the econmoy crumble to this extent during the 50s-90's. Only now did you people do this. My parents got paid. They were middle class. Their employers paid them a livable wage. Why? Becasue if you are loyal to your employee's they are loyal to you. Paying your employee's the minimum is corporate slavery.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 17, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

More on "globalization". From the BBC. It is apparent that *everyone* else is recognizing that the global economy is a bad deal and pressure is being brought to end it....everyone but us, being ruled by the vicious corporate oligarchy that brought us the illegals problem, the invasion and subsequent mess in Iraq, Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Romney and similar corrupt politicial hacks. (For a complete list of dirtbags, check the list of scumbags endorsing CLinton on "The Hill".)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7048488.stm

The EU's trade relationship with China is deeply unequal, its trade commissioner Peter Mandelson has said. China is now the EU's biggest source of manufactured goods.
But Mr Mandelson said that tariff barriers and Chinese interventions were limiting how much the EU sold to the Asian giant - costing firms billions. The EU sold more goods to Switzerland than it did to China."

On a more pleasant note, Steven Coulbert has announced his candidacy for President. The actually appears to be a groundswell for protest votes going to him by both Republicans and Democrats sick of Clinton and Romney beong shoved down their throats. Now wouldn't it being interest if enough protest votes were cast such that neither major party candidate won.


Posted by: mibrooks27 | October 17, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

"bsimon - Analysis is wrong on so many levels I odn't know where to begin."

An easy thing to say, not as easy to prove. Then you go and cite examples that support my statement that kicking illegals out will drive up wages. Certainly a good thing for those wage earners, but what about all the people that buy the stuff that pays those wages? Ok, the result is inflation. Is that resulting inflation worth it or not? That is the question that I asked, which you have failed to recognize, much less answer.

Posted by: bsimon | October 17, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Mibrooks, it's great to want to pay American's more but where do you think that extra pay will come from? I won't believe that you honestly think that the prices of goods won't change. If we had to pay a meat cutter 3 times what he makes now what would that do to the cost of meat at the grocery store? Double it? Skilled carpenters being paid double what they make would cause serious damage to industries already hurting like home building. Assembly line workers being paid more would drive up the cost of everything from soda to furniture to cars.

The fact of the matter is that cheap labor makes goods cheap for Americans and that's great. The US has a service based economy now. Roll with the punches or the economic Darwin will get you. It's not pretty, it's not nice, but its reality.

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 17, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

It means that the GOP is still in trouble. Mass. is obviously a very Blue state, but they could have won the seat.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl | October 17, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Well said mibrooks27. Don't forget housing and rent. goes down. Helps the working man/woman.

Both parties have sold us out in regards to this issue. The gop, for everything you mentioned. The dem's, for the votes they think they'll get. The d stance is at least understandable. They think once they have a strong majority again they can mold these new workers and get the coutnry right again. Through programs and laws.

But teh gop stance is pure treason, plain and simple. Do we have a minimum wage in this country or not?

Get the illegals out, all races, through registration. Jobs housing social programs. illegals need these things. By id'ing for real on these things we can find out who is leagl and not. All illegals must go back to their home country and resigster through their home country. This helps us on all fronts. It's economic. Prisons. Socail programs. Jobs. Renters. We can then see what we really need from other counties. but we must take care of our own countrymen first and formost. Imagine what the social programs could do if they wern't getting blogged down. That is the gop's worse nightmare. The country doing something right, is all bad for the gop. Hence their sabotage. But it's a republcain issue. Regan offered the last blanket amnesty. Since then the republcains (including the clintons) have done nothing to fix the issue. That is not a democratic issue. Who is benifeting from illegal immagration, the rich. Who is losing as a result, the poor. It's a gop issue. Both parties have sold us out.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 17, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

