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Morning Fix: Danger! Danger! Democrats!

Bob McDonnell, left, and Chris Christie lead their races for governor in Virginia and New Jersey, respectively. Photos by Steve Helber and Mel Evans of the Associated Press

Two new independent polls show Republicans with comfortable leads in the Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial races, which, if they hold, could cause the White House a major political headache in November.

In New Jersey, former U.S. attorney Chris Christie (R) led Gov. Jon Corzine (D) 48 percent to 40 percent while in Virginia former state attorney general Bob McDonnell (R) held a 51 percent to 43 percent edge over state Sen. Creigh Deeds (D).

Both surveys were conducted for the liberal Daily Kos blog by Research 2000 and showed the Republican candidates extending their leads from similar polls conducted earlier this summer.

"If Democrats lose not only will people call into question the Democratic
party brand but also the brand of Barack Obama," said Penny Lee, the former executive director of the Democratic Governors Association.

Phil Musser, a former executive director of the Republican Governors Association, predicted a "celebration from coast to coast" if the GOP is able to pick up both governorships, which are currently controlled by Democrats. "It would mean the GOP's long national political nightmare is likely over."

Musser's sentiment is evidence of just how much weight Republicans are putting on these two races, regarding them as early referendums on President Obama and the economic policies he has put into place since coming into office.

"I sincerely believe these are two must-wins for the Democrats," asserted RGA executive director Nick Ayers. "Obama's effectiveness has been seriously called into question over his lack of an ability to get anything done with overwhelming majorities in House and Senate."

Democrats, not surprisingly, are working to downplay the significance of the two elections -- noting, rightly, that much of Corzine's vulnerability is self-inflicted and that Virginia has a history of handing its governorship to the party out of the White House.

Emily DeRose, communications director at the Democratic Governors Association, insisted that it is actually Republicans who have the most to lose this fall. "For them, the stakes if they lose are much higher because they have defined both of the states as must wins for themselves," she said.

Fred Yang, a prominent Democratic pollster, argued that it is too early to make predictions about what might happen in the fall but added that if Republicans won in New Jersey and Virginia "the real message it should send is that incumbents (of both parties) in 2010 will face a very unsettled and dissatisfied electorate."

Regardless of whether or not it would be fair to lay Democratic defeats in New Jersey and Virginia at the feet of the White House, it is a near certainty that the press coverage would quickly adopt that storyline.

After all, Obama has already been to New Jersey -- last month -- and Virginia -- last night -- to campaign with Corzine and Deeds, respectively, and is now being featured in an ad for Corzine.

And, ever since the 1993 victories of Christine Todd Whitman (R-N.J.) and George Allen (R-Va.), which presaged the 1994 Republican wave election, amateur political analysts have been touting the predictive power of off-year elections.

"We are the underdogs in both races," said one senior White House adviser granted anonymity to speak candidly. "Given the economy, party in power, etc., we should lose both."

If that scenario comes to pass, expect Republicans to immediately spin it as a sign that Americans are rejecting the Obama agenda. How the White House responds -- rhetorically and politically -- could help make or break Democratic fortunes in next year's midterms.

Friday's Fix Picks: Why is "Friday Night Lights" not on NBC's fall schedule?

1. President Obama's summer poll slump.
2. Obama's golf game deconstructed.
3. Bill Clinton and the circle of (political) life.
4. Steve Hildebrand and Kendrick Meek part ways.
5. Cool rooms make for good sleep (Are you listening, Mrs. Fix?)

Hynes Is In Against Quinn: Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes has made it official: he is challenging Gov. Pat Quinn in next year's Democratic primary."We need a governor who can provide strong and consistent leadership for smart budget policies that will put us on solid ground," wrote Hynes in an e-mail to supporters announcing his candidacy. "We just can't afford to have someone leading our state who changes positions daily, without offering a clear sense of where we are going." That is a direct shot at Quinn who has struggled to find savings to balance the state's budget. Hynes, who was elected as state Comptroller in 1998 and hails from a prominent Chicago area family, ran for the Senate in 2004 but placed a distant second in that race to a little known state senator named Barack Obama. Republicans believe that they have a real chance at winning the Illinois governorship due to the mark left on it by former governor Rod Blagojevich (D-Ill.).

Hamos Gets Schak: Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D) will endorse state Rep. Julie Hamos' candidacy for the open 10th district today, a major get for Hamos as she challenges 2006 and 2008 candidate Dan Seals for the Democratic nomination. "I know of no other legislator more capable of forming effective coalitions," said Schakowsky of Hamos. Schakowsky is a fundraising powerhouse in Chicago and should help Hamos collect the scads of cash she will need to defeat the better known Seals. Seals lost to Rep. Mark Kirk (R) by six percentage points in 2006 and nine points in 2008; Kirk is leaving the Democratic-leaning North Shore seat to pursue the open Senate seat next November.

Click It!: Jen Psaki, deputy press secretary at the White House gets a mini-profile from CBS News as part of its "Washington Unplugged" series. An added bonus: legendary White House correspondent Mark Knoller praises Jen.

Buy this Book (Part 1): Regular Fix readers know that we have been touting "The Battle for America 2008," the campaign narrative authored by Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson, for the last week or so. The highest praise we can give the book? We were covering every move, countermove, primary, caucus, conference call and television ad for two full years and still learned so much from reading this book. You can watch our interview with Dan and Haynes and also read a variety of excerpts and hear some of the authors' interview with the president. But, none of that makes up for buying the real thing. Do it!

Buy This Book, Part 2: Every four years, the Institute of Politics at Harvard University gathers the major players in the presidential election for several days of conversation about what happened and why. Those discussions are pulled together into a book that provides some unique insights from the managers of the various campaigns as well as an invaluable time line that details every major (and minor) event of the race that was. We were lucky enough to be invited to the 2008 version of this terrific tradition -- the only time the Fix ever has ever been invited to Harvard! -- but, if you weren't, it's well worth picking up the book.

The Grades Are In!: CNN let users grade the second 100 days of the Obama presidency. The Administration gets a "C-" for its handling of the economy and a "D" for how its handled health care reform.

Say What?: "I'm going to go back to the passive voice" -- White House Robert Gibbs gets all English major on us during Thursday's press briefing.

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 7, 2009; 5:15 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Next: FL-Senate: Martinez to Resign


Where does this urban legend come from that Dan Seals lost by a larger margin in 08 than 06? All you have to do is check the results. You clearly didn't, so how did you decide to come up with this point?

In '08 Dan lost by a margin of 5.1%, down from 6.8% in '06. (08: 138,176 out of 291,258, versus 94,278 out of 202,207).

