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The run of Democratic House retirements that wasn't -- and what it means

When Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R) beat state Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) in the special election to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D) in January, Democratic strategists openly fretted that the aftershocks caused by that election would lead to a run of retirements in their already-nervous ranks.

But since that day -- Jan. 19 -- the same number of Democratic and Republican incumbents (nine each) have announced they will not seek re-election the 112th Congress.

And, with filing deadlines closed in all but eight states -- Vermont's deadline to run for federal office is today -- Democrats appear to have dodged the doomsday scenario of retirements that looked like it might come to pass as late as this spring.

Taken in total, there are 39 open seats this fall -- 21 held by Republicans, 18 by Democrats. While that is the highest number of vacancies since 1996 -- when 49 Members of Congress retired -- it is nowhere near the 65 open seats in 1992, the highest in the post World War II era of congressional politics. (The reason for such a high number of vacancies that year? The combination of the decennial redistricting and the House Bank scandal.)

To be clear, Democrats still have considerable open seat vulnerabilities. Of their 18 open seats, 14 are competitive -- meaning that one or both national parties will spend campaign cash in them.

By contrast, five (at most) of the Republican-held open seats are regarded as competitive between the two parties.

That Democratic open seat vulnerability is also born out when looking at the 18 incumbents who decided to call it quits between Brown's January victory and today.

Of the Democratic nine, four represent seat won by Arizona Sen. John McCain in 2008; President Barack Obama didn't win any of the nine new open Republican seats -- although he did come close in both Florida's 21st and 25th districts.

While Democrats' open seat problems are not insignificant but compared with the "rats fleeing the sinking ship" sentiment that pervaded that Democratic House caucus just a few months ago, the party is on stronger footing than many people thought they would be this far along in the cycle.

(Credit, according to informed House leadership sources, is rightly divided between the leadership team of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn as the quartet worked on-the-fence members hard for months to keep them in Congress.)

What does the open seat situation mean for the battle for the House majority this November?

It means that the Republican path to a majority will have to go through incumbents rather than relying solely on open seats.

There are simply not enough open Democratic seats -- or even close to enough -- that Republicans can build their majority on winning districts where Members aren't seeking re-election. Even if Republicans sweep every competitive open seat and lose not a single of their vulnerable open, they still need 25 more seats to get them to the majority.

That doesn't mean, however, that the House majority is out of range for Republicans.

The last two wave elections in which House control changed hands had a similar split between open seat pickups and incumbents defeated.

In 2006, Democrats won eight GOP-held open seats, lost none of their own and beat 22 Republican incumbents for a net gain of 30.

In 1994, Republicans won 22 open Democratic seats, lost four of their own open seat races and beat 35 Democratic incumbents for a 52-seat pickup.

And, the national political environment, which is most accurately described as anti-Washington rather than anti-incumbent, should provide benefit to Republicans this fall since polling suggests the American public knows that Democrats are in control of all levers of power in Washington.

What Democrats have done by staunching the flow of their retirements is avoid making it easy for Republicans to get back into the majority by picking off dozens of conservative-leaning open seats. That doesn't mean a Republican majority is an impossibility, however.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 17, 2010; 1:02 PM ET
Categories:  House  
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Comments

Didn't Obama look us in the eye from the Oval Office and say he took control of the situation right away? Oh, right- he's a lawyer and his lips were moving!

Politico-
May 30, 2010
Categories: Environment
Powell chides Obama on Gulf leadership

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday that President Barack Obama has moved too slowly in asserting leadership over the Gulf spill response - and the time has come for a "comprehensive and total attack" on the problem.

Wapo-
After delays, U.S. begins to tap foreign aid for gulf oil spill

By Juliet Eilperin and Glenn Kessler
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 14, 2010
Four weeks after the nation's worst environmental disaster, the Obama administration saw no need to accept offers of state-of-the-art skimmers, miles of boom or technical assistance from nations around the globe with experience fighting oil spills.

THIS STORY
Obama to push BP for vast fund
After delays, U.S. begins to tap foreign aid in gulf spill
Senate letter to BP officials
View All Items in This Story
"We'll let BP decide on what expertise they do need," State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid told reporters on May 19. "We are keeping an eye on what supplies we do need. And as we see that our supplies are running low, it may be at that point in time to accept offers from particular governments."

That time has come.

In the past week, the United States submitted its second request to the European Union for any specialized equipment to contain the oil now seeping onto the Gulf of Mexico's marshes and beaches, and it accepted Canada's offer of 9,842 feet of boom. The government is soliciting additional boom and skimmers from nearly two dozen countries and international organizations.

In late May, the administration accepted Mexico's offer of two skimmers and 13,779 feet of boom; a Dutch offer of three sets of Koseq sweeping arms, which attach to the sides of ships and gather oil; and eight skimming systems offered by Norway.

But some lawmakers and outside experts are questioning whether the administration has been too slow to capitalize on these offers, lulled by BP's estimates on the oil flow rate and on its capacity to cope with the aftermath of the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig.

Posted by: thecannula | June 17, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1294173&id=1315777695

That's my sister on the left. I'm very proud

Posted by: Noacoler | June 17, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

But Bob Dornan was a real human being who but for his military connection would have been a Democrat.

The TP types now defecating out their mouths aren't real human beings.