bsimon - Analysis is wrong on so many levels I odn't know where to begin. It is a given that illegal immigrnats have had a negative impact on wages and benefits. A skilled carpenter jobs that paid over $20 an hour in 2000, now pays an average of under $10. A meat cutter, which made $18 an hour, with benefits, in 1980, now gets just over minimum wage with no benefits. In my state, Oregon, an assembly line manufacting job at one of the local RV plants used to pay an average of $20 an hour. It is now $10. The list goes on and on, everything from landscaping to ho-dads to machinists (most of those jobs are now going to illegals, most paid under the table). If the illegals were removed, employers would have to increase wages to attract Amercian workers, offer decent working conditions, and maybe just add basic benefits like paid overtime, a few paid holidays, and even medicial insurance. There are plenty of Amercian's for every job held by an illegal. The only thing stopping them from taking them is that they aren't paid enough to live on. And, it isn't the 12 million illegals you apologists keep tossing around, the new estimate is 38 million!

Posted by: mibrooks27 | October 17, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Mark,

At least once you get past Fredericksburg it should be pretty smooth.

And I've always found it easy going on I-85 once I get out of Petersburg. It's usually pretty light at least to Henderson, NC, where I turn off. Should be okay into Durham, since most of the heavy traffic is between Raleigh-Durham and Greensboro.

Some construction around Durham, but it should be okay. I usually don't see any of that since I come in from Raleigh, so I'm not positive what it looks like these days.

Posted by: J | October 17, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Mark, should you happen to get stuck somewhere, I'd happily meet you for coffee. Good choice on your route south. Definitely more scenic than 95. Consider keeping to 81 and following that down to 66 and then taking 17 to 95 around Fredricksburg. No beltway at all.

"Finally, why is "sending them all home" unworkable? It would probably be expensive and logistically challenging, but unworkable?" -Dave!

Well it is a logistical nightmare to find and transport everyone. It would also be damaging to our economy unless we already had a bevy of guest workers to take their places. This would still cause some short term problems for the economy (if it was logistically workable in the first place) but probably no longer than three to six months depending on the growing season and a number of other timing factors.

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 17, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Dave writes
"[Sending them all home] would probably be expensive and logistically challenging, but unworkable?"


Sorry. 'Unworkable' is shorthand for 'expensive and logistically challenging' and, in all likelihood, a poor return on investment. But I say that from the perspective that undocs/illegals as a political issue is extremely overblown - I suspect a cost/benefit analysis would show a neutral or positive effect, not the huge costs usually claimed by the most vocal critics of them. For instance, if something between 10 and 25 million people were removed from the workforce, would Walmart find as many people willing to work for so little? Or would lowered labor supply drive wages up? I suspect it would. Lets say we can only find & deport 20% - 1 in 5. Thats still potentially 2 to 5 million jobs suddenly unfilled. Is the resulting inflation a positive or negative return for the investment in enforcing the law? I'd be curious to see an in-depth economic analysis of such.

Posted by: bsimon | October 17, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

"National Review, like Jonah, hates "handouts," believes strongly in the glorious virtues of self-sufficiency and pulling oneself up by one's bootstraps (and, apparently, by one's unsevered umbilical cords); demands meritocratic policies; and is filled with spine-stiffening courage and toughness. They're the people who hate affirmative action because of how "unfair" and "un-meritocratic" it is, but who thrive on legacy admissions to college and have their moms and dads get them jobs and make their careers.

As the National Review essay -- cited in my prior post -- declared in identifying the defining attributes of the Right: this is a political movement filled with "rugged individualists who don't know their place: entrepreneurs who build mighty businesses out of nothing, settlers who move out West and, of course, the cowboy. There is a frontier spirit to the Right."