Do the math for yourself and make a correction. People read your column and link to it long after you've written it, so you owe it to a wide audience of readers to get your facts straight. You appear to be ignoring emails asking for a correction to your column.

Posted by: big_gk | August 12, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

@ broadwayjoe - Deeds ran a statewide campaign against McDonnell and nearly beat him. As far as NoVa is concerned, he outpolled McAuliffe and Moran up here. If McDonnell wins, by no means a done deal, it can't be credibly claimed that it's because Deeds is a weak candidate.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | August 10, 2009 1:28 AM | Report abuse

In Germany they had Nazis, in America teabaggers.
In Italy they had fascists, here they call them right wing republicans.
Same ideas different, time and place.
The corporations backed them then and they back them now.

Posted by: seemstome | August 9, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

There's plenty to go around and they can raise premiums next year to get it back.


Or they can cut off someone who's battling cancer.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 9, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

I want to get on the Insurance corporation money train. Hook me up with some of that bribe money. I can out rant anyone here.
For instance:
Did you know that Barry Obama was in Cuba as a child? Yes, he has smoked that cigar with Fidel. Now he wants to bring the Cuban health care system to America!
What do you think? Now give me an email address so I can get on the insurance company bribe money bandwagon.
There's plenty to go around and they can raise premiums next year to get it back.

Posted by: seemstome | August 9, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

For the final time, I would have gladly answered your question but, since you refuse to answer my questions


how infantile

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 9, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse


MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow got to the nub of these phony protests last week when they correctly connected the dots between the anti- health care zealots and the teabaggers, the 2000 election recount "Brooks Brothers" demonstrators, and other hard-right rabble-rousing.

Fact is, the foot soldiers in this phony, ginned-up street theater don't have to be paid by the health care lobbyists who are providing logistical support and public relations muscle to their supposedly spontaneous grassroots uprising. Fact is, many, if not most, of them appear to be affiliated with, and thus subsidized by, FEDERALLY-FUNDED community volunteer organizations...

...the same stormtrooper vigilantes that comprise a highly organized American Gestapo that works covertly with a secretive executive branch "multi-agency coordinated action program" to violate the civil and human rights of unjustly "targeted" neighbors -- making a mockery of the rule of law.

And victims report that silent, high-tech microwave/laser "directed energy weapons" are being used to degrade the very lives of the unjustly targeted.

Read the story that the mainstream media cannot or will not tell:

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

See "GESTAPO USA" at ("stream" or "stories" list).

Posted by: scrivener50 | August 9, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse


For the final time, I would have gladly answered your question but, since you refuse to answer my questions in a civil manner, can't very well engage in a one-sided debate. That's what the rest of us call "reason" (also known as "logic"). If that doesn't make sense to you, perhaps someone else can try to explain. Honestly, I think if you actually followed DDAWD's (and even your own) advice to ignore me, everyone could debate the issues as they see fit -- it certainly would be less hostile around here -- as always, though, feel free to have the last (ad hominem) word.

Posted by: JakeD | August 9, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

And what would a lying dropout from the eighth grade know about reason?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 8, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse


As I said, there's no use trying to reason with the likes of "chrisfox8".

Posted by: JakeD | August 8, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Remember the ole saying- "If you want it done right do it yourself".
In other words if you want to debate the Health Care Bill, the first thing you should do is READ THE DARN BILL!
Little miss Cutie is counting on the fact that you won't read it. As in "If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything".

Posted by: JoeNTx | August 8, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Geez, I sure wish the GOP would be capable enough to organize these town hall meetings with their senior citizens but history tells me that is not the case. Insurance Companies MO is to use lobbyist and advertisement campaigns, they wouldn't know how to organize graasroots if they wanted to. Most of the crowds I have seen look like they belong to AARP, and they have every right to vent if they want to, as long as they do not resort to pushing and punching people(see SEIU union thugs at Tampa, Fl. and St. Louis Mo.)That some of our posters on this blog would resort to intimidation and physical threats is disturbing. While there are plenty of times I disagree with JakeD, he is far more civil and polite than his antagonists.

Posted by: vbhoomes | August 8, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Hate to go through that room with a blue light...Ugh...

Posted by: broadwayjoe | August 8, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

I was thinking more about $1 million healthcare treatments that would, at best, extend a 99-year old's life by 1 month.


So under current healthcare systems that man would get that million dollars of care?

What planet is that?

The only way anyone would get such extravagently wasteful care would be if he could afford it personally.

You have made no point.

Palin is lying, and so are you. Nothing new there.

Why do you keep bringing her into the discussion? She's finished. Interest in her will dry up, the speaking invitations will stop coming, she'll pull some wild stunts to stay in the news, and in the end she'll be doing a donkey act in Tijuana before she's found in a hotel room dead from a drug overdose.

And good riddance.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 8, 2009 12:51 AM | Report abuse

margaret, there is no Mrs. D. There are only spotted crusty pictures of Sarah Palin, and somewhere in a drawer there is an inflatable bedmate.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 8, 2009 12:45 AM | Report abuse

Jake, go mix a couple of drinks and join Mrs. Jake on the balcony -- it's a beautiful night and life is short.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | August 7, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I know in your world, "chrisfox8" can claim whatever he likes -- including libel -- and no one should dare question him.

Posted by: JakeD | August 7, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Allow me to remind you of the claim:

"Palin is lying (wow) about "rationing" health care, of course ..."

Posted by: JakeD | August 7, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Stupid question.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 7, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking more about $1 million healthcare treatments that would, at best, extend a 99-year old's life by 1 month. You claim that won't be denied under Obamacare?

Posted by: JakeD | August 7, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Stupid questions are a good indicator of the absence of a real argument

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 7, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

If you wanted to have your fingers amputated I would absolutely be willing to see that covered.

I am, of course being ironic about how much you blog... but you asked a foolish question.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | August 7, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

So, if there's no "rationing" in the public option, I could sign up and not be denied ANY medical procedure I want, right?

Posted by: JakeD | August 7, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Palin is lying (wow) about "rationing" health care, of course:

"There are lots of valid criticisms that can be made against the health reform plans moving through Congress -- I've made a few myself. But there is no credible way to look at what has been proposed by the president or any congressional committee and conclude that these will result in a government takeover of the health-care system. That is a flat-out lie whose only purpose is to scare the public and stop political conversation."

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 7, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

I love the reverent "Gov." Palin from the guy who spanks it to her picture all day long

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 7, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Back to the "Danger! Danger!" warning, former Gov. Sarah Palin today called out Obama's "evil" healthcare plan.

"Who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course," last year's GOP vice presidential candidate wrote on her Facebook page.

"The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil," Gov. Palin wrote.