Eight posts, one not brigade. Invested much?

Posted by: Noacoler | June 17, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Brigade, Mark has many friends here. Among the things we admire is his intelligence and his even-handedness. His reminding us of how past regulations can be well applied gives those on the left a lot of hope about a future where good regulations are always backed by dedicated government employees.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | June 17, 2010 8:33 PM
----

And more power to you. What I thought worth repeating is that not all Republicans are necessarily evil tyrants who want corporations to run roughshod over the country and make up the rules as they go along. Ole B1 Bob Dornan, who I mentioned in a post the other day, was a very conservative California congressman who was also a surfer and very much opposed to off-shore drilling in California. You just never know.

Posted by: Brigade | June 17, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Brigade, Mark has many friends here. Among the things we admire is his intelligence and his even-handedness. His reminding us of how past regulations can be well applied gives those on the left a lot of hope about a future where good regulations are always backed by dedicated government employees.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | June 17, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austing wrote,

"Threadjack Warning.

I will be gone all day and think the Gulf gusher deserves another round. Forgive me, please, for anticipating a "Fix" that may not be written.

BHO gave a disappointingly lofty, general, and flat speech two nights ago, But he had a good day yesterday. Thanks to the leverage of statutes in place he was able to extract a $20B escrow agreement from BP.

The thanks for the statutes in place go first to the RMN Administration which reacted to the Santa Barbara disaster with the creation of EPA and two statutes directly penalizing polluters, and to the GHWB 41 Admin for the statute it added after "Exxon Valdez".

BHO gets good marks for using them now as leverage rather than using them to chase behind BP years from now.

-------

A good post is worth reposting. A disappointing speech by Obama. Credit to Nixon and Bush41, both Republicans, for the statutes to go after BP. Doesn't quite fit the usual liberal spin and will probably send Noacoler and Drindl scurrying for the exits as their brains smolder with hate.

Posted by: Brigade | June 17, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Yes, lowbrainer, time to haul your freight. Come back when the Dems' political prospects look better. See if you can find some good sense in the meantime and you might be able to supply some of the "thought" you're after. I haven't seen any coming from you yet, but I guess there's always hope.

Posted by: Brigade | June 17, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

the baggers and the oilies are soiling the R brand even more.

Posted by: drindl | June 17, 2010 6:55 PM

-------

How's Alvin Greene treating the D brand? Has Paul or Angle said anything about the flags the astronauts left on Mars? Or about the drug cartel headed by Bush41 that keeps the population of south central L.A. at bay? We sure don't want any loons in our government, now do we? How many of the baggers or the oilies spent 20 years in the same church listening to the anti-Semitic, anti-American rants of a certifiable nut?

Posted by: Brigade | June 17, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

When pregnant women start taking advice from impotent little bald gay men, we'll get back to you Ped.
==
... and that'll still be years before any woman disrobes for a fat mental case smoker with first degree personality disorders like me, zouk.

Posted by: Noacoler | June 17, 2010 6:45 PM

-------

I think that was his point.

Posted by: Brigade | June 17, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul already was blitering about poor BP and so was Angle, before the party establishmnt pulled the plugs on their microphones.

Posted by: drindl | June 17, 2010 6:15 PM

-------

How're they doing? Still leading Conway and Reid in the polls? Get your noose ready for November.

Posted by: Brigade | June 17, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Nine women out of ten confronted with the same knowledge will do the right thing; Palin did the wrong thing to be true to her ideology, thereby underscoring its barrenness, pity the barrenness isn't in her womb too.

Posted by: Noacoler | June 17, 2010 4:56 PM

-----

By your standards, your mama didn't do the right thing. Pity.

Posted by: Brigade | June 17, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

If the same number retire and the Republicans hold fewer seats than Democrats than a larger percentage of Republicans are retiring. Further evidence that a resurgence of support for Republicans is a Tea Partiers wet dream.

Republicans, with their anti-government ideology, have proven that they are incapable of governing. Fear, hatred, distortion, distraction and division is all they have to offer.

Posted by: thebobbob | June 17, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Zouk as legion and his friends have gotten out of hand. Time for thought to find another location. Wading through column feet of zouk, 37, and armpeg isn't worth the effort.

Posted by: ceflynline | June 17, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

If anybody noticed, the subject was supposedly the vast retirement, or lack thereof, of Democratic Congressmen. It was a part of the preordained coverage of the Republican Resurgence.

No mass defection, and thanks to many forces like the republicans inability to tell vaporware programs like Rob Portman's health care plan, "Repeal the current bill" even though he claims to be for most of what was in it. And how will he effect his list of things health care ought to do? Somehow he forgot to put that on his web site. Jobs? he has this list of pillars of his jobs program concepts. No plan, though, just a request to down load his plan, (after you join his organization).

What to do about BP? certainly don't expect them to pay for it.

No, the Dems aren't going to bail, since when the T-People get finished the Dems pick up four seats in the Senate and double digits in the House.

Posted by: ceflynline | June 17, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

the baggers and the oilies are soiling the R brand even more.

Posted by: drindl | June 17, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Let's just not forget that Obama was going to give BP a safety award right before the explosion.

The ceremony was cancelled.


Democrats at work.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | June 17, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

When pregnant women start taking advice from impotent little bald gay men, we'll get back to you Ped.

