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Morning Fix: Obama's Aggressive Recruiting



President Obama, shown here with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.), has been active in recruiting candidates for 2010 races. Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Bloomberg News

President Obama was elected as a post-partisan figure of sorts but in his first six months in office, he and his political inner circle have taken an aggressive stance toward recruiting their preferred candidates in Senate races.

To wit:

Obama met with North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper (D) in an attempt to convince him into the race against Sen. Richard Burr (R) in 2010. Cooper ultimately passed on the race as have several other leading Democrats.

• Obama personally calls Rep. Steve Israel (D) to ask him to stand down from his planned primary challenge to appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) in 2010. Israel complied but Rep. Carolyn Maloney has filled the void and is plotting a race against Gillibrand.

• Obama along with White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett sat down with Illinois state Attorney General Lisa Madigan to talk about the possibility of her running for the Senate in 2010. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs called Madigan a "terrific" candidate but said the president was not seeking to pick the candidate for Senate in Illinois.

The Obama White House has done much to downplay the rawly political elements of the president's daily activities as they run counter to his post-partisan branding. In fact, there was a legitimate debate in the weeks after Obama was elected about whether he would have a political affairs department within the White House. (He does.)

Given that Obama's two top aides -- Emanuel and senior adviser David Axelrod -- both come from decidedly political backgrounds (Emanuel ran the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2006 election while Axelrod served as a media consultant for decades before joining the White House), it's not hard to see how political machinations make their way inside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

While the White House has been aggressive in its candidate recruitment, many Democrats insist that the level of politics practiced in the White House is nowhere near that of the Bush administration under political guru Karl Rove.

Under the guidance of Rove, the Bush White House played a heavy role in various races around the country -- most famously in Minnesota where then Vice President Dick Cheney called then state Sen. Tim Pawlenty (R) moments before he was to announce for the Senate and asked Tpaw to take a back seat to former St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman. (Things worked out nicely for Pawlenty; he went on to win two terms as Minnesota's governor and is now considered a potential 2012 presidential candidate.)

The simple truth is that all -- we repeat, all -- White Houses involve themselves in politics. Presidents are at the top of their party and see it as part of their mission to build up its strength at the lower levels. (Who could forget President Bush's desire to avoid a "lonely victory" in 2004.)

Obama, like every president who has ever sat in the Oval Office, is using the power of his position to benefit his party.

Friday Fix Picks: Why isn't "Ed" out on DVD?

1. The outline of a health care plan emerges.
2. Congressional Democrats move forward on transportation bill against White House wishes.
3. Sec of State Clinton falls, fractures elbow.
4. New York state Senate impasse continues.
5. Arlington. For real.

And, now for the all polls edition of the Morning Fix. . .

Deeds, McDonnell in Dead Heat: State Sen. Creigh Deeds (D) and former state attorney general Bob McDonnell (R) are running even in new polling commissioned by the liberal blog Daily Kos and conducted by Research 2000. McDonnell takes 45 percent of the vote to 44 percent for Deeds, a marked improvement from a June 1-3 Research 2000 survey that showed McDonnell leading the Democrat by 12 points. Deeds' stunning victory in the June 9 Democratic primary -- and the positive press surrounding it -- has clearly helped raise his profile statewide and pulled him into a dead heat with McDonnell. The negativity of the primary has impacted Deeds a bit, however, as he carries a decent but not overwhelming 47 percent favorable/35 percent unfavorable score in the poll. McDonnell, who avoided a primary, has stronger fav/unfav ratings -- 55/36.

DGA Polls Shows Denish Strong in NM: Lt. Gov. Diane Denish is crushing her two potential Republican rivals in hypothetical 2010 gubernatorial matchups, according to polling released by the Democratic Governors Association. Denish beats former Reps. Heather Wilson (R) and Steve Pearce (R) by identical 57 percent to 35 percent margins. The survey was conducted by Harstad Strategic Research and was in the field earlier this month. "Diane Denish starts off this gubernatorial race with a lot of goodwill among New Mexicans, and she is in a heavily favored position against either one of the well-known Republicans" in 2010, writes Harstad. It's not clear whether Wilson or Pearce will actually make the governor's race. Pearce is being heavily courted by House Republicans for a re-run in the 2nd district he held from 2002 until 2008. Wilson and Pearce faced off in a 2008 Senate primary, which Pearce won only to lose badly to Sen. Tom Udall (D) in the general election.

Click It!: The Post's Lois Romano sat down with White House communications director Anita Dunn earlier this week as part of her "Voices of Power" series. Well worth the click.

Is Burr Worried?: North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr (R) released bits and pieces of an internal campaign poll on Thusday aimed at beating back the idea that he is deeply vulnerable to a Democratic challenge in 2010. The numbers, which were first reported by Roll Call newspaper, seem to suggest that Tarheel State voters favor the idea of electing GOP representatives to serve as a check against the Democratic administration but the lack of actual data (or, heaven forfend, the actual questionnaire) make any deep analysis of Burr's numbers nearly impossible. Democrats have struggled to find a top tier candidate in the race but are buoyed by the 2008 race when after watching a number of recruits pass on the contest, state Sen. Kay Hagan (D) ran and soundly beat then Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R). Where does Burr wind up on the latest Fix Friday Senate Line? Make sure to check this space later today.