In the posting, Gov. Palin encouraged her supporters to be engaged in the debate. "Nationalizing our health care system is a point of no return for government interference in the lives of its citizens. If we go down this path, there will be no turning back," she wrote.

"Let's stop and think and make our voices heard before it's too late," the posting said.

Posted by: JakeD | August 7, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

"deep-seated attraction"

More like the difficulty one has ignoring puke on the seat next to you.

Posted by: nodebris | August 7, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

This is a false narrative, just a GOP talking point, that the problems of Corzine and Deeds have something to do with BHO or the Democratic party.

Do Gov. Paterson's problems in NY have to do with 44? Of course, not.

Corzine is Corzine's problem as has been reported by countless serious journalists in NJ.

In VA, it truly has nothing to do with BHO: McDonnell is telegenic, is known throughout the state, has been running an aggressive campaign through ads, emails, etc., for more than a year, and has done effective minority outreach (see BET's Sheila Johnson and Richmond Mayor Doug Wilder).

Deeds, on the other hand, is not known anywhere in VA except some rural areas, has no real campaign (I have yet to see an ad or get an email--we haven't even heard his voice once), and has done no minority outreach (critical if you are a Dem viewed with suspicion as Deeds is). Any generic Warner/Kaine Dem would be way way ahead of McDonnell, but they choose Deeds, for whatever reason. Even JFK couldn't help Deeds.

To drag BHO into these two races is someone's agenda. That's okay but call it out as YOUR agenda, YOUR opinion.

This false narrative is to set up an obvious game: these two losers, well, lose, and then this space and DrudgeWorld will blame it on BHO--which is absurd.
Don't go for the okey-doak.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | August 7, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

For the record, "confront[ing] you libs" HERE (on whichever thread you want bring it up) is just a bit different than the following ACTUAL THREATS OF VIOLENCE:

A) mibrooks27: "I'm going to beat at least two of them senseless before the police can get to me. I am NOT one of your peaceful liberals and there will be A BUNCH of us going to these meetings from now on out. Maybe a bout a mayhem and some violence will lead to an end to this. But these people need to understand that, if they interrupt my ability to participate in my democracy, I WILL resort to violence."

B) DrainYou: "If Diaperboy Jake ever pulled his fat a*ss out from in front of his computer and entered the real world with that Repug tough guy wannabe attitude of his, I'd be first in line to break him like a pretzel."

C) chrisfox8: "I would punch your teeth down your throat."

My actions are protected via the First Amendment -- your threats are not -- consult with a local (criminal) attorney if you still can't see the difference.

If anyone else wants to discuss that, please let me know.

Posted by: JakeD | August 7, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse


They literally CANNOT "ignore" me -- it must be some deep-seated attraction -- I never knew I was so fascinating until I started posting here.

Posted by: JakeD | August 7, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

How cute -- jaked pretending to care about the truth. Precious.

He's much more engaging over at 44, defending racist imagery like the Obama/Joker poster. His heart's really in that, it seems.

Posted by: nodebris | August 7, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

"Danger! Danger! High Voltage. When we kiss, when we touch!

Posted by: christoph_berlin"

Hah, I was wondering if Chris C was referencing that as well. Makes sense given that he nearly wet himself over two REM songs during his chat.

Gotta love Jack White.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 7, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Here's that objective test again -- I would be happy to explain each of your quotes just as soon as you take my test -- did GWB "knowingly lie" about these 16 words:

"The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa"

Posted by: JakeD | August 7, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction."
- Dick Cheney, August 26, 2002

"Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons."
- George W. Bush, September 12, 2002

"If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world."
- Ari Fleischer, December 2, 2002

"We know for a fact that there are weapons there."
- Ari Fleischer, January 9, 2003

"Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent."
- George W. Bush, January 28, 2003

"We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more."
- Colin Powell, February 5, 2003

"We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons -- the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have."
- George Bush February 8, 2003

"So has the strategic decision been made to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction by the leadership in Baghdad? I think
our judgment has to be clearly not."
- Colin Powell, March 8, 2003

"Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised."
- George Bush, March 18, 2003

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 7, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Here's an objective test then -- did GWB "knowingly lie" about these 16 words:

"The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa"

Posted by: JakeD | August 7, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

If you think truth depends on ideological outlook then you've gone from whacky partisanship to utter derangement.

But what with the birther thing, we already knew that

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 7, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Danger! Danger! High Voltage. When we kiss, when we touch!

Posted by: christoph_berlin | August 7, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

first "not" = "now" (darn Spellchecker ; )

Posted by: JakeD | August 7, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, not that your side is in power, you want to decide which "knowing lies" (whether they are or not doesn't matter) are not protected by the First Amendment. Even GWB didn't try to go that far. Careful where this will lead. On the other thread, "mibrooks27" has threatened to actually ESCALATE the violence, not just calling for protesters to be arrested:

"Maybe a bout a mayhem and some violence will lead to an end to this."

Maybe not.

Posted by: JakeD | August 7, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

GWB did nothing but KNOWINGLY "lie" about Iraq, right?


Right. For which he should be turned over to the Iraqi people for their own brand of justice.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 7, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

It's more defined as an effort to stifle discussion by disrupting these town halls and preventing the most knowledgeable people from having their say.


And if they're screaming and shoving and refuse to be called to order, why should they not be arrested and jailed?

With rare exceptions courtrooms and political bodies in the US are open to the public, but if someone starts screaming, be it politics or birther fantasies or flying saucer paranoia, the Sgt. at Arms is called and he hustles them out. Why not the town halls?

"Free speech" doesn't have anything at all to do with it, that's just yet another lie.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 7, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

As we all know, GWB did nothing but KNOWINGLY "lie" about Iraq, right?

Posted by: JakeD | August 7, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't jail someone for lying


I was careful to add "knowingly."

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 7, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

As we all know, GWB did nothing but "lie" about Iraq, right?

Posted by: JakeD | August 7, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse


Of course, they get to use their OWN definition of "lies". Like I said, there's no use reasoning with the likes of "chrisfox8".

Posted by: JakeD | August 7, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

"Not "differences of opinion" but irremediable falsehoods, and, "for the record," I want that suppressed. I think people who knowingly tell lies in important discussions should go to jail."

I wouldn't jail someone for lying, but what these people are doing isn't so much defined by their lies. It's more defined as an effort to stifle discussion by disrupting these town halls and preventing the most knowledgeable people from having their say.

People are allowed to peacefully assemble. It's right there in the Bill Of Rights. Right above the gun amendment.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 7, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

LOL!!! First, the White House sets up an e-mail address to report "fishy" discussions about healthcare, and now we get to the real goal: "knowingly tell lies" in important discussions and go to jail. Soviet Union, here we come!