==

... and that'll still be years before any woman disrobes for a fat mental case smoker with first degree personality disorders like you, zouk.

Posted by: Noacoler | June 17, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

oh, and look....


'Nate writes that Joe Barton's top contributor is Andarko Petroleum, a 25%
> stakeholder in the site where Deepwater Horizon blew up.
-------------------------------------
What a co-inky-dinky. Just when the Republicans needed their own Representative Oily.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | June 17, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul already was blitering about poor BP and so was Angle, before the party establishmnt pulled the plugs on their microphones.

Posted by: drindl | June 17, 2010 6:15 PM
--------------------------------------
The angle (pun intented) that the Tea Party Expressers really get into is the conspiracy that devious, clever, but oh so incompetent, Barack H. Obama is shaking down (in a Chicago sort of way) poor, but yet oh so successful on a quarterly basis, BP for hitherto undisclosed nefarious purposes, probably having to do with ACORN.

Look for all the right wing loonies to take this tale, spin it for all it's worth, paste it all over the internet and then, as the ultimate coup, have Glenn Beck and his mighty whiteboard connect all the dots.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | June 17, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

oh, and look....


'Nate writes that Joe Barton's top contributor is Andarko Petroleum, a 25%
> stakeholder in the site where Deepwater Horizon blew up.
>
> http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2010/06/top-donor-to-barton-is-partner...'
>

Posted by: drindl | June 17, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul already was blitering about poor BP and so was Angle, before the party establishmnt pulled the plugs on their microphones.

Posted by: drindl | June 17, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

"impotent little bald gay man
Posted by: bumblingberry"

also so good at self-description and projection

Posted by: drindl | June 17, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

To give some credit to the GOP establishment, at least they nipped this "Poor BP" story in the bud. They had to run out in front of their caucus so no other Tea Party Express-ers expressed their heartfelt belief that bad, awful Barack Obama is trying to shakedown poor little BP.

Smart--take the hit now, take the hit hard, but hopefully, avoid an avalanche of crazy TP Expressers getting airtime.

We'll see if it works.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | June 17, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

It goes to show that the GOP establishment can read the polls, and read them the right way. Mavericks Barton and Price go off in their own Tea Party direction, forget to check with the Home Office, and abruptly run out to the end of their ropes. If the whiplash doesn't kill ya, then you get to go off and sit in the corner and learn to shut the chuck up.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | June 17, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Barton's lucky the whiplash didn't break his neck

Posted by: Noacoler | June 17, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Barton’s party offered little support. During the scrum of afternoon activity, the top three Republicans in the House – Mr. Boehner, Eric Cantor of Virginia and Mike Pence of Indiana – released a statement bluntly saying that Mr. Barton’s “statements this morning were wrong,” adding that BP has acknowledged it is responsible for economic damages.

Before Mr. Barton’s latest statement, another Florida Republican – Representative Jeff Miller, who represents a Panhandle district – had called for Mr. Barton to step down as ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

In his own statement, Mr. Miller said he was “shocked” by Mr. Barton’s “reprehensible comments.”
------------------------------
The GOP's famous message control seems to have gone out of control.

Could this be the Tea Effect?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | June 17, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Representative Tom Price of Georgia, had said that the new $20 billion fund “suggests that the Obama administration is hard at work exerting its brand of Chicago-style shakedown politics.”
-------------------------------
Will Price pay the price that Barton paid?
Is there a second retraction coming from Rep. Price?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | June 17, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Have you ever seen a U turn like this?

Barton: What I Really Meant to Say
By BERNIE BECKER AND CARL HULSE

Representative Joe L. Barton on Thursday quickly backpedaled, and then recanted, the remarks he made about BP’s liability fund that had immediately sparked an uproar by environmentalists, Democrats and Republican leadership alike.

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/17/barton-what-i-really-meant-to-say/

Posted by: 12BarBlues | June 17, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

House Republican leadership threatened to strip Rep. Joe Barton's seniority on the Energy and Commerce Committee if the Texas Republican didn't immediately retract an apology he had issued to BP earlier on Thursday, a GOP leadership aide told HuffPost.

His post, however, is still not secure.

Barton is the highest-ranking Republican on the committee and stands to become its chairman if Republicans regain control of the House following the elections in November. He was called into a meeting with Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and slammed for issuing the apology.

"Barton met with Boehner and Cantor this afternoon. He was told, 'Apologize, immediately. Or you will lose your position, immediately. Now that he has apologized, we'll see what happens going forward," said the leadership aide.

"He was concerned about explaining his point that the White House doesn't necessarily have the authority to do what they did. But, when you start out by apologizing to BP, you've lost your audience," said a second aide, "especially when they agreed to the fund willingly and when our Members are on record supporting the fund."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/17/gop-leaders-threatened-to_n_616374.html

Posted by: Noacoler | June 17, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

When pregnant women start taking advice from impotent little bald gay men, we'll get back to you Ped.

Posted by: bumblingberry | June 17, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

...inspired by Palin's message, "Look at me, I'm a wonderful woman because that I had a child with a mental disability. And you women who had abortions in the same circumstance are bad, bad, bad.

==

Nine women out of ten confronted with the same knowledge will do the right thing; Palin did the wrong thing to be true to her ideology, thereby underscoring its barrenness, pity the barrenness isn't in her womb too.