Hawaii Numbers!: The home state of President Obama looks like a solid bet to return its governorship to Democratic control after eight years of Republican rule under Gov. Linda Lingle. New data from Research 2000 commissioned by the liberal Daily Kos blog, shows Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D) and Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann (D) leading Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona (R). Abercrombie leads Aiona by nine points while Hannemann holds a 10 point lead over the Republican. Abercrombie, who has held the state's 1st district since 1990, is the best known of the three candidate with only 12 percent of voters not able to offer an opinion about him. Despite spending the last seven years as lieutenant governor and sporting a terrific mustache, three in ten Hawaii voters don't know enough about Aiona to offer an opinion on him.

Say What?: "We've seen what hard-line rhetoric has gotten us over the last eight years." -- Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry (D) decries calls for stronger rhetoric toward Iran during an interview with "Hardball" host Chris Matthews.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 19, 2009; 5:20 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Next: Mouthpiece Theater: Lord of the Flies

Comments

Nodebris, thank you for the time and effort you put into a clear response. I now understand the "TSA" reference, and I had not thought of the abolition of that private sector niche until "mnteng" posted that is what you probably were referring to.

I had hoped that RTC would be the model for the TARP instead of our reinventing the wheel, btw.

I also mean no insult by the word "partisan".

I do understand that the distinction I drew between "receivership" and "stockholding ownership" is sometimes ephemeral in practice, and in the short term. But I do take it, as you noted, to be a "bright line" difference because of the long term essence - there are no long term receiverships, as a matter of course and planning.

In any case, I was, as I wrote bsimon1, explaining vbhoomes' sense of "no bipartisanship", not my own. I think the Prez has made, and will continue to make, efforts at cordiality and bipartisanship wherever he can and I favor that. It was not the pattern of the previous president, as I recall. I anticipate occasional cooperation, and hope for it on FP-NatSec.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 20, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

mark in austin,

Sorry for the late response; lots of work today.

And first off, you're a smart guy and I contradict you with trepidation. But I disagree with you.

Yes, TSA, I was referring to the fact that a Republican administration, in the face of a perceived national crisis, essentially destroyed an industry and took tens of thousands of airline security jobs out of the hands of private industry and turned them into government jobs. No debate about it. That's the reference to TSA.

And with the Resolution Trust Company, again in the face of a perceived national crisis, a Republican administration took control of essentially an entire industry. It could of left it to the courts. It did not. The government took receivership, meaning the government had all the powers of ownership for as long as it cared to wield them.

Now, it seems you find some bright line is crossed when the government temporarily takes control of shares of stocks, instead of replacing an industry with a government agency or merely taking entire control of the industry under the vehicle of receivership. To me, it's six of one; just a "partisan" appeal to buzz words like "socialism" and "nationalization" instead of attention to the basic fact that the government will intervene seriously in the economy, using any means available, whenever it perceives a serious national threat. I won't even mention Lincoln.

To me, "partisan" means emphasizing party over national interest. I think it is merely polemical to call nationalizing GM "partisan" when no respectable Democrat has ever called for nationalizing the auto or any other industry and it is blatantly not in the party's interest to do so; just as it would be merely polemical to accuse Bush of being "partisan" for his initial bailout of the financial industry, or for essentially nationalizing the airport screening industry.

Basically, I think you broaden the meaning of "partisan" into incoherence, into a fuzzy something or other that you just don't like.

Cheers.

Posted by: nodebris | June 20, 2009 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Cfox - pardon me for posting on the run. I'll let you return to your war against JakeD and KoZ. Hope it gives you some entertainment.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | June 20, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

rawreid, do not mistake me for a cynic about the "deal". I was describing what Rs object to: actual government ownership of the voting shares of the company.

I am merely a skeptic. If the car companies rebound, the government can sell its positions and we, the tapayers, will be largely repaid. If not, we will be stuck as owners of failing companies, to be run by Congress for political considerations, as potential black holes for new taxpayer investments to avoid each "crisis".

I hope the companies rebound. I fear they will not.

One alternative would have been for the USA to have positioned itself as a preferred creditor rather than a common stockholder. Then, in the worst case scenario, the government could have forced the liquidation of the companies if they fail. Another would have been Shelby's preference, which was not Paulsen's.

Again, I was only describing the R position against placing the USA as a common stockholder of controlling shares in a publicly traded corporation.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 20, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Austin Mark

Wasn’t it the Bush admin that first proposed a bailout of the auto companies. They were going to give them money with no strings attached like they did a couple of investment companies and a few months later nobody could say where the money went. The Obama admin has told the auto co’s that they have to make a deal. You get money and the Am people will own a part of your company until you can pay the money back with interest. Now which seems the better deal?

Posted by: rawreid | June 19, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Actually, scrivener, it's sarcasm and ridicule. Get your adjectives straight.

==

Those are nouns

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 19, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

But they could have left the singing of "the road goes ever on and on" out of the movie.

At least they left out Tom Bombadil.