Posted by: JakeD | August 7, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Would pefer to stifle views you don't agree with?


I think you goopers have gone as far with imitated relativism as you can go. You guys don't REALLY believe in diversity of opinion, of course, and you think you can take on the lexicon of diversity at the same time you're purging your own members for tiny deviations from pure orthodoxy.

I may be gay but I'm not a relativist, I think relativism is moral foppery. Funny to hear it from the mouths of Republicans.


Anyway, I do want lies stifled. Your goopers going to these town halls aren't raising legitimate critiques of Obama's healthcare, they're screaming lies.

Not "differences of opinion" but irremediable falsehoods, and, "for the record," I want that suppressed. I think people who knowingly tell lies in important discussions should go to jail.

I'm all for honest dissent, but then that cuts out most of you guys.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 7, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse


When they come back from recess, hopefully the T.E.A. (Taxed Enough Already) Party members chain themselves in front of the offices of Congressmen and women!

Posted by: JakeD | August 7, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I was going to go to a David Vitter event next Monday just to listen in to see what all they have going on, but after hearing about all this, I think I'm going to skip it. I have a feeling I might be the only non-white person among a bunch of angry conservatives. Not the best situation to be in.

And anyone who is posing this as a first amendment issue is being dishonest and disingenuous and he knows it.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 7, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

If they fought the Nazis then they should know better than to emulate them.

Not sure if there was a point hiding in there or not.

I'm for free speech as originally intended: that criticism of the government does not lead to a charge of treason. I'm not supportive of your GOP interpretations of free speech, the right to lie in an advertisement, the right to coerce and threaten, the right to disrupt political discussion, the right to be an obnoxious fool.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 7, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

As I understand the news story, there was only ONE SIGN (not plural) that Pelosi denounced which was a "swastika" circled with a NO SYMBOL on it -- maybe she just made an honest mistake -- I doubt it though.

Posted by: JakeD | August 7, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

You should be more respectful of your elders Chrisfox, it looked like some of those old folks actually fought the Nazi's. Yes, free speech is yelling and venting at your representatives, would you have it any other way? Would pefer to stifle views you don't agree with? Again, Are you for the 1st amendment or not?

Posted by: vbhoomes | August 7, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse


The Obama / Dem reaction to actual dissent stands in stark contrast to Bush simply ignoring it. Kinda reminds me of the old Soviet Union.

"Here's what I find so chilling about yesterday's Twitter attack: that these guys, whoever they are, apparently thought nothing of taking down an entire communications network because they didn't like what one person was saying.

Imagine if someone didn't like what you were saying, and decided to shut you up by nuking your ISP, or your wireless carrier. Or heck, the entire phone system. All for you.

Personally, I can survive a morning without telling my legion of followers (all couple hundred of them) that I could really, really use a cup of coffee right now. (Although I know you're all dying to hear about that, right?)

I'm far more disturbed by (as the Facebook exec told CNET) "the disregard for the rest of the users and the Internet" displayed by these brazen thugs and their crude, indiscriminant attacks."

Posted by: JakeD | August 7, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Chrisfox it was only a year ago that my liberals friends were saying dissent is extremely patriotic and now you have some senior citizens that are concerned about their future, you call them brownshirt Nazi's.


Oh, so that's what you call screaming down all discussion? Free speech?

Let me guess .. you're a Republican, right?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 7, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse


There's no use reasoning with the likes of "chrisfox8" or "drindl".

Posted by: JakeD | August 7, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else can see Code Pinksters shoving and screaming in the links I provided (below).

Posted by: JakeD | August 7, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Chrisfox it was only a year ago that my liberals friends were saying dissent is extremely patriotic and now you have some senior citizens that are concerned about their future, you call them brownshirt Nazi's. Are you for the 1st amendment or not? By the way it was the SEIU union thugs who ripped that shirt off of that guy in Fl. Are you guys so desparate you will resort to violance to muffle free speech?

Posted by: vbhoomes | August 7, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

So much for taking DDAWD's advice : (

Posted by: JakeD | August 7, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Actually Jake I haven't written a word about Code Pink here, nor anywhere, other than to say they didn't engage in shoving and screaming, so when you claim to "know" that I approve of them you're getting your information from the same stinking hole the rest of it comes from.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 7, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

"For the record, I'm cool with Republicans going to town hall meetings and disrupting them with screaming"



Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 7, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Now I'm not saying that journalists have an agenda to promote right wing views. I am saying that right wingers are more able to control and drive the mainstream news cycle


I think the degree of slant we see wouldn't be possible without journalists' enthusiastic cooperation.

Journalists are reputedly somewhat more liberal than the gen-pop, no surprise since they're slightly more educated. But publishers are very conservative, moreso than ever now, and I wouldn't know if the GOP slant we see here (Palin! Palin! Palin!) reflects CC's own views or is the result of marching orders from Hiatt. This is after all the paper that fired its best blogger, probably for the sin of being right.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 7, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse


As if your question is not "baiting".

Seriously, I think you should take DDAWD's advice and ignore me, once and for all. Just to show you what a nice guy I am, however, even though you don't answer my questions:

"For the record, I'm cool with Republicans going to town hall meetings and disrupting them with screaming -- just like I was cool with Code Pink protests doing the same exact thing -- both groups need to expect to be arrested if they violate the law though."

Don't worry, I won't ask you why Code Pink protests were fine with you, but GOP protests are not ; )

Posted by: JakeD | August 7, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

So, Jake, you're the guy who's always doing posts that start with "for the record,: I'm not sure why .. anyway, why don't you do one now? State that "for the record" you're cool with Republicans going to town hall meetings and disrupting them with screaming.

I don't expect a straight-up answer, probably some more pouting about people who don't dignify your baiting with responses.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 7, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse


Oh, ok. I see what you mean. But if you look on this blog, you'll often see unnamed sources saying stuff. And the thing is that they are repeating typical talking points. Why can't they go on the record? I have less of a problem with it on this blog which is designed more to spur conversation than to deliver hard news, but it has become a crutch. I think more journalists should refuse to print off-record stuff. Obviously you don't want a 100% ban, but I think the default setting should be to reject anonymity unless you have a good reason to do so.

I don't know if there's a right wing bias in the media. But let's start with this blog since we are all familiar with it. Now we do see a lot of articles on the savior of the Republican party and the good news in terms of Republican recruiting and of course all the Palin we can handle. But this is a political blog and politics is the art of acquiring power, according to Machiavelli. And Republicans have more power to gain than Democrats, so it makes sense to hear about what Republicans are doing and who might be their new leader. It's pretty obvious who the leader for the Democrats is.
But, presumably, Democrats are going to push back and part of this blog should be about that as well. I'm not saying we need good news for Dems, but we should at least get some items from their perspective. Chris C has been better about that in the last week or so.