Posted by: Noacoler | June 17, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Forest for the trees-


Obama "is the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money over the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records."
-NY Times

When did he start "cleaning up" his big MMS again? Who approved the license in Feb 2009?

Posted by: thecannula | June 17, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

There is a sickening, oozing, festering, disgusting, oily, slippery, toxic entity finding its way into every nook and cranny of the american life, sucking the life and prosperity out of everything it gets near.

there is also a giant oil spill in the gulf.

Posted by: bumblingberry | June 17, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

A poll comes out today showing 67% of Americans want obama to be tougher on BP, and here's a bunch of Rs groveling and apologizing to BP -- smart political move, eh?

==

What do you expect? Everyone they talk to is completely ra-ra for big business and thinks the natural environment doesn't matter.

That's what you get living in an echo chamber.

Thanks for the free attack ads, Re. Barton.

Posted by: Noacoler | June 17, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

drivl is stuck on stupid again and double posting. Her brain must be full. Two articles from Huff/Kos will do it.

Posted by: bumblingberry | June 17, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

yeah as if squeezing out crotch cabbages is such a great idea right now. Why not just pitchfork them straight into the furnace

Posted by: Noacoler | June 17, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Wow 77 grand from BP to BHO.

Guess that's why he only shook them down for 20 extra large, otherwise he might have stuck them for 21. The FIEND

Posted by: Noacoler | June 17, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Boner steps away fromm the suddenly radioactive Barton:


"House Minority Leader John Boehner doesn't want to be lumped in with Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), who in a hearing today apologized to BP CEO Tony Hayward for the $20 billion escrow fund that, in Barton's words, amounts to a "shakedown" and a "slush fund."

In an interview with Fox News this morning a few minutes after Barton spoke, Boehner was asked if he agreed.

"Would you call it a shakedown?" Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer asked.

"I have said since the beginning that BP ought to be responsible for all of this cleanup," Boehner said. "The fact is that they've agreed to put this $20 billion in escrow. I don't know what context Mr. Barton was making that remark, but I'm glad that BP has accepted responsibility for their actions."

Posted by: drindl | June 17, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Is Feminism All About Abortion? You Betcha!

At the Washington Post, atheist dingbat Susan Jacoby is apoplectic that pro-life women are running for office.

""Sarah Palin, the Tea Party's Red Queen, is the personification of the two strands in right-wing thought and politics. And Palin is the mistress of the art of claiming moral standing as a result of what she does with her reproductive system. Remember all the times she exhibited her Down syndrome son on the campaign trail in 2008? Fiorina's repellent attempt to bolster her anti-abortion credentials by lamenting her own infertility is directly inspired by Palin's message, "Look at me, I'm a wonderful woman because that I had a child with a mental disability. And you women who had abortions in the same circumstance are bad, bad, bad. "

Odd, isn't it, that in the eyes of these deluded dingbats, true womanhood lies in doing exactly the opposite of the task which women are physically, emotionally, and spiritually designed to do; bear children. No, in the eyes of these degenerates, the only real women are the ones that kill their babies.

Posted by: bumblingberry | June 17, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Wow zouk sounds really bad!

Since there's nothing you can do about it, and since your party is considerably worse and is intent on staying out of power, maybe you should kill yourself.

Posted by: Noacoler | June 17, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Huffington Post

BP Stock Up On News Of Oil Spill Fund Deal
ROBERT BARR | 06/17/10 07:42 AM |

LONDON Shares in BP rose in London Thursday, as the company's agreement to set up a $20 billion fund and cancel dividend payments to cover damage from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill was seen as reducing uncertainty over its liabilities.

Some analysts had a "buy" rating on the stock despite the risks to the company from the spill.

The shares were up 6.9 percent at 360.15 pence ($5.34) midday trading on the London Stock Exchange, retreating from an earlier peak of nearly 370 pence.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$


The NY Times lists the House members asking questions of Hayward along with their Oil Company Support- They leave out the most important contribution! Wonder why?
(did YOU know this????)

Politico
Obama biggest recipient of BP cash
By ERIKA LOVLEY | 5/5/10 5:05 AM EDT


"During his time in the Senate and while running for president, Obama received a total of $77,051 from the oil giant and is the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money over the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records.

**************

Come 2012, an empty suit will seem like a welcome relief from an oily suit...

Posted by: thecannula | June 17, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

A poll comes out today showing 67% of Americans want obama to be tougher on BP, and here's a bunch of Rs groveling and apologizing to BP -- smart political move, eh?

Brain surgeons!

Posted by: drindl | June 17, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

As the Manchurian Moonbat's big speech on Tuesday made clear, deliberately plunging the economy into a "green energy future" — i.e., second Great Depression — with Cap & Trade is still very much on the agenda. Obviously, the vast majority are opposed — but we were opposed to federal seizure of the healthcare industry too. If lame duck Dems are able to get Crap & Tax through the Senate for BHO's eager signature, literally millions will be thrown out of work, adding to the government dependents Democrats increasingly rely on for votes. Then comes amnesty, opening the floodgates to tens of millions of Third World peasants who will quickly make their way to the welfare rolls and the voting booths. It is still very much in doubt whether America will survive the cataclysm of a communist punk being elected President.