"

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/?last_story=/opinion/greenwald/2007/10/17/mukasey/

Hypocrite gop. Everything they claim to be for, they are really against. From top to bottom. Illegal immagration. Free market. Freedom o fspeech. The constitution. REAL patriotism. The assualt on gays. go down the line. they are for nothing, but $$$$$$$$$$. Money to their cult. No ideals. The dem's are not much better. But the future is now. We will have a real party representing americans soon. Right now we have one coin , two differant sides. Both are the same fascist coin. That will change soon. Teh american people are fed up. Not my fault. I am pointing at the problem. I, and those like me, are not the problem. But we can fix it. If we release the fear of change that holds us in a plastic cage. But" It's so easy to break"? :)

The future is now.

ONE WORLD ONE PEOPLE.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 17, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

'The fact that R's in Congress have lined up to be Limbaugh's toadies is puzzling yet disgusting and calls attention to their extreme partisanship.'

I don't think it's puzzling at all, Judge. Extremism begets extremism. The R's have become the party of fanatics and hysterical, violent lunatics like Limbaugh and Malkin. That's why they can longer field any serious policy proposals, because their base beleives the tooth fairy will foot the bill for the deficit, and all they can talk is fearmongering [loko over there -- it's a scary muslim!] or greed [more tax cuts to the deserving wealthy].

Certainly agree with you on the ignorance of most voters, but I do think the S-chip battle may have broken through, and a lot of people were likely repelled by the attempt to swiftboat an injured child. I don't know how much publicity it's gotten, but Mitch McConnel's office was helping out Malkin with that.

Posted by: drindl | October 17, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

"Goldberg, of course, was foisted on the nation by his mom during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, when she milked the attention she received as Linda Tripp's cohort to push Jonah into the spotlight and into publishing, where he has remained ever since. At the time, Jonah, 29, was "vice-president" of his mom's company. But through his mom's hard work exploiting their joint dirt-mongering in that scandal, he quickly became a National Review Editor. As recorded by this superb and darkly amusing 1998 Salon profile, entitled "The Jester of Monicagate: How Lucianne Goldberg's son Jonah has turned his 15 minutes of fame into a full-time job":

Jonah, agent fatale Lucianne Goldberg's 29-year-old son, entered the national stage when he listened to the Linda Tripp tapes with his mom. . . . .

From an early age, his mother, who has acknowledged being an undercover Republican political operative during the McGovern campaign, exposed her son to feisty right-wing hi-jinks -- and instilled in him a strong sense of family loyalty and affection. Indeed, Goldberg says he first entered the media fray "to defend my mom" from those who deemed her the money-grubbing Wicked Witch of the Upper West Side.

"

Sacrafice is a prerequisite of character. You gop'ers never know sacrafice, nor pain. Everything is given to you by your cult. That is why everything is happy go lucky. You people have never known pain of sacrafice. That's is why you hate the poor. That is why you hate those not EXACTLY like you. you cannot stand in their shoes. When everything in life is not handed to you an a silver platter, becasue of your cronyism/cult, then you will see. If the gop loses all or most of it's power your MASTERS will have nothing to pass on. This is why you are cronies and gop parrots. They give you everything you've ever had.

Time to grow up. Tiem to sacrafice, gop. The left has been for years. What have you sacraficed. If you don't get everything your way you whine and complain. Mobalize. That is your right. I just wish you people understand what the word CHARACTER means. You cannot. You think if you are a regan clone and talk like they do, dress like they do ,you are a good person. You think becasue you wear a cross around your neck it makes you a christian. It doesn't. Character gop. Charater comes with sacrafice. What have you people ever sacraficed, willingly? That is important. I'm not talking God's will. I'm talking personal sacrafice.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 17, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

"The party is "no longer seen as the solution to the problem in Washington -- Democrats have become part of the problem in Washington," according to the NRCC memo."

Of course, this requires massive ignorance on the part of the voters as to how government actually works. While ignorance is normally a good bet, Bush's extremely ill-advised, very public veto of the S-CHIP bill works wonders in highlighting the R's obstructionist tactics (their especially hypocritical embrace of the filibuster springs to mind) aided and abetted by an obstructionist POTUS. The S-CHIP veto is a lightning rod for the R's as blame for inaction is assigned. The idiocy of Malkin and Limbaugh only serves to perpetuate this perception of R obstinacy. The fact that R's in Congress have lined up to be Limbaugh's toadies is puzzling yet disgusting and calls attention to their extreme partisanship.