- continued -

Posted by: DDAWD | August 7, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Now as for the press in general, we know about the Limbaughs, the O'Reillys, the Hannitys, the Becks, the Malkins, the Coulters. Who are the equivalents on the left? Other than Olbermann, I certainly have no idea. I guess you can include Maddow, but neither of them are as extreme and you never see a news cycle taken up by what they say. Perhaps the right wingers are more likely to say something really controversial and so get more attention. But you notice the right wingers have a much bigger platform. And on FOX News, you'll often see even so called hard news people getting into it. Remember Megyn Kelly wondering out loud whether Obama's fist bump with Michelle was a terrorist signal? Now do you honestly think that anyone on their staff believes that? And Kelly is an anchor, not an opinion person.

Another example I like to reference is the murder of the abortion doctor in Kansas. Throughout the entire coverage, I would hear scant little about what kind of work the doctor did. Did you know that the vast majority of his patients were people carrying anencephalic fetuses or fetuses with severe genetic problems? You needed a genetic screening before you can get an abortion with him. You heard nothing about that.

Now I'm not saying that journalists have an agenda to promote right wing views. I am saying that right wingers are more able to control and drive the mainstream news cycle. One of the best examples was between 2004 and 2008. In 2004, Bush hired a bunch of guys to go on TV and claim that John Kerry's purple hearts were mere scratches. Obviously this wasn't true and Kerry made the mistake of trusting the media to correct the record. The press wasn't interested in doing this, so the lie was allowed to fester and devour Kerry. In 2008, the blogosphere was more developed. John McCain tried to do the same thing with Obama by calling him a terrorist sympathizer and a socialist and so forth. The thing is that he was met with stiff resistance by the blogosphere as well as Obama's own willingness to confront the lies. The mainstream press was still complicit with the right wing attacks. Remember how two days were taken up by the "lipstick on a pig" comment?

I know there is a lot here, but I think you can see my point. Republicans are very good at controlling more traditional media, but that advantage has been counteracted somewhat by the internet.

Sorry again for being so long.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 7, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD, my example there of "Republicans say" or "Democrats say" was supposed to point less to situations in which no one is willing to come forward on the record, and more to situations in which several people are saying it. Or, even more vaguely, to situations in which a specific person is quoted; I was just too lazy to think of actual names to use as examples.

My intention certainly wasn't to extol the virtues of anonymous sources. Anonymous sources do, as you pointed out, cost more credibility than they contribute; make an anonymous claim, and there's no accountability if it turns out you were rumor-mongering or, worse, just making it all up. And you're right, anonymity is being used as a crutch more and more. Everyone these days is paranoid about having their names attached to an official media source, whether it's the politician not wanting his party to turn on him or the private citizen worried that having his name in the local paper will result in his identity being stolen.

Complicating things is the fact that the Internet is an incredibly effective tool for making claims anonymously. Being quoted on the record doesn't seem as tempting when one can make an even more outrageous claim online without revealing one's identity, knowing how quickly it will be disseminated.

But all of this is getting away from the arguments that people were making earlier in this thread: that the media is too prone to taking Republicans' claims as gospel. And that's exactly the opposite -- the Republicans making those particular claims do want their names out there, and when they make those claims, they'll be attributed. If the reporter is worth his salt, anyway -- and there are still plenty out there who are.

Posted by: GJonahJameson | August 7, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else?

Posted by: JakeD | August 7, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

You miss the point, Jake. If individuals cross the line from peaceful demonstration to violence, then they can and should be arrested, at the discretion of the police. Or threatened with a parking ticket, if they want to go that far!

If you go to a town hall meeting to listen to and ask questions of your elected representatives, then you should listen and ask, not shout down everyone else.

Of course, if the intent of the shouter is not to learn facts, but to disrupt the meeting in protest, that's their choice. I don't have a problem with that.

Just don't pretend your concern is that the administration is "rushing" and "the people have questions" and then keep people from asking those questions and hearing the answers.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | August 7, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

"drindl, very rare is the occasion when a national news story for a reputable or even quasi-reputable publication leaves unattributed a politically-charged point. It's always a "Republicans say" or "Democrats say" or "polls say" situation."

To me, this is unattributed. Anything without a name is unattributed. I'm not saying the journalist is making it up, I don't think that at all.

I'm just saying that some credibility is lost without a name. I know that it's often impossible to get information if you don't allow some anonymity, especially with whistle blowing, but I do have a problem with journalists allowing political operatives a forum for anonymous bomb-throwing. I can be forgiving with these softer forums, like this blog, but you see it far too often even on the harder articles where the anonymous quote really doesn't contribute much to the understanding of the situation.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 7, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | August 7, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Code Pink also threatened Condi Rice with what appeared to be blood, and were arrested / charged for ASSAULT ON A POLICE OFFICER -- I can get that video too -- the point being that there was no condemnation of that by the left here.

Posted by: JakeD | August 7, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Peggy Noonan chimes in:

"But most damagingly to political civility, and even our political tradition, was the new White House email address to which citizens are asked to report instances of “disinformation” in the health-care debate: If you receive an email or see something on the Web about health-care reform that seems “fishy,” you can send it to"


"Sen. John Cornyn of Texas on Wednesday wrote to the president saying he feared that citizens’ engagement could be “chilled” by the effort. He’s right, it could. He also accused the White House of compiling an “enemies list.” If so, they’re being awfully public about it, but as Byron York at the Washington Examiner pointed, the emails collected could become a “dissident database.”

All of this is unnecessarily and unhelpfully divisive and provocative. They are mocking and menacing concerned citizens. This only makes a hot situation hotter. Is this what the president wants? It couldn’t be. But then in an odd way he sometimes seems not to have fully absorbed the awesome stature of his office. You really, if you’re president, can’t call an individual American stupid, if for no other reason than that you’re too big. You cannot allow your allies to call people protesting a health-care plan “extremists” and “right wing,” or bought, or Nazi-like, either. They’re citizens. They’re concerned. They deserve respect.

The Democrats should not be attacking, they should be attempting to persuade, to argue for their case. After all, they have the big mic. Which is what the presidency is, the big mic.

And frankly they ought to think about backing off. The president should call in his troops and his Congress and announce a rethinking. There are too many different bills, they’re all a thousand pages long, no one has time to read them, no one knows what’s going to be in the final one, the public is agitated, the nation’s in crisis, the timing is wrong, we’ll turn to it again—but not now. We’ll take a little longer, ponder every aspect, and make clear every complication.

You know what would happen if he did this? His numbers would go up. Even Congress’s would. Because they’d look responsive, deliberative and even wise. Discretion is the better part of valor."