Posted by: bumblingberry | June 17, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

The perils of letting Berry campaign for you on his record:

Thursday, June 17, 2010 Republican John Boozman now holds a near two-to-one lead over Democratic incumbent Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas’ U.S. Senate race, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in the state. Boozman earns 61% of the vote, while Lincoln, coming off her Democratic Primary runoff win last week, picks up 32% support.

Posted by: bumblingberry | June 17, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Anyone pretending to know why a stock or an average went up or down is blowing smoke. It's like asking a croupier when seven red is coming up next.

Posted by: Noacoler | June 17, 2010 4:19 PM
---------------------------------------
Absolutely right, in the short term anyway.

Here's a good example: BP is down 18c. Goldman Sachs is up 33c. So what.

Memorable quote from JP Morgan, when asked what the market will do tomorrow:

"It will fluctuate".

Posted by: 12BarBlues | June 17, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

A poll comes out today showing 67% of Americans want obama to be tougher on BP, and here's a bunch of Rs groveling and apologizing to BP -- smart political move, eh?

Brain surgeons!

Posted by: drindl | June 17, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Boner steps away fromm the suddenly radioactive Barton:


"House Minority Leader John Boehner doesn't want to be lumped in with Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), who in a hearing today apologized to BP CEO Tony Hayward for the $20 billion escrow fund that, in Barton's words, amounts to a "shakedown" and a "slush fund."

In an interview with Fox News this morning a few minutes after Barton spoke, Boehner was asked if he agreed.

"Would you call it a shakedown?" Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer asked.

"I have said since the beginning that BP ought to be responsible for all of this cleanup," Boehner said. "The fact is that they've agreed to put this $20 billion in escrow. I don't know what context Mr. Barton was making that remark, but I'm glad that BP has accepted responsibility for their actions."

Posted by: drindl | June 17, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Myth #1:

The Katrina myth will dissipate.
===================================
Hasn't happened yet. Of course, it's only been FIVE years. Maybe, in FIFTY years, ...

Myth #2:

cause so many deaths as the dear old NO Mayor has on his conscience
====================================
You do realize, dear, don't you, that the old NO Mayor was reelected after the hurricane. Guess those old NO folks didn't get the memo from you that it was Ray's fault.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | June 17, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Just letting liberals be liberals, that's all it takes.

NC CD-2: Flash polls puts Ellmers up over Etheridge
The John W. Pope Civitas Institute just released a flash poll conducted by SurveyUSA after Bob Etheridge's taped blowup surfaced on YouTube. The results are quite promising for the Republican challenger, Renee Ellmers - she has moved into a statistical tie with the Democratic incumbent. 39% of respondents say they plan to vote for her against just 38% preferring Etheridge. This race is sure rise up the vulnerability charts and probably will end up shortly on my House race tracking list

Posted by: bumblingberry | June 17, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Anyone pretending to know why a stock or an average went up or down is blowing smoke. It's like asking a croupier when seven red is coming up next.

Posted by: Noacoler | June 17, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

'POLITICO’s The Pulse reports that Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) — who had proudly co-sponsored a 1993 bill that required everyone to purchase health insurance coverage — will introduce a measure to repeal the individual mandate. The individual mandate creates incentives for otherwise healthy Americans to purchase insurance and lowers premiums.

Were Hatch’s plan adopted, healthy Americans would avoid buying coverage and insurance plans would be dominated by sicker people. Premiums would increase, severely disadvantaging the millions of Americans with chronic conditions (who actually use care)."

Posted by: drindl | June 17, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Did you see the rise in the BP share price in London after the $20 Billion fund wa announced? Guess they were expecting more?
---------------------------------
As of 10 seconds ago, BP is trading down on the NYSE. Down 18 cents.

And your conclusion is what, again?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | June 17, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

The Katrina myth will dissipate... it was the local and State governments that were responsible for evacuations and first reactions ... as in Florida and other States where as devasting hurricanes have never been so badly managed or cause so many deaths as the dear old NO Mayor has on his conscience...

==

What does the F in FEMA stand for?

Posted by: Noacoler | June 17, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

You had to know that airbrushing Winston Churchill's cigar out of history was only the beginning. If the liberals in control of the information establishment could pass the radical leftist Adolf Hitler off as a conservative, maybe they could go one better and rehabilitate his image. After all, as a socialist, he only wanted what was best for the people. Next we'll learn that Comrade Obama was right there beside him, sticking it to special interests on behalf of the working masses.

From the annuls of "sounds like Barack/drivl/Ped":

"We are socialists, we are enemies of today's capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions."

Posted by: bumblingberry | June 17, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Realistic5

Repeating manufactured myths don't make them true.

The Katrina myth will dissipate... it was the local and State governments that were responsible for evacuations and first reactions ... as in Florida and other States where as devasting hurricanes have never been so badly managed or cause so many deaths as the dear old NO Mayor has on his conscience...

All incompetent dancing Democrats incapable of taking responsibility but always ready to play "victims" and blame others... what a hoot Obama is following suit with his own "Katrina"!

Posted by: sally62 | June 17, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

BP's stooges:


"Last night, the Republican Study Committee (RSC), the largest caucus of Republican House members, fired off a statement declaring that the $20 billion dollar negotiated by BP and the Obama administration for victims of the oil catastrophe in the gulf is a “Chicago-Style Political Shakedown.” Echoing this sentiment, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) told BP executives that he is “sorry” for Obama’s “shakedown” of their company.