In an election to be decided by I's who aren't particularly impressed by either side, the D's have a lot more political mud to throw than the R's.

Posted by: judgeccrater | October 17, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

AndyR, that's a pretty good point, but the field is pretty fractured leading to low numbers for everyone in NH. The latest Marist poll has Romney ahead by 6 points but it only surveyed 366 likely voters. The latest Insider Advantage poll of over 1,000 LV's gives Romney an 8 point lead. For comparison, the difference between the 2nd place (Giuliani) and 3rd (McCain) in both polls is only 4 and 3 points respectively.

I'd also point out that he has the highest number of votes from religious, general, and moderate conservatives. Moderates go in larger number to McCain.

Romney doesn't have a huge lead but it's fairly comfortable. I admit it could be higher but in this field there are extenuating circumstances.

He still polls like sh*t nationally, though.

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 17, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Now, if only the Republicans could find about 100 more relatives of pilots of flights that hit the World Trade Center, and then hold all the elections on a random day in October when 10% of eligble voter vote, they might have chance of not getting creamed next election. The NRCC is dilusional if this shows anything other then the fact that they had a good candidate in this race. ''

Absolutely agree. The R's put up a credible canddiate for once, and what i hear from folks I knnow in Mass is that there was a much more progressive candidate running against Tsongas in the primary, but the paty establsihment pretty much rammed her through and a lot of dems stayed home. The fact that it was as close as it was shook people up, and I do't think they'll do that again.

A lukewarm D is still better than a lockstep R...

Posted by: drindl | October 17, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

greenwald:

"In 2005, Bellow wrote a defense of the virtues of nepotism and cronyism for National Review, and in it, he praised a similar defense of cronyism by Goldberg, who -- also in National Review --ventured that "someone needs to say something in defense of cronyism" and, appropriately enough, volunteered himself: "what we call cronyism is a fixture of the human condition and therefore a permanent feature of politics, which is not always bad." "

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/?last_story=/opinion/greenwald/2007/10/17/mukasey/

Whatever you have to tell yourself to make it through the night, gop

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 17, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

bsimon,
"Are we so callous & self-serving that we want to import a cheap-labor class to pick & serve our food & clean our rooms - without offering them the benefits of citizenship?"

I feel the need to point out that it must be in the "cheap-labor class's" best interest also to be here under the current circumstances. Otherwise, they would be back in their home country with their families, not having risked life and limb to sneek in here. The current relationship benefits certain US industries as well as the illegal people working them (and the US consumer). I have not seen reports of US businesses going south of the border, kidnapping people and forcing them to work here. That said, I am sure there are abuses and being here illegally makes those much, much more likely.

Secondly, we won't know the real impact to the US consumer/economy because we really don't have a good idea of the numbers. 10 - 25 million people is a pretty wide range of estimates and not all of those are engaged in the workforce. We also don't have a good feel for what it would take to hire legal workers to do those jobs. The success of Walmart would argue that US citizens are willing to work for low to moderate wages.

Finally, why is "sending them all home" unworkable? It would probably be expensive and logistically challenging, but unworkable?

Posted by: dave | October 17, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

"millions of Mexicans and reportedly hundreds of thousands of Canadians work here undocumented. For them, simple recognition of their work status as "lawful" guests is in no way callous."

I have seen anecdotal reports that many people working here now don't necessarily want to stay, which implies what you suggest. I'm not saying we have to mandate that anyone who comes here for work gets on a path to citizenship, but that the offer is merely extended, rather than importing labor for a limited term, then sending them home. I'd rather see our own citizens take the jobs than import temporary labor.