(*shudder*)

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 19, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

@JakeD - I've a slightly different quotation that I prefer:

"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."

Of course, attributed to the immortal J. R. R. Tolkien.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | June 19, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Posted by scrivener: "The stench of paid blog-mobber desperation and incompetence: Resorting to the "take your meds" libel."

Actually, scrivener, it's sarcasm and ridicule. Get your adjectives straight.

Sincerely,

Your friendly, neighborhood, paid disinformation agent.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | June 19, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Back on topic: Obama Job Approval Slips to 58% for First Time; Lowest reading for Obama thus far in Gallup Poll

PRINCETON, NJ -- Barack Obama's job approval rating fell to 58% in Gallup Poll Daily tracking from June 16-18 -- a new low for Obama in Gallup tracking, although not dissimilar to the 59% he has received on four other occasions.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/121028/Obama-Job-Approval-Slips-58-First-Time.aspx

Posted by: JakeD | June 19, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Because it's fun just to see you invent new ways to "ignore" me and try to get others to do the same.

Posted by: JakeD | June 19, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

yeah Jake it's all about you. Why don't you just shut up and go away.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 19, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

So, now you are "ignoring" me in different language(s)?

Posted by: JakeD | June 19, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Cứ làm thinh, thằng nhốc.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 19, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I have never said that Muslim terrorists, the Third Reich, and abortionists are/were all "left wing." I do believe that "scrivener50" is sane though : )

Posted by: JakeD | June 19, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Better check your translator. The quote is "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" or, more literally, "Thousand mile journey begins under one's feet". And the quote is from Lao Tzu.

==

Save your breath. You're trying to educate a guy who thinks that Muslim terrorists, the Third Reich, and abortionists are/were all "left wing."

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 19, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

The stench of paid blog-mobber desperation and incompetence: Resorting to the "take your meds" libel.

==

Stop whining and get back on them. There is not one person posting here who believes you to be sane.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 19, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin:
I think nodebris' TSA reference may have something to do with the government take-over of a function previously performed by the private sector (contractors). Maybe?

JakeD:
Better check your translator. The quote is "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" or, more literally, "Thousand mile journey begins under one's feet". And the quote is from Lao Tzu.

Posted by: mnteng | June 19, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Once again, Jaked presents his credentials as a wingut crankcase and a birther. Not to mention a racist.

==

So ignore him like everyone else does.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 19, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Lest someone claim plagiarism, I will attribute that quote to Confucius (translator, unknown ; )

Posted by: JakeD | June 19, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

T-Prop:

"Every grand journey begins with one small step."

Posted by: JakeD | June 19, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Want y'all to know, your posting is definitely making a huge and critical difference. Massive effect and impact.

;-)

.

Posted by: T-Prop | June 19, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin:

As a student of history, will YOU at least agree that not EVERY President used the power of his position to benefit his party? The two-party system has to change in this country.

Posted by: JakeD | June 19, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | June 19, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

nodebris wrote:

"Besides, have you ever heard of the Resolution Trust Corporation or the Transportation Security Administration?"

Yes. RTC was the construct that performed the preexisting receivership function for FSLIC/FDIC in the thrift crash in the southwest, 1987-1992. I represented clients who purchased assets from RTC. It was not the federal government acting as owner, but as receiver.

TSA is the office in DHLS that regulates airport security. The analogy to a structured, mainly by the government, Ch 11 for a car company, resulting in public ownership of common stock, eludes me.

I concede my limited vision and ask for enlightenment.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 19, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Independent4tw:

I never met Gen. Washington either, so he didn't "exist"?

Posted by: JakeD | June 19, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Cilizza can't seem to have an original thought, only seems to be able to parrot the rightwing MSM memes:

"President Obama was elected as a post-partisan figure of sorts but in his first six months in office, he and his political inner circle have taken an aggressive stance toward recruiting their preferred candidates in Senate races."

Notice how this is exactly the same meme, the same framing as every rightwing poster on this board or any other. "He promised to be non-partisan, but he's acting like a Democrat.

Yet he has appointed more people of the opposition party than probably any modern president.

What the rightwing means by 'bipartiship' is exactly what grover norquist calls it -- date rape, or bend over and do things our way.

Posted by: drindl | June 19, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Once again, Jaked presents his credentials as a wingut crankcase and a birther. Not to mention a racist.

No credibility whatsoever.

Posted by: drindl | June 19, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

PatrickNYC1:

Thank you.

katem1:

No, I am a Christian first, then an American. I am also registered Independent, not Republican. Next question.

Posted by: JakeD | June 19, 2009 11:11 AM
----------------------
That is a shame that you put someone who you never met, know nothing about, and assume to exist above the people you see everyday around you.

Posted by: Independent4tw | June 19, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Chris:

"Obama, like every other president ..."

1) President Washington hated political parties.

2) if Obama is not a "natural born" citizen, then he is not even legally President of the United States.

Posted by: JakeD | June 19, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

and more:

"An investigation by the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations showed that health insurers WellPoint Inc., UnitedHealth Group and Assurant Inc. canceled the coverage of more than 20,000 people, allowing the companies to avoid paying more than $300 million in medical claims over a five-year period.