This morning, ThinkProgress traveled to Capitol Hill to interview lawmakers about the escrow fund. Several members of Congress, like Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), agreed with the RSC’s criticism of the fund.

Even though Fleming’s home state of Louisiana has been devastated by BP’s spill, Fleming attacked the administration for not trusting BP and for daring to “take control of all the money from BP.” Asked about Barton’s apology to BP, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) said any lawmaker has a right to “do what they want”:

If these people get re-elected it will only once again prove the stupidity of repulican voters.

Posted by: drindl | June 17, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Remember January 2009 when Barack Obama was walking on water?

==

Gotta wonder what kind of scandal sheet bar rag prints red meat junk like this.

Posted by: Noacoler | June 17, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Slickness won’t save sinking Obama
His luster liquidating

By Michael Graham | Thursday, June 17, 2010 |

Remember January 2009 when Barack Obama was walking on water? When his approval rating was north of 70 percent and we conservatives were told that “resistance is futile” in the face of the most powerful political figure since, well, ever?

Then came that unavoidable force known as “reality.” The stimulus . . . didn’t. Unemployment is stubbornly high. Iran keeps ignoring us. A majority of Americans still hate Obamacare, and Obama’s endorsed candidates have performed about as well as a BP well cap.

After every policy setback and political gaffe, the Obots kept telling themselves everything was gonna be OK. First it was, “Well, at least he’s really bright.” Then, “Well, at least the rest of the world likes us.” Then, “Well, he’s good at campaigning.” And until Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST, it was “Well, at least he gives a good speech.” Oops.

Obama is down to his last “well.” And it’s not the one dumping oil into the Gulf. All the Obots have left is, “Well, at least he’s not George Bush.”

Even the sycophants at MSNBC are getting grumpy. Keith “Please Adjust My Meds” Olbermann called Obama’s performance Tuesday “a great speech - if you were on another planet the last 57 days.”

What made Obama’s BP speech so depressing is that Bush-hatred is all he has left, too. Instead of “How are we going to plug the hole?” half the speech was on Obama’s plan to have us plugging in electric cars 20 years from now. Only the Deep Horizon well may still be leaking because if there’s a plan to cap it, Obama kept that secret.

Based on the Obama narrative, this should have been Barack’s big moment. A nation facing an unthinkable disaster, but led by America’s Greatest Speechmaker. Only instead of comforted and inspired, we were left annoyed and confused.

Annoyed because Obama didn’t answer the only question we cared about - Can we plug the damn hole? - and confused because he was talking about cap-and-trade even as liquid energy gushed across our TVs at the rate of 2.5 million gallons a day.

Here’s the deal: Nobody voted for Obama because he was ready for that 3 a.m. phone call from the Gulf - Persian or Mexico. And nobody voted for his policies, which are to the left of most Americans and remain unpopular.

The only legitimate reason for supporting Obama was because he’s a great speechmaker whose rhetoric could impact reality. Only he’s not and it can’t. Which helps explain Obama’s new record-low approval of 42 percent. Americans have figured it out and the Obots are out of excuses.

If the guy can’t talk, what’s the point?

It’s too early to declare the Obama presidency a failure. But it’s not too early to ask how, if this is the best he’s got, it can end up being anything else?

Posted by: bumblingberry | June 17, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

BARTON BP BOOSTERISM HANDS DEMS MID-TERM WIN?

Joe Barton, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Michael Bloomberg -- they've all defended BP, but none so extreme as Barton's political hari-kari this morning.

Don't underestimate the impact that Barton's "shakedown/slush fund" charge will have on rational American voters. If this keeps up, the Dems will not only retain control of Congress, but will grow their majority.

Extremism in the defense of multinational corporate negligence IS a vice -- and political suicide.

***

Gulf oil spill diverts attention from domestic atrocities against American citizens...

HOMELAND FUSION CENTERS SILENTLY ASSAULT, IMPAIR 'TARGETED' AMERICANS WITH CELL TOWER MICROWAVE RADIO FREQUENCY WEAPON SYSTEM, COMMUNITY VIGILANTISM, FINANCIAL SABOTAGE: VETERAN JOURNALIST

Are political leaders "targets" too -- a silent coup?

http://nowpublic.com/world/u-s-silently-tortures-americans-cell-tower-microwaves

IDEOLOGICAL CENSORSHIP OF THE NET: NOT FOR CHINA ONLY

http://nowpublic.com/world/u-s-govt-censors-net-political-speech-targeted-americans OR NowPublic.com/scrivener


Posted by: scrivener50 | June 17, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Did you see the rise in the BP share price in London after the $20 Billion fund wa announced? Guess they were expecting more?

Come 2012 an empty suit will seem like a welcome change from an oily suit..

Posted by: thecannula | June 17, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

CORRECTION: Once again, a smart piece totally messed up by the people who put together the Post's homepage. The headline for this on the homepage right now? "A run of Democratic retirements"

This is 100 percent totally wrong. This is the opposite of what this piece says, which is, the conventional wisdom said there would be a run of retirements, but it was wrong; there wasn't.