Posted by: bsimon | October 17, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Jason i wouldn't say that Romney has a "comfortable lead in NH?". Think about it this way, Romney should have very high name recognition in NH, but he is still mired in the 20's in the polls even after a couple thousand ads. Why? The reason is that alot of NH folks work or know people in Mass who are telling them the guy sucks.

Posted by: AndyR3 | October 17, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

lonewacko writes
"bsimon: how many times does it have to be pointed out that there are more than two options to deal with illegal immigration?"

I agree. I'm a proponent of the 'enforce existing laws' alternative you suggest. However, once those laws are enforced, what happens? Assuming people start leaving, the labor pool shrinks, driving up labor costs, primarily in agriculture, but also hotels & restaurants and construction. Then what? A guest worker program? Personally I don't like it from an ethical perspective. I think that if we open our doors to people to work here & make our lives easier, we should return the favor and give them a path to citizenship - on other words, take the 'guest' out of it. If for no other reason than to keep some of those dollars here, instead of sending them out of the country.

Posted by: bsimon | October 17, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

bsimon, this is my last lunch time post. It is not a matter of being "calloused". I would use that word to describe denying sanctuary to a true political refugee from tyranny, but not to describe someone who just wants a job.

Mexican citizens have civil rights. Canadians have it all. Yet millions of Mexicans and reportedly hundreds of thousands of Canadians work here undocumented. For them, simple recognition of their work status as "lawful" guests is in no way callous.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 17, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Mark, as for your trip south, keep in mind that there are any number of ways to 'get west'; you can always call an audible at the line of scrimmage should one route be backed up. You can go the path you laid out, 80 or 78 in Jersey, 70 from Balt, 66 from the DC beltway (and you'll practically go right past my house).

Just keep an open mind, a good map, and an ear to the traffic reports.

Posted by: JD | October 17, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Mark, since you bring up the illegals issue...

Have you all been tracking my county's (Prince William) to begin denying services to the illegal aliens (please stop calling them undocumented workers)? I suspect that we will be the first of many many localities, and my hope is that a groundswell of support for this position reaches DC just in time for next year's elections.

Although I believe there is still a headwind for GOP candidates, this issue is one where many Democrats are incredibly vulnerable.

Posted by: JD | October 17, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

bsimon: how many times does it have to be pointed out that there are more than two options to deal with illegal immigration?

One alternative to "sending them all home" is to enforce our laws so they voluntarily leave over time and many fewer try to come here.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | October 17, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

JasonL, thanks for the invitation. I am going to take JD's alternate route: Tappan Zee to I81, US 15 through Gettysburg to Frederick, and probably then to the west Beltway from Frederick. That will avoid the stickiness at the DE. Bridge, the stop for a mile in advance tolls across DE, and I 95 from Balt. to DC, so we should make it to the western side of the Beltway by noon on 11-15, even though it tacks on 70 mi. to the trip.

If we get stuck near, say, Coneecticut or Wisconsin and the Beltway, I'll stop where there is wifi and my wife and I will invite you to join us for coffee by posting here!

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 17, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

It's good to see Cillizza admit that opposition to the illegal activity that the Washington Post supports is a vote getter and cuts across party lines, especially since the Beltway establishment spent so much ink trying to tell us that opposing illegal immigration candidates isn't popular:

http://lonewacko.com/blog/archives/005910.html

P.S. "Tsongas' support for a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants" is indeed amnesty, since that's how it would be perceived by millions and millions of prospective illegal aliens currently outside the U.S.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | October 17, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

"I do not suggest that you would offer the lure of "citizenship" at this time either. Would you?"

That is a good question for which I don't have an answer. As a matter of principle, it is difficult to argue for offering citizenship to people who, by the very act of being here, are breaking the law. Yet, as a practical alternative, 'sending them all home' also seems unworkable. Lastly, the idea of importing cheap labor temporarily without offering the benefits of citizenship likewise leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Are we so callous & self-serving that we want to import a cheap-labor class to pick & serve our food & clean our rooms - without offering them the benefits of citizenship?