Posted by: JakeD | August 7, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

The "white house operative" was specifically asking the senators and representatives to prepare better for their town hall sessions, and to encourage their supporters to attend.

"Punching back" was an unfortunate sports analogy, not literal instructions.

I looked at the video clip below. Code Pink was protesting by blocking entrance to a Marine Corps recruiting station, it looks like. That is a lot different from going to a town hall and shouting down discussion.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | August 7, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse


Did you see the White House operative instructing Dems to "punch back twice as hard"?

Code Pinksters were violent too (note there was ZERO condemnation of them here ; )

Posted by: JakeD | August 7, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Looking at the polls, you see why Deeds has a good shot, and Corzine is toast.

The numbers for Deeds, McConnell, Christie and Obama all peak at "favorable." Corzine's' numbers peak at "very unfavorable." Corzine's "no opinion" number is the lowest, while Deeds' is the highest.

In other words, people know Corzine, and they hate him. Very few persuadable voters in NJ.

Lots of persuadables in VA. The folks who know them, like Deeds and McConnell about the same. The difference is simple name recognition.

Corzine is toast. Deeds is just getting warm.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | August 7, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Now the DNC is deploying AFL-CIO palookas while hypocritically dismissing Obamacare opponents as paid shills -even running disengenuous TV ads to slander them- meanwhile SanFranNan is halucinating and seeing imaginary Swastikas.

This should make clear to anyone just what these far-left elitists think of your opinion.

Note that whenever Obama, Emanuel, or Gibbs are asked about why polls show SO many people oppose their misguided Cap-n-Trade and Obamacare proposals, they ALWAYS segue-right-into “we need to educate the public…”.

LOL- save your breath... Constitutionally-aware patriots don’t take lectures from Marxists.

Posted by: ReaganiteRepublican | August 7, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

drindl, very rare is the occasion when a national news story for a reputable or even quasi-reputable publication leaves unattributed a politically-charged point. It's always a "Republicans say" or "Democrats say" or "polls say" situation. People who have strong political beliefs on either side of the spectrum -- and I think it's fair to say you are one of those people -- often see suggestions by news stories that such-and-such situation could be bad for this political entity or that political entity as assertions by those news stories that these bad things will happen.

Those things do get screwed up, and I expect you can probably name me one or two examples just off the top of your head, but most of the time, these things are attributed. Sometimes, that it's an attribution isn't immediately obvious, and that's when folks -- understandably, I suppose -- take exception. Think about the last time someone tried to convince you that a news story had a liberal bias, and how you argued against that point. It's probably very similar.

I understand why it's frustrating when you see something you interpret as the news media taking the other side. And honestly, I'm not a huge fan of leading a news story with a "could," especially when it's delivered in that stern TV news anchor voice. "COULD packs of wild dogs be waiting outside your house, ready to strike? That's next, but first, let's go to Steve with the weather!" Still, rather than condemning the media when it runs a story about how the party you like could be at a disadvantage, the better thing to do is think about how you can refute that point -- or how that disadvantage can be overcome if it actually does come to pass.

Sorry for getting so wordy. This is one of those topics that gets me all eye-rolly. You understand.

Posted by: GJonahJameson | August 7, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

God, I wish people would stop referencing online polls. Those are the stupidest things ever. Yeah, its a cute way for CNN make it seem like its visitors are participating, but it's a completely meaningless poll. You know, the whole thing about random samples and whatnot?

Second, is there any evidence to suggest that governor elections have any meaning nationally? States switch from their red/blue state affiliation all the time when it comes to governors. Maryland, Massachusetts, and California all have or recently had a Republican governor. Louisiana, Kansas, and Wyoming all have or recently had Democratic governors. Why are we to think these governor elections mean anything?

And I'm sticking with my predictions. Corzine is out, Deeds is in.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 7, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

My pick on Dan Hynes' succesor as Illinois Comptroller is Raja Krishnamoorthi

Posted by: Corey_NY | August 7, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

"Please inform the White House that more and more INDEPENDENTS are giving him an "F" as well.

Posted by: JakeD"
Considering he wasn't allowed in the class to begin with then that is an improvement.

Posted by: JRM2 | August 7, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

i'm going to vote Republican for VA's governor b/c if you put spoiled milk back into the fridge for a few days it miraculously turns fresh again.

vote 3rd party, purge the corruption/lunacy/idiocy.

Posted by: millionea7 | August 7, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

So you have Democrats giving A's and Republicans giving F's. You might as well just stop there.


Not to mention Republicans always have an organized program for skewing the results of any online poll, so Obama's actual score is probably a B.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 7, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

And what if Democrats pick up the Governorship of California?, you know, something like the world's third largest economy?

Posted by: JRM2 | August 7, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Oh for god's sake.

Republicans have been bleeding profusely since 2004. Democrats haven't lost a single Senate seat. Now CC is pointing to a minor break in a long streak as yet another indication that Republicans are going to bounce back .. while that party is showing no sign whatever of breaking its own narrow and extreme ideology, its petulant political antics, or its idea-free oppositional approach to governance.

The fact that Virginia is in any doubt as a Republican stronghold is pretty grim news for Republicans, and there is a lot of doubt there.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 7, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

GJonah... the point is, that the media should identify that republicans say such and such, rather than simply state what they say as fact, which they too often do, without even fact-checking.

Posted by: drindl | August 7, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I wish I'd remembered in my original reply to post the odds on how quickly this Fix post would result in Chris, and by extension the rest of the Evil Mainstream Media, being attacked for being too Republican-friendly.

A lot of people, I think, don't understand that the media is obligated to report what both sides of the political are saying, regardless of whether one side's argument might be goofier than the other's. If the governorships of both New Jersey and Virginia swing from blue to red, every Republican politician and pundit worth his salt is going to start claiming it's a "referendum" on President Obama. That's what Chris is saying the press coverage would quickly pick up on. You might not believe it, but that's what all the Republicans are going to be saying, and the media can't just ignore it because it doesn't stand to logic.

'Course, on the other side of the coin, even if every major media outlet picks up on that trumpet blast from the Republican camp that Obama's and the other Democrats' days are numbered, the Republicans will still every day accuse the media of being too Democrat-friendly, but...

Posted by: GJonahJameson | August 7, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

The organized thuggery of Repugs at town halls is predictably getting more violent as the mob instincts of these beasts gets out of control..

(CNN) -- A health care town hall meeting in Florida on Thursday dissolved into bouts of heckling and violent pushing and shoving among attendees.

The meeting in Tampa, which featured Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor and Florida State Representative Betty Reed, was another example of the tense battle lines that have been created in the passionate health care debate.