They are (once again...) taking a fresh, interesting blog post and forcibly turning it into dated conventional wisdom that is factually wrong. Please get them to correct this.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | June 17, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

@drindl: no further evidence (never say "proof") is needed. All you need is the 2004 election, the reelection of the buffoonish torturer in chief with his wars of choice.

But yeah, move over Rand Paul, Republicans have their noses even further up corporate butt than they have their feet in their own mouths, up to the thighs already. Something like 7/8 of Americans are personally distressed about the Gulf, and there's Republicans wringing their hands about "wealth redistribution."

Can't make this stuff up, but I'm sure the gracious host (in the parasitic sense of the word) is eating it up.

Posted by: Noacoler | June 17, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

The American people believe that Obama's platform in 2008 amounted to a massive FRAUD.


Instead of being bipartisan - which unfortunately I have to define - meaning compromising arriving at CENTRIST POLICIES.


CENTRIST POLICIES IS WHAT THE AMERICAN PUBLIC WAS VOTING FOR WHEN THEY VOTED FOR OBAMA - BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT OBAMA SAID OVER AND OVER AGAIN.


Instead of that - Obama went to jamming through a far left wing agenda.


THAT IS A FRAUD - and this FRAUD will be the major influence on this year's elections.


Obama promised one set of things, and delivered something far different.

The American People do not take well to that kind of politics - and they do not forget.

Obama is a LIAR.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | June 17, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Now this is more like it. If you get in trouble, just call berry personally. Mr transparancy will make sure you stay out of trouble, no matter what:

You may recall the case of the Inspector General for Americorps Gerald Walpin who was fired after demanding that Sacramento Mayor and Obama buddy Kevin Johnson be tried for spending Americorps funds totaling more than $800,000 for personal use. The local prosecutor failed to follow Walpin's advice and when the IG went to the parent board of Americorps asking them to intervene, he was fired by the White House - despite a law that prevented such action.

Posted by: bumblingberry | June 17, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

The Obama way:

A married, obese former president of a Port Authority union admitted yesterday in court to embezzling nearly $300,000 in member dues and using the cash for tawdry hook-ups with prostitutes, casino trips and lavish meals, sources told The Post. Daniel Hughes, 49, who resigned in disgrace from the local Field Supervisor Association, admitted to Judge Eric Vitaliano in Brooklyn federal court that he stole the cash from January 2005 to last December -- bankrupting the account for his 250 members.

amatuer. Obungler has spent over a trillion and half on his favorite pals. all while bungling foreign policy, energy, medical, military, auto, employment, banking, retirement, environment.........

It must be hard work being sooooo bad at so many things.

Posted by: bumblingberry | June 17, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

@bumblingberry: Last time the republicans had rein of the government we had the devastation of Katrina where thousands of people lost everything and lackluster Bush response. We had a war based on lies where thousands of Americans died because of Bushes lies. And the republicans we destroyed any surplus that was handed to him by Clinton. And lets not forget 9-11 that happened under the republicans watch.
See Bumblinberry if you are going to blame President obama for the oil spill than bush must be responsible for Katrina. And any argument that the GOP has about the war on terror, remember 9-11 happened under Bush. He didn't keep us save, 9-11 happened under his watch, remember that.

Posted by: Realistic5 | June 17, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

BP's stooges:


"Last night, the Republican Study Committee (RSC), the largest caucus of Republican House members, fired off a statement declaring that the $20 billion dollar negotiated by BP and the Obama administration for victims of the oil catastrophe in the gulf is a “Chicago-Style Political Shakedown.” Echoing this sentiment, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) told BP executives that he is “sorry” for Obama’s “shakedown” of their company.

This morning, ThinkProgress traveled to Capitol Hill to interview lawmakers about the escrow fund. Several members of Congress, like Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), agreed with the RSC’s criticism of the fund.

Even though Fleming’s home state of Louisiana has been devastated by BP’s spill, Fleming attacked the administration for not trusting BP and for daring to “take control of all the money from BP.” Asked about Barton’s apology to BP, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) said any lawmaker has a right to “do what they want”:

If these people get re-elected it will only once again prove the stupidity of repulican voters.

Posted by: drindl | June 17, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Chris


The logic of the alternative is compelling

The democrats would be FAR BETTER OFF WITH MORE OPEN SEATS.

In this environment, would the democrats be better off with a fresh face, or some Congressman who has been in Washington for 10 years ???


The incumbent may have more money, and have more name recognition - but the voters are looking to change the people in Washington.

So all these are good points.


The problem with the House is the gerrymandered districts - FOR TWO HUNDRED YEARS we have been told that because the House has two year terms, it is "CLOSER TO THE PEOPLE" and should turn over quickly due to the public mood.


And yet THAT IS NOT TRUE.

The gerrymandered districts have made it practically impossible for the voters to get rid of 80% of the House members - they are entrenched.

AND when those safe district seats become open, all too often, a party committee in a closed meeting selects the candidate of the majority party - and the voters and the primary election have virtually no effect on who the actual nominee is - and this happens usually only once every 14- 20 years in each gerrymandered district.

The House has evolved into a horrible system - complete against the intentions of the framers.


Computers have made the situation worse - allowing projections of population movements over the next 10 years - and allowing even more precise drawing of gerrymandered lines.

The money has a stragglehold on the system - which seeks to maximize the potential benefits of the gerrymandered system.