In short, there are no easy answers; or if there are, I haven't heard of them.

Posted by: bsimon | October 17, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Andy, is Romney really that hated among R's in MA? Why is he still in a comfortable lead in NH?

Mark, you and bsimon make a good points. Removing undoc's from the labor force is not only a practical nightmare, but an economic one, too. But guest worker programs might provide an opportunity to keep them working, but legitimately, without giving them citizenship. This seems like an adequate compromise for both sides.

Perhaps eventually, we can use the guest worker program as the path to citizenship.

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 17, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

bsimon, I am only suggesting what I suspect will "work" politically in this election cycle.

The flip side of your suggestion is the point: most American voters will not trust the "pathway" until and unless temporary work permits or a revived bracero program do not succeed in supplying the desired-by-many cheap labor.

I do not suggest that you would offer the lure of "citizenship" at this time either. Would you?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 17, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

bsimon wrote: "I still think the primary voters have a real chance here to direct each party in a positive direction; thus far it appears they will not choose that alternative."

I think you are dead on with both parts of this assessment. As an Independent (in the late-voting state of NC) I don't really have a say in what they do. But I do have to work with the results.

Certainly neither party has demonstrated why I should cease to be an Independent and join their ranks.

Posted by: J | October 17, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin asks
"I believe candidates will be hurt who back "a pathway to citizenship" for the undocs. I believe candidates who support expanded work permits and border security and employer responsibility and better id's will not be hurt."

I'm not sure that its quite that simple. I think a lot depends on how the arguments are formed. I'm for, short-term, enforcement of existing labor laws. I suspect that if such enforcement could actually be accomplished - if all undocs/illegals could be removed from the labor force - the negative impact on the economy would force the implementation of some kind of plan to get (keep) cheap labor into the country. If a 'path to citizenship' is necessary in order to avoid doubling the price of food, resistance to such proposals will crumble.

Posted by: bsimon | October 17, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I believe candidates will be hurt who back "a pathway to citizenship" for the undocs. I believe candidates who support expanded work permits and border security and employer responsibility and better id's will not be hurt. Ds who insist on the "pathway" may lose on that one issue to opponents who do not.

We have had this conversation here before and many folks outside TX, NMX, AZ, and CA seem to entertain the notion that this is not a big deal. Increasingly, it will be, even for you cold country compadres.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 17, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Jason,
Mitt Romney stole any hope the GOP ever had in Mass when he spent the last two years of his governship selling the state out as a punch line in his jokes.

Posted by: AndyR3 | October 17, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Now, if only the Republicans could find about 100 more relatives of pilots of flights that hit the World Trade Center, and then hold all the elections on a random day in October when 10% of eligble voter vote, they might have chance of not getting creamed next election. The NRCC is dilusional if this shows anything other then the fact that they had a good candidate in this race. If he comes back for a rematch Tsongas will beat him by 20 points.
But then he would just retire like the scores of GOP congressmen that are doing just that.

Posted by: AndyR3 | October 17, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Chris writes
"[The NRCC claims] the 2006 election was a rejection of a wayward Republican party, not an acceptance of the Democratic agenda. "No longer perceived as agents of change, Democrats are left without policy positions voters embrace," read the memo."


While there is some truth to the NRCC's claim, the National Republican party also fails to offer policy positions voters embrace. If neither party is offerring a compelling vision, which party will represent the 'lesser evil' in 2008? That remains to be seen... I still think the primary voters have a real chance here to direct each party in a positive direction; thus far it appears they will not choose that alternative.

Posted by: bsimon | October 17, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, RNC.

Still, not a bad bit of spin if you ask me. It might buy MA Republican a little hope and possibly other Republicans due to the news coverage this special election has gotten nationally.

I just think the Democrats analysis is a little more plausible.

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 17, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

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