It also found that policyholders with breast cancer, lymphoma and more than 1,000 other conditions were targeted for rescission and that employees were praised in performance reviews for terminating the policies of customers with expensive illnesses."

Sure you can have health care coverage -- just don't dare get sick!

Posted by: drindl | June 19, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

These are the people republicans want to continue to let run our healthcare system -- people who are happy to take your insurance payment -- until you get sick:

"Executives of three of the nation's largest health insurers told federal lawmakers in Washington on Tuesday that they would continue canceling medical coverage for some sick policyholders, despite withering criticism from members of Congress who decried the practice as unfair and abusive.

The hearing on the controversial action known as rescission, which has left thousands of Americans burdened with costly medical bills despite paying insurance premiums, began a day after President Obama outlined his proposals for revamping the nation's healthcare system."

Posted by: drindl | June 19, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

"It is on FP-NatSec that I want the parties to drop the pretense that their differences outweigh the national interest."

The two parties are probably pretty close to each other on foreign policy anyways. Obama sure spent a lot of time agreeing with McCain on foregin policy issues during that portion of the debate (except on Iraq)

Perhaps the most telling is that ddawd is finding Obama the most infuriating on his foreign policy, but I'm loving what he is doing domestically.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 19, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Here is Howard Berman, CA phone numbers:


(202) 225-4695
(818) 994-7200

Call him and tell him how dare he team up with Mike Pence, one of the biggest rightwing as*holes in Congress, to pass a bill to embarass Obama and interfere in Iran. What a jerk.

Posted by: drindl | June 19, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

PatrickNYC1:

Thank you.

katem1:

No, I am a Christian first, then an American. I am also registered Independent, not Republican. Next question.

Posted by: JakeD | June 19, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

More demagoguery and stupidity. the best way to kill the nascent iranian democracy movement is for America to embrace it. But you know, maybe that's really what the republicans want to do, because they really do want a war with Iran. What else could be the reason that they would want to poison Iranian democracy with the taint of American approval?

"Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) and Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) introduced a non-binding resolution yesterday “condemning the crackdown on pro-democracy activists in Iran.” Roll Call reports that it was “cleared for a Friday floor vote.” Pence, in recent days, has been all over cable news channels talking up his resolution, repeatedly insisting that it was motivated out a sense of loyalty to the “American cause of freedom.”

While the text of his resolution appears to offer unobjectionable support for Iranian freedoms, Pence is using bipartisan support of the resolution to criticize the Obama administration’s response to Iran.

On Fox News this morning, Pence repeated the pitch he’s made again and again on cable news in recent days: “We’ve yet to hear the President express the unqualified support of the American people for the people who are bravely going to the streets in Iran.” But despite his very public campaign for Obama to make such a statement, Pence admitted that he hadn’t actually talked to the President about how to best support the people of Iran:

PENCE: I haven’t talked to the President about it this week, but I do want to say that I think it’s a false choice to say that you can be either about engagement and or speak the ideals of the American people and our historic commitment to freedom. I think you can do both."


Posted by: drindl | June 19, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

"vbhoomes, are you taking his assertive positioning of expanded publicly subsidized health care and the taxpayer ownership of the two car companies post-bankruptcy and the associated mandates as the evidence of "most partisan?""

I think he's just fantasizing about being Rush Limbaugh again.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 19, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

'From the time he took the Convention floor in 2004 until today, no person has recieved more favorable press than this man."

Oh right, you must mean the solid 6 months of around the clock reportage on his minister.


Posted by: drindl | June 19, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

"Geez, I feel like I am being ganged up here."

Support your transparently polemical assertions with credible evidence and that feeling may diminish somewhat.

Posted by: nodebris | June 19, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

"scrivener -- take your meds, for godsake."

Posted by: drindl | June 19, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse


The stench of paid blog-mobber desperation and incompetence: Resorting to the "take your meds" libel.

Where is the security/military/intel IG report on violations of federal anti-propaganda laws by agents and operatives of these agencies?

And when will mainstream media realize their online product apparently is being subverted, enabling paid operatives to publicly libel private citizens and waste taxpayer dollars?

http://nowpublic.com/world/govt-fusion-center-spying-pretext-harass-and-censor

OR (if link is blog-mobbed):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | June 19, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

mark_n_austin wrote: "I think you will agree with me that no R would support a planned reorganization of the auto industry that put it even temporarily in government hands."

Over the last years, there were a lot of things I thought no R would ever support that nonetheless they did indeed support. So I think your argument assumes facts not in evidence.

Besides, have you ever heard of the Resolution Trust Corporation or the Transportation Security Administration?

Posted by: nodebris | June 19, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

vbhoomes wrote: "he's been the most partisan President in my lifetime"

You're only five months old, eh?

Posted by: nodebris | June 19, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Pawlenty was a state rep., not senator

Posted by: pjdemko | June 19, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I asked my police officer brother-in-law about an "underground rumor" I heard about cops using "SILENT, INJURY- AND ILLNESS-INDUCING 'DIRECTED ENERGY' MICROWAVE RADIATION WEAPONS". I pointed out that to my knowledge he hasn't tortured me with such a device, but I wanted to make sure he wasn't waiting in the wings to blast me the next time I beat him in an aggressive game of Crazy 8's.