This year will be a rare year in which the voters can OVERCOME these constraints - which are undemocratic and harmful to our democracy.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | June 17, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

CHANGE! 53 Days Later Obama
Administration Decides to Accept
Dutch Offer to Help With Spill
Big Government, by Jim Hoft

Remember: The Gulf Oil Spill Is Like 9-11 Three days after the Gulf oil rig explosion, the Netherlands offered to send in oil skimmers to pump oil off of the surface of the ocean. The Obama Administration turned them down because they were not 100% efficient and small amounts of oil would be pumped back into the Gulf with the excess water. EPA regulations do not allow for residue water to contain any oil. So rather than use equipment that was not 100% efficient the Obama Administration chose to let all of the oil run into the Gulf

Posted by: bumblingberry | June 17, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

"Democrats appear to have dodged the doomsday scenario of retirements that looked like it might come to pass as late as this spring."

that was just an R wet dream.

Posted by: drindl | June 17, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Obama's future:

Bunkered in a gated community, away from friends and foes alike, John Edwards lives a lonely life. Diane Dimond on his personal angst, the dream home for sale—and his bar-hopping nights. John Edwards is a wanted man. Specifically, by the hapless legal courier who for the past few weeks has been trying to serve him with court papers to compel him to give a sworn deposition in the lawsuit his mistress, Rielle Hunter, filed against his former aide, Andrew Young.

Posted by: bumblingberry | June 17, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

'

Meanwhile, Joe Barton is busy groveling to BP -- how much further d'ya think his nose can go up there?

meanwhile 67% of americans say they want Obama to be even tougher on bP -- while Repulicans are falling all over themselves defending and groveling at BP.

Nice ad for the fall DEms -- intercut the Rs defending BP with dead bird, tar balls and unemployed fishermen.

.

Posted by: drindl | June 17, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

even though it's primarily due to his incompetentcy that is the reason for it.

==

ENGLISH, MOTHERF*CKER! DO YOU SPEAK IT!

Posted by: Noacoler | June 17, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

The twin terrors of liberal idiocy have again been unleashed. there must be a horrendous pent up supply of drool and sputter from drivl and Ped.

Be prepared. you have been warned.

Posted by: bumblingberry | June 17, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

The American people believe that Obama's platform in 2008 amounted to a massive FRAUD.


Instead of being bipartisan - which unfortunately I have to define - meaning compromising arriving at CENTRIST POLICIES.

CENTRIST POLICIES IS WHAT THE AMERICAN PUBLIC WAS VOTING FOR WHEN THEY VOTED FOR OBAMA - BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT OBAMA SAID OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

Instead of that - Obama went to jamming through a far left wing agenda.

THAT IS A FRAUD - that is what this year's elections will be based on.

The democrats somehow JUSTIFY THIS FRAUD TO THEMSELVES by complaining about Bush in Florida in 2000.

That explanation does nothing - it simply confirms the bad intentions of the democrats.


The democrats have dug a deep hole for themselves - one that it may take more than a generation to recover from.

The democrats have proven that they can not be trusted -

AND if you look at most of the deficit problem - it is filled with democratic programs which have never been paid for.

Instead, year after year, these democratic programs have BUILT UP THE NATIONAL DEBT


EVERY YEAR THE DEMOCRATIC PROGRAMS ADD TO THE NATIONAL DEBT.

This central reality - the numbers - the democrats do NOT want to talk about.


Just as during the health care debate - few democrats wanted to TALK ABOUT THE NUMBERS.


IRRESPONSIBLE SPENDING - THAT IS ALL THE DEMOCRATS ARE ABOUT.

YOU DEMOCRATS PAY THE DEFICIT OFF - YOU PAY THE NATIONAL DEBT.


AND LEAVE EVERYONE ELSE ALONE.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | June 17, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Notice. It's been 58 days now since the BP oil spill and the Main Stream Media is still giving Barack Obama a free ride, even though it's primarily due to his incompetentcy that is the reason for it. They'd have crucified G.W. Bush for it inside a week. Impeach this ahole!

Posted by: armpeg | June 17, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, Joe Barton is busy groveling to BP -- how much further d'ya think his nose can go up there?

Posted by: drindl | June 17, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Last time Republicans had the reins.....

-- everyone had a job, a house, a retirement fund, a car, a safe country, clean beaches, competent government....

Nope, wouldn't want THAT again.

Posted by: bumblingberry | June 17, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

That doesn't mean a Republican majority is an impossibility, however.

==

Be careful what you wish for. Last time Republicans had the reins they almost burned down the store.

Why the hell would anyone want them back? Especially showing the depravity they are apologizing to BP.

Posted by: Noacoler | June 17, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget Rahmbo's free house, let to him from BP.

Posted by: bumblingberry | June 17, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

The NY Times lists the House members asking questions of Hayward along with their Oil Company Support- They leave out the most important contribution! Wonder why?
(did YOU know this????)

Politico
Obama biggest recipient of BP cash
By ERIKA LOVLEY | 5/5/10 5:05 AM EDT

"During his time in the Senate and while running for president, Obama received a total of $77,051 from the oil giant and is the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money over the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records.

Posted by: thecannula | June 17, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

It's OK. If they don't quit, there is another plan in place to remove them. It's called Present ident Obungler.

Posted by: bumblingberry | June 17, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

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