Hundreds showed for the meeting at the Children's Board of Hillsborough County, some carrying signs railing against President Obama's proposed health care reforms. Hundreds more were not able to get into the meeting room.

As Castor first began to speak, scuffles broke out as people tried to get into the meeting room. Parts of the congresswoman's speech was drowned out by chants of "read the bill, read the bill" and "tyranny," video of the meeting showed."

Look at the photo -- the ugly face of a hate cult.

Posted by: drindl | August 7, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Good news for real Americans, bad news for Republicans....

"NEW YORK ( -- The long-battered U.S. job market showed some signs of improvement in July as employers cut far fewer jobs from payrolls and the unemployment rate fell for the first time in more than a year, according to a government report Friday.

The Labor Department reported a net loss of 247,000 jobs in July, the fewest job losses since August 2008. Economists surveyed by had forecast a loss of 325,000.

The job loss in June was also revised lower -- to 443,000 job losses from 467,000.

The unemployment rate fell to 9.4% from 9.5% in June, the first decline in that closely watched reading since April of 2008. Economists had expected unemployment to rise to 9.6%."

Posted by: drindl | August 7, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Chris, you are killing me, two botched poll reports in one post!

Firstly, you cite "two independent polls" in different states- What do you mean? well if they are in different states, they are obviously independent from each other. There would be "two independent polls" in two states if there were a total of four polls.

Secondly, independent implies non-partisan, which sounds funny when you acknowledge they are sponsored by DKos.

CNN's report card- this is reported under the guise of an opinion poll, which it is certainly not. It is a census of those who want to participate online, and you should push us away from that because it breaks down data by geographic location, which implies representativeness.

Please be careful

Posted by: sfcpoll | August 7, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

TrueObserver writes
"For reasons unknown, or more accurately, obvious reasons, the Main Stream Media has never reported that Obama does not and never has had coattails."

So... If Obama hadn't been on the ballot, the Dems would have won even larger majorities in both the House and Senate. Wow. I can't imagine what the political environment would be like were a President Clinton or McCain in office with even stronger Dem majorities in Congress. Either a juggernaut rolling over all things held dear by the GOP or gridlock, with Dems legislating like crazy & McCain ordering veto pens by the case.

Posted by: bsimon1 | August 7, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: bsimon1 | August 7, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

For reasons unknown, or more accurately, obvious reasons, the Main Stream Media has never reported that Obama does not and never has had coattails.

The obvious and glaring example was Seals against Kirk in Illinois.

With Obama on the ballot and carrying the 10th, Seals did worse with Obama on the ballot than he did in 2006.

Posted by: TrueObserver | August 7, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

dbw1, in TX this has not been as disruptive a recession as 1986-1992 [the S&L and real estate debacle].

So I reacted to your post thinking this felt more like the beginning of the upswing in '93.

I know that is not what you meant, but this remains a starkly different economy for 25M Texans than for 35M Californians, and where they see doom we see "flattening". I was at the ABA Employment Law seminar two weeks ago and had breakfast [by accident] with a Fifth Circuit Judge from Houston and an Alamogordo attorney. The New Mexican went on about how depressed business was in Alamogordo and we sympathized, but when he asked about Austin and Houston we both said we had not seen anything like what he was describing.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | August 7, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

The recession will end, the GOP will still be led by odious creeps, Dems will win again.

Posted by: drindl | August 7, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse


Please inform the White House that more and more INDEPENDENTS are giving him an "F" as well.

Posted by: JakeD | August 7, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

bsimon -- where's a link to the chat?

Posted by: drindl | August 7, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Chris Christie looks like he'd be comfortable with his face in a trough.

Posted by: drindl | August 7, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

What pathetic hackery, CC. i am so tired of the republican cheerleading. Don't your arms get tired from waving your pompoms so much?

What it means is two governorships. Corzine is not very popular, Deeds is not very well known. That's all it means. Has jack to do with Obama. How tedious this is.

"Regardless of whether or not it would be fair to lay Democratic defeats in New Jersey and Virginia at the feet of the White House, it is a near certainty that the press coverage would quickly adopt that storyline."

Well, of course they willl. The MSM is always quick to dump on Democrats. What else is new.

Posted by: drindl | August 7, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

The Fix's Friday chat starts in 10 minutes. What will he say about Sen Martinez's resignation? How does that impact the FL Sen race next year? Is Crist stupid enough to try appointing himself to the seat & running as an 'incumbent'?

Posted by: bsimon1 | August 7, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Twitter is fixed, my mp3 player crashed and I'm working on my golf swing so it's always something. It looks like intel is getting better and it's another weekend in the mud. I've got beer, so life isn't bad. It's just half bad. Back to spinning vinyl this weekend. Snap-crackle-pop! Treats for the kids Sunday. Cheers.

Posted by: Dermitt | August 7, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Facebook isn't exactly a scientific poll.

Looking at the distribution, you have a bunch of A+ and A, counterbalanced by a bunch of F's, averaging to a C-. That is an inverse distribution, typical of combining two diverse populations.

So you have Democrats giving A's and Republicans giving F's. You might as well just stop there.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | August 7, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

What are the republican tactics?
1. Lie? CHECK
2. Fearmongering? CHECK
3. Race-baiting? CHECK
4. Hurt the economy? CHECK


Posted by: Tomcat3 | August 7, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

CNN is reporting that Senator Mel Martinez R-FL will resign his seat.

Posted by: rogden71 | August 7, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I am reporting you all as un-American to

Posted by: ObamaOrDie | August 7, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

You better believe that if it went the other way and the Democrats won both those Govenerships they would spin it as referendum on Obama. What I'm most interested in is the Republicans picking up control of some state legislators this year and in 2010 so they can have control of the resetting the congressional boundaries after the 2010 census.

Posted by: RobT1 | August 7, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

"C-" and "D" sound about right. I would also give him an "F" in Citizenship.

Posted by: JakeD | August 7, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

No way on God's green earth will the Republicans gain a majority in the House or Senate in 2010. The Dems might lose 2 or 3 seats in the Senate, if things are bad. In the house, a larger percentage but still short of a majority for the GOP. IF things are bad.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | August 7, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

"Regardless of whether or not it would be fair to lay Democratic defeats in New Jersey and Virginia at the feet of the White House, it is a near certainty that the press coverage would quickly adopt that storyline."

What does that say about the press? Not that they are professional and have integrity; thats for sure.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | August 7, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

So in your "heads I win, tails you lose" argument, if the economy is still bad in 2010, the voters will punish the president's party, but if the economy is doing better, they'll forget about the economy and vote on other issues.