My brother-in-law seemed very surprised by my question as he immediately got a wild eyed look, darted his head around to make sure no one was listening, then leaned in close and said "How did you learn this? My God, you've got to keep this to yourself. But listen, your information is slightly skewed -- our weapons actually use electrical pulses, not microwave radiation. We call them TASER C2's. And you better let me win next time."

Posted by: jrosco3 | June 19, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

'http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=obama+thin+skinned&aq=3&oq=obama+thin&aqi=g10

'obama thin skinned' all over the wingnut whackjob media.

teh google records 194,000 hits

Posted by: drindl | June 19, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to Mark_in _Austin for reminding tunnel vision me how many troops we have in harm's way near Iran. I've been so caught up in the drama within Iran.

Posted by: newageblues | June 19, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Last post this morning, I promise. Bsimon1, put on Sen. Shelby's glasses about the auto industry for a minute. To Shelby, an unplanned, unassisted Ch. 11 for Chrysler meant that the pieces of it that worked would be bought cheap by private concerns, the most lucrative dealerships, only, would survive, the productive capacity of the American industry halved to meet fallen demand, and the rehired workers would have to organize from scratch, if they were going to organize, at all. His only actual blind spot was the effect on the PBG Trust, whereby all those unemployed workers would be guaranteed their pensions by the rest of us as taxpayers based on long time existing law. He may have thought that was cheaper and inevitably better than what we have. Any D who thought Shelby was reasonable [and there were some] would have to face up to the unions at election day next.

That is a partisan context, not one that can be avoided, not an unhealthy divide, and just part of American politics.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 19, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

@Nguyen - Read a little. The reason Cali is in trouble is that its revenue sources are based heavily on income and sales tax. Thank Prop 13 for that. Property taxes are more stable with time, but capped. So, Cali's state income is inherently volatile, a recipe for disaster.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | June 19, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin writes
"I was trying to get the drift of bhoomes' post and I think you will agree with me that no R would support a planned reorganization of the auto industry that put it even temporarily in government hands. Thus the Admin's resolution of that crisis is "partisan" - only a D Admin with a D Congress would have ever thought to do it.

We would have thought no R would have supported Paulsen's TARP, but since they did, Geithner and Summers cannot be seen in that light as very partisan."


It does depend on what one means by 'partisan'.

While it is likely true that "no R would support a planned reorganization of the auto industry that put it even temporarily in government hands," it is also true that the prior admin loaned billions to GM & Chrysler, which a year or two ago would have been unthinkable, for Repubs anyway. I don't see how Dems would necessarily be clamoring for such solutions either, at best perhaps less unwilling to use the gov't to bailout big business.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 19, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

One more clarification of what I think, if anyone cares: on domestic issues, partisan should be expected and is not a bad thing, especially if it civil and open. It is on FP-NatSec that I want the parties to drop the pretense that their differences outweigh the national interest.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 19, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

"I may have overstated the point I was trying to make, but this President is extremely thin skinned when it comes to critizism"

I noticed zouk used the 'thin skinned' line the other day too. What is this based on?

Thin skinned means, to me, someone who is overly sensitive to criticism. Is that what you mean? How has the President demonstrated this characteristic?

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 19, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

And I might add that I do not imagine WJC-Rubin would have thought up the taxpayers owning GM, either.

I am not criticizing or supporting the result - b/c it will be good if the economy turns up and we can sell the damned stock and get payback and a disaster otherwise - I am pointing up the way in which that decision was VERY one-party and from the left of that one party to boot.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 19, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

"Geez, I feel like I am being ganged up here."

So...you don't have any sources and you were just making up the "Limbaugh" comment much like you were making up the ACORN "systemic voter fraud" thing, then? Is this what you're saying.

You're not really a big fan of intellectual honesty, are you, hoomes?

Posted by: VTDuffman | June 19, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

bsimon - If I take your definition of "partisan" I follow to your conclusion.

I was trying to get the drift of bhoomes' post and I think you will agree with me that no R would support a planned reorganization of the auto industry that put it even temporarily in government hands. Thus the Admin's resolution of that crisis is "partisan" - only a D Admin with a D Congress would have ever thought to do it.

We would have thought no R would have supported Paulsen's TARP, but since they did, Geithner and Summers cannot be seen in that light as very partisan.

There has never been an R "health" plan that did not rely on the good faith, such as it may be, of for profit insurers for health care so the Ds' proposals began as partisan. Ds have drifted now to "bipartisan", as the insurance industry is the richest and most dominant in the world and will own Ds as well as Rs if it so chooses.

My point, however, was that I do not think that there is any way the Admin's exercise of FP-NatSec can be thought of as partisan.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 19, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Geez, I feel like I am being ganged up here. I guess the liberals own the blogospere the way conservatives own talk radio. I may have overstated the point I was trying to make, but this President is extremely thin skinned when it comes to critizism. From the time he took the Convention floor in 2004 until today, no person has recieved more favorable press than this man. What happens when one of his media lackeys turn on him. Will he boycott them the way he boycott Fox news. He will not give Fox News any interviews even though the reach more people than CNN and MSNBC combined. It that not extreme partisanship? He is the President of all of us not just the dems. Yet he shows no interest in putting himself in venues that would likely be a lot tougher than Olberman. What a coward.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 19, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

scrivener -- take your meds, for godsake.

Posted by: drindl | June 19, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

"All this BS about reaching out to "former rivals" would make Lincoln turn in his grave."

More delusional nonsense. How is appointing your chief primary opponent as SOS some kind of 'bs'? Another Dem rival is his VP. His GOP rival was involved in cost cutting decisions at DOD. Certainly McCain has been a vociferous opponent of the stimulus spending, but that doesn't bother me so much, as McCain was never very reassuring with his knowledge about the economy.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 19, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Yes, where is all the proof you were going to cite for us, bhoomes, about voter fraud? I haven't seen any evidence -- just more lies, unsourced lies, and damned lies.

Posted by: drindl | June 19, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Memo to Attorney General Eric Holder (c.c., Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, Jay Carney):

D.O.J. MUST REVERSE ITS ADVOCACY AND FUNDING OF SILENT, INJURY- AND ILLNESS-INDUCING 'DIRECTED ENERGY' MICROWAVE RADIATION WEAPONS' FOR DEPLOYMENT TO LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT.

MICROWAVE RADIATION WEAPONS ARE BEING MISUSED -- TO TORTURE AND DEGRADE THE LIVES OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF AMERICANS UNJUSTLY AND UNCONSTITUTIONALLY 'TARGETED' BY THE BUSH-ERA 'EXTRAJUDICIAL PUNISHMENT MATRIX.'

The Bush-Cheney multi-agency extrajudicial targeting and punishment vigilante network and its related unconstitutional array of "programs of personal destruction" remain in place under a misinformed or naive Obama administration.

President Obama may not even be aware of some of the deeply entrenched "black ops" that make a mockery of the rule of law and threaten his presidency:

• The "multi-agency action" nationwide army of "community stalking" citizen vigilantes hiding behind federally-funded volunteer organizations such as Infragard , Citizen Corps, and USA on Watch, terrorizing unjustly targeted Americans via covertly implanted GPS tracking devices;

• Deployment of silent, injury- and illness-inducing radiation weaponry to police departments nationwide;

• Multi-agency unconstitutional programs -- ranging from pervasive spying to a parallel system of transaction processing that amounts to fascistic theft by deception -- must be taken down.

Immediately. Before more damage is done.

Before yet another "generated crisis" claims the renewed American spirit and again plunges the nation into despair and submission to "the dark side."

The security/military/intel agencies of government that are covertly commandeering this devolution of American democracy must be reined in and reformed, top to bottom, never again to subvert the rule of law.

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR

http://My.NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | June 19, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin writes
"are you taking his assertive positioning of expanded publicly subsidized health care and the taxpayer ownership of the two car companies post-bankruptcy and the associated mandates as the evidence of "most partisan?" I think I agree with you on these measures."

How is that partisan? Partisan is scheduling a war funding vote right before the election so you can beat Reps who vote against it over the head with their vote by drumming up hysteria among the electorate. President Bush, so far as I recall, had no qualms about criticizing "the Democrat Party" as a roadblock to his adminisrtation. Compare that to President Obama, who immediately upon election went to Congress in order to pass stimulus legislation. I recall the WH trying to work with the GOP in Congress to get bipartisan support for that bill. That House GOP leadership whipped their caucus into line to vote against it does not make the President partisan.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 19, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

"This guy is truly starting to scare me. I hope we don't end up like Venzuala, a left President who stole their democracy. "

i give up on you bhoomes. i thought you had a brain, but I can see that you're just another rightwing crankcase.

And equating a rabid fascist drug addict with the New York Times -- batsh*t crazy.

Posted by: drindl | June 19, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

vbhoomes and jaked: nothing new in your posts, same old same old. More Obama bashing, and more optimism about 2010 elections. Fine, but your self rightous moralistic bleating is getting old, and it sure would be nice to have something new to read from you. No matter what he does or says you slam him. Which makes your postings all the more unrealistic; nobody does everything right or wrong all of the time and it is immature and unrealistic to confer that upon the President. Pres. Bush wasn't always wrong, and I think he did things with good intentions, however poorly executed. I think you both seem like intelligent people, so why you would say that Prez. Obama is the most partisan pres. in history is beyond me, when there is ample evidence to the contrary. The fact that Bush had a priveledged upbringing limited his world view and intelectual curiosity and questioning of motives of those close to him. By his second term I think Bush had figured out to not always allow Cheney free rein, probably brought on by the whole ugly Plame incident. But your constant posts about President Obama have no give or take, they slam and insult and get personal, which does not further civil discourse. C'mon, do you really live your lives with such rigid thinking? There is no room for compromise or leeway? Everything is absolute? You accept blindly what your political side says without question? Naaaw, you both seem too inteligent for that. Each side has good and bad, that's why independent voters are so plentiful now, they try and find the best of both parties, you know, somewhere in the center.
As far as partisanship goes, back in Dec./04, a couple of GOP Congressmen were on CNN complaining about how the Bush WH treats them, if they would get a reply to an issue at all it would be weeks later, and usually by some low level staffer. They said with the Clinton WH, they would usually get a response within a couple of days and sometimes the call would come from Clinton himself. This definitely points to the bubble that Bush was put in, and also to his background which wasn't used to dealing with those lower on the scale than him. He's not a snob, he tries very hard to be affable and likable, but just that lack of life experiences that show this way.
When you cheer your Olympic atheletes, do you only cheer for the ones you think or know are Republican? Or when a soldeirs death is mourned is it noted whether he is a Dem or Rep? Are you an American first, or a Republican first?