You are forgetting that the anti-Bush sentiment in early 2008 had little to do with the economy. As those issues are debated in 2010, the principles Obama espoused in the election will continue to resonate.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | August 7, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

In New Jersey, Corzine's self-inflicted wounds plus the fact that Christie is a great candidate. Christie is the 1st New Jersey candidate in a while that has the full support of the conservative base plus has the benefit of winning independents overwhelmingly due to their distain for Corzine and picking off some Dems. that hate Corzine. In Virginia, if McDonnell wins, Obama & the Democrats do take a hit and it is a blowing of the shifting political winds.

In all honesty, I still think Virginia is more vulnerable than New Jersey. Corzine sucks as Governor, but NJ is bluer than blue. It's a major deal if Republicans do win both!

Posted by: reason5 | August 7, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

The Virginia race will tighten considerably. Who is even paying attention to an off-year governors race in August? Most voters are not.

The Obama visit and the improving economy will help Deeds considerably. If McConnell wants to make the race a referendum on national issues that could bite him in the butt if things continue to improve.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | August 7, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

"Unfortunately unemployment is the last thing to turn around coming out of a recession. The numbers still won't look good this fall, but should be better before the 2010 elections."

Does anyone else agree with me that it feels like we are re-living 1992-1994 all over again?

A young, well-spoken Democrat sweeps into the White House on a mantra of "change" in a bad economic environment. Once in office, citizens start recoiling at his party pushing their most radical policies. As the economy improves, political momentum starts swinging back the other direction as those 'independent' voters start considering issues other than the economy. And two years into office, the President's party is swept out of power in Congress leaving us with a Democrat President held in check by a Republican congress.

Only time will tell if that last part comes true in 2010.

Posted by: dbw1 | August 7, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

In terms of the impact of national politics on these races, I suspect they will turn heavily on whether the forthcoming end of the formal recession generates good press and what sort of health reform is passed.

Locally, which is where these things are ultimately won and lost, Corzine's in a pretty deep hole, though given New Jersey's famously anti-Republican bent, one can still imagine him turning it around somehow. Deeds is a better candidate than Corzine overall (he's not an incumbent), though in a much more purple state.

Posted by: SeanC1 | August 7, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I fully acknowledge the surface-level thinking of this, but Chris Christie is not a good looking fellow.

They can't all be John Kennedy, John Edwards, or John Thune, I guess.

Posted by: dognabbit | August 7, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I doubt any sort of red-to-blue turnover for governorships would effectively serve as a "referendum" on President Obama. I can see that case being made with state and national Congressional races, because a lot of voters aren't willing to commit the time to studying the candidates on their merits and will just vote for whichever political party is angering them the least at the moment. But voters know who their governor is and whether or not they think he or she is doing a good job. If voters elect Chris Christie and Bob O'Donnell, it will be because, in large part, they either liked what they had to offer or didn't like what Jon Corzine and Creigh Deeds had to offer -- not because of what they think of Obama.

That's not to say no one will cast a vote in those races based on the voter's opinion of Obama -- incidentally, haven't there already been at least two attempted "referendums" on him that didn't amount to anything? -- but it won't be a significant enough factor to decide either election.

That said, I do agree that the Republican party will try to spin it as a referendum on Obama if both states go red, and there will be pundits who spout it and voters who believe it. I'm sure the Democrats would have done the same thing had there been an election year between 2000 and 2006 in which more governorships flipped from red to blue than from blue to red.

Posted by: GJonahJameson | August 7, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

If Byrd or Kennedy were from Virginia or New Jersey, I'd be advocating that they retire while the governors are still Democrats.

Other than that, I don't really care what happens to the governorships of other states.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | August 7, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Mark - NJ is pretty corrupt. Its politics are stuck in a time warp! Christie may seem marginally cleaner but I think 'noise' is being made about him as well.... (And your Jindal comparison is apt..)

Re unemployment numbers: they have just announced they have actually dropped a bit compared to last month. Obviously, it will take a few more months to note if this is a trend or an aberration...

Posted by: RickJ | August 7, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

RickJ, from this distance I tend to agree about Corzine - how could anyone who favors good government be for him? NJ seems so weirdly and pervasively corrupt - LA without charm - that if the opponent is marginally cleaner everyone will gain, right?

Part of Jindal's charm in LA is that he is not of "the crook crowd". Am I drawing a flawed parallel?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | August 7, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

You fail to mention that VA has been a reliable Republican state until recently. The GOP still control the Statehouse. If numbers at the polls are lighter with the minorities staying away (look at the two candidates)then the Repub will unfortunately win. Maybe a Repub gov can get the crackpots in the House to actually fund transportation. But, I doubt it. He has previously made the usual noises, cutting taxes and downsizing VDOT. He's just another Repub that will make things worse.

Posted by: Falmouth1 | August 7, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

I think Corzine is a lost cause. I don't know about Deeds. Attitudes may shift quite a bit by November.

Unfortunately unemployment is the last thing to turn around coming out of a recession. The numbers still won't look good this fall, but should be better before the 2010 elections. For this reason I don't think the 2009 gubernatorial elections are a good predictor of 2010.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | August 7, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

It's nice that the stock market is over 9k and the financial industry are giving themselves a profitable pat on the back, etc. -- but I had 2 more friends laid off this last week: a 50 year-old privat-industry librarian and a 60 year-old accounts manager at Carrier. He had been with Carrier since he finished college on the GI Bill after Viet Nam. She's got a boy who goes to college next year; he was looking forward to a fully-vested retirement in 2 years.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | August 7, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Would love to see the Virginia poll numbers after Obama's fiery visit for Deeds. I'm guessing this race is much closer than the media portrays.

Posted by: parkerfl1 | August 7, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Obama Poll Rehabilitation Prescription:






OR (if links are corrupted / disabled): RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | August 7, 2009 7:55 AM | Report abuse

That was George Allen, not Jim Gilmore that was elected in 1993...

Posted by: JohnnyVegas2 | August 7, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Corzine's expected loss has anything to do with Obama or Dems nationally. As you say Chris, it's self inflicted. I also think the numbers in VA will tighten.

I also believe the economy will be pulling out of its slump by the end of this year. While next year will not have huge growth, the story will be recovery and not recession. This should also minimise any losses the Dems may face in 2010. (What's not being accounted for is the shrinking numbers of voters who ID themselves as Republicans. While they have recruited some candidates who appear to be moderate on paper, such as Crist, those candidates who appeal to the rabid right risk losing the general public....

Thanks for the book tips!

Posted by: RickJ | August 7, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

If, as it is expected, the recession ends when, in October, the GDP number is released for Q3, will democrats nationwide get a pump? If so this may be enought to save VA although, Corizine may have screwed himself already

Posted by: derekmanners | August 7, 2009 6:37 AM | Report abuse

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