Posted by: katem1 | June 19, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

"the 1st thing he said if you want to do busines with me you better not be listening to Rush Limbaugh"

You'll have to remind me what office Rush holds.

Also please cite the article where the NYT hoped President Bush would fail.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 19, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse


Yea, doing the primaries he sold himself as a post-partisanship politician but immediately upon taking office, he's been the most partisan President in my lifetime. Don't worry Mr. Obama, we won't forget you lied to us, your party will pay heavily next year.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 19, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

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

It is difficult, in the sterile environment of mere words on a page, to tell when someone is serious or being sarcastic.

My first guess about the post I quote, above, is that the writer is a Democratic operative who is posting obviously ignorant tripe in order to make Republicans look stupid. What tactics!

Ignore him.

Posted by: Hawaiiexpat | June 19, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

"Yes, Mark_in_Austin, also when he first took office, the 1st thing he said if you want to do busines with me you better not be listening to Rush Limbaugh,"

What's your source for this? I'd love to take a look at it. I can only hope it's not in the same place as all of your sources about the ACORN "systemic voter fraud."

Posted by: VTDuffman | June 19, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

vbhoomes writes
"immediately upon taking office, he's been the most partisan President in my lifetime."


Utterly delusional.


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 19, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Mark_in_Austin, also when he first took office, the 1st thing he said if you want to do busines with me you better not be listening to Rush Limbaugh, can imagine the outcry from the MSM if Bush had said you want to do business with me you better not be reading the NY Times. This guy is truly starting to scare me. I hope we don't end up like Venzuala, a left President who stole their democracy. The media is suppose to be our watchdog no matter what party is in office, instead the MSM has abrogated all responsibility and is actively the mouthpiece (see ABC News) for this administration.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 19, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

vbhoomes. what a load of crap. Obama has reached out to republicans only to be kicked in the teeth with their rabid and vicious and relentless partisanship, their obstruction for the sake of it and their sincere desire to see this country destroyed for their political gain.

I will work even harder to defeat them in the next electiion. All I have to do is look at the ruins of the financial market to see what destruction they are capable of.

If they had their wish, we'd be in WW3 right now.

Posted by: drindl | June 19, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

"BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA WANTS TO TURN AMERICA INTO ANOTHER BANKRUPT SOCIOLIST CALIFORNIA!!!"

This kind of post always reminds me of those ragged, filthy, wild-eyed homeless people I see sometimes in NYC, wandering the streets muttering about how the government is listening in on their thoughts through the fillings in their teeth.

Posted by: drindl | June 19, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

The WaPo, like all the other MSM, continues its relentless march to the right:

"In the end, Donald Graham and Fred Hiatt are moving the Post hard right. Their support for war was not just a kiss up to power, but a real commitment to the neo-con way of looking at the world."

Gawker: "The Washington Post, which pays money to opinion writers such as Bill Kristol (smarmy) and Richard Cohen (smarmier), has fired blogger Dan Froomkin, one of the only WaPo opinion writers who pointed out that the Bush White House was crooked."

The snark kings at Wonkette protested as well: "Everyone give it up for your capital city’s hometown newspaper, the very liberal Washington Post, which has abruptly fired its only liberal pundit, Dan Froomkin, who in past years did more than the rest of the Post op-ed staff combined to show how our beloved leaders George W. Bush and Richard 'Dick' Cheney were careless law-breaking criminals from Hell."

Posted by: drindl | June 19, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Though I wanted Hillary I voted for Obama, I even believed his talk about hope and change. I have never been so disappointed in a fraud like him. He will never get my vote or respect again.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | June 19, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

vbhoomes, are you taking his assertive positioning of expanded publicly subsidized health care and the taxpayer ownership of the two car companies post-bankruptcy and the associated mandates as the evidence of "most partisan?" I think I agree with you on these measures.

I think the Geithner-Summers financial regulatory scheme and bail-outs are only somewhat partisan - Paulsen started it.

I think the FP-NatSec has been the closest to non-partisan or bipartisan since Bush 41. On that front, to me, keeping our powder dry on Iran is a real easy call while we have troops in the nations on both its borders in active combat. Did you know that there are 8m paramilitary armed Iranians? Your guy WMR and my McC are both acting like Iran is in a vacuum, that our guys in Iraq and Afghanistan on Iran's borders are not engaged in peacekeeping, when they call for us to give a public yell out to Iran.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 19, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Can anyone tell me what a SOCIOLIST is?

Posted by: DC2Amsterdam | June 19, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA WANTS TO TURN AMERICA INTO ANOTHER BANKRUPT SOCIOLIST CALIFORNIA!!!

No surprise that California, one of the richest but also most liberal state, especially in fiscal term, is the first state to go bankrupt. Now Californian socialist model with its highest tax rate, strictest enviromental protection rules, and very generous welfare and health care systems is copied by Obama administration with its ambitious, costly health care reform for everybody including 12 milliions illegal immigrants who would be naturalized under Obama immigration reform.

Posted by: TIMNGUYEN1 | June 19, 2009 8:01 AM
-------------------
Maybe it is just because California has the fastest growing population due to is nice weather and famous people. This created a bubble where the houses were all worth ten times what they should have been. Once that bubble burst, people lost houses and jobs, couldn't pay taxes, and the state went bankrupt.

It also might have to do with the fact that their REPUBLICAN governor spend too much money.

Posted by: Independent4tw | June 19, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

"Democrats ramming anything"

This also rings hollow. Should the democrats just bend over and accept what the GOP wants even though the GOP has no power?

You should be glad the the Democrats at least offered the GOP a chance to come up with their own ideas and debating points. The have enough power to simply ignore them and do whatever they want to.

Posted by: Independent4tw | June 19, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

CC, you forgot to mention the leg work the White House has put into trying to keep Sestak out of the PA senate primary (which it seems failed), and the push to get Specter to switch parties.

If Obama wants to help out down ticket races then he should stay focused on fixing the economy, and doing his job. If our economy is on the rise by this time next year then the Democrats are going to clean house next year.

If you then add in healthcare reform then we might be looking at a third democratic wave which would put the GOP into a tailspin. Unless the GOP can be part of a truly bepartisan HC reform that they can use to sell why they need to be there as a tempering voice, similarly to how the GOP house used welfare reform under the clintons to sell the success of their 'contract for america'.

Posted by: AndyR3 | June 19, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

According to Families USA , 20,000 people die each year for lack of access to health care. Not included in that figure are the amount of people who die annually from shoddy medical care who do have insurance as a result of doctors being directed by Insurance clerks on what treatments are acceptable meaning reimburable].

SHAME ON THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND THE SPINELESS 'CENTRIST' DEMOCRATS WHO REFUSE TO STAND UP TO THE INSURANCE COMPANIES AND ALLOW AMERICANS TO HAVE THE SAME KIND OF DECENT INSURANCE CITIZENS OF MOST OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE.

Posted by: drindl | June 19, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA WANTS TO TURN AMERICA INTO ANOTHER BANKRUPT SOCIOLIST CALIFORNIA!!!

No surprise that California, one of the richest but also most liberal state, especially in fiscal term, is the first state to go bankrupt. Now Californian socialist model with its highest tax rate, strictest enviromental protection rules, and very generous welfare and health care systems is copied by Obama administration with its ambitious, costly health care reform for everybody including 12 milliions illegal immigrants who would be naturalized under Obama immigration reform.

Posted by: TIMNGUYEN1 | June 19, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Yea, doing the primaries he sold himself as a post-partisanship politician but immediately upon taking office, he's been the most partisan President in my lifetime. Don't worry Mr. Obama, we won't forget you lied to us, your party will pay heavily next year.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 19, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

John Kerry really got a bad rap as a bumbler. Every time he's been quoted in the last two years, he's been saying something extremely reasonable and making perfect sense. He's a guy who I hope gets rewarded with a job in the administration at some point-- even if Sec. of State is probably a pipe dream for him.

Posted by: jdmaccoby | June 19, 2009 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Fix, thank you for the excellent link to GoRemy's Arlington rap. I would have missed a good laugh without your public service announcement.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | June 19, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Shame on George Bush and Dick Cheney and the Republican party for their partisan attacks, for their obstruction, for their hatred of the American people-- epsecially the poor and middle class -- and their slavish pandering to corporate cronies.

Thank God the American people can see right through the sham: WSJ poll:

"More than seven in 10 say the current state of the economy is something the president inherited.

So, do Republicans benefit from the drop in Obama's numbers on specific issues? Both polls suggest the answer is no. Twenty-eight percent of people questioned in the CBS-New York Times survey have a favorable view of the GOP, with more than twice that number saying they have a positive opinion of the Democratic party. One in four give the Republican party a favorable rating in the NBC-Wall Street Journal poll, an all-time low in that survey's history.

"Whatever doubts Americans have about Obama or the deficit, it's not helping the Republicans. Americans don't see the GOP as having anything new on the table," Schneider said

Posted by: drindl | June 19, 2009 7:42 AM | Report abuse

The "post-partisanship" facade sounds nice but rings hollow. The best example is Democrats ramming anything (and anyone) they like through Congress. All this BS about reaching out to "former rivals" would make Lincoln turn in his grave. Honest Abe was a good judge of character and that's what he was doing -- reaching out to rivals simply to take them out of the political competition is nothing more than Bill Clinton Politics 2.0 -- shame on Obama!

Posted by: JakeD | June 19, 2009 6:48 AM | Report abuse

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