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Morning Fix: Dodd Rises Again (Or Not)



Is Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd (D) in the clear? Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

Friday's ruling by the Senate ethics committee that Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd (D) had broken no rules in his dealings with the mortgage giant Countrywide left Democrats touting the judgment as the start of the incumbent's political comeback and Republicans insisting that Dodd remained as vulnerable as ever.

"I hope that today's dismissal will go a long way towards restoring the bond of trust and confidence that I've worked long and hard to build with the people of our state," said Dodd in a statement released after the decision.

A former Dodd senior staffer painted the ruling as a "positive" development, noting that the ethics panel had produced a bipartisan decision that would help to suppress the idea that the ruling had been politically motivated.

Not so, argued Neil Newhouse, pollster for former representative Rob Simmons, the frontrunner for the Republican nomination. "The Senate action is far too late and truthfully meaningless to impact voter opinion in the state," said Newhouse. "Dodd may have passed the ethics test in the U.S. Senate, but he's nowhere close to achieving that among Connecticut's voters."

Who's right?

The simple fact for Dodd is that any finding of wrongdoing by the Ethics committee would almost certainly have doomed what is already a very difficult reelection bid. In that broadest sense then, Dodd dodged a major bullet.

It's harder to know how being exonerated by the ethics committee ultimately plays out in the race. Polling suggests that Dodd has been badly damaged by the allegations against him and while he has been cleared of wrongdoing by the Senate, it remains to be seen whether or not Connecticut voters can be convinced.

Two things work in Dodd's favor as he seeks to parlay his acquittal by the ethics panel into political capital: time and demographics.

Dodd has nearly 18 months left to make his case to the people of the state, a case that will center on this ruling that proves, according to Dodd allies, that he had never done anything wrong.

Connecticut's strong Democratic lean also works in Dodd's favor as many of the voters he must win back to his side are either members of his party already or Democratic-leaning independents who are just looking for a reason to get back behind him.

"The committee's finding validates the faith President Obama placed in him," read an editorial in the Hartford Courant that had to make the Dodd forces smile. "It should restores constituents' faith as well."

The counter argument put forward by Republicans is that, ultimately, this decision works in their favor because it is unlikely to turn around public perceptions about Dodd -- GOP strategists insist that being found innocent by a group of senators and being seen as a blameless by voters are two very different things -- and it will reinforce Dodd's plans to run for reelection.

Monday Fix Picks: We could do without heat waves.

1. Frank Rich sees long term problems for the president.
2. Dan Balz on the importance of August.
3. Mark Sanford is in trouble. Again.
4. Al Cross, the Kentucky reporting legend, on the "Fancy Farm" fallout.
5. Go Joe!

Seals Far Ahead in IL-10 Survey: Dan Seals, the Democratic nominee against Rep. Mark Kirk (R) in 2006 and 2008, holds a wide lead in the 2010 Democratic primary, according to a survey done for his campaign and obtained by the Fix. Seals takes 63 percent of the vote compared to to just eight percent for state Rep. Julie Hamos and two percent for attorney Elliot Richardson in a hypothetical Democratic primary matchup. The survey, which was conducted by Anzalone-Liszt Research for Seals campaign, also showed Seals -- not surprisingly -- as by far the best known candidate in the Democratic race with 83 percent name identification. Hamos, who won the endorsement of Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) last Friday, has a meager 18 percent name identification. And, roughly two-thirds of voters agreed with the statement that Seals had earned the right to a third run for the seat while 23 percent said it was time to give someone new a chance. With Kirk leaving the 10th to run for Senate, Democrats have a very good chance of taking over this North Shore district.

TPaw's Inner Circle: According to a terrific piece in the Star Tribune, here's who is advising Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) as he considers a run for president in 2012: former Republican National Committee spokesman (and blogger) Alex Conant, former Rep. Vin Weber (R-Minn.), former gubernatorial campaign aide Bob Schroeder, former Pawlenty chief of staff Charlie Weaver, pollster Tony Fabrizio and former Republican Governors Association executive director Phil Musser. IMPORTANT NOTE: None of the above names have inked deals with Tpaw, serving instead as unpaid advisers.

Maloney Out, Gillibrand In: New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney's (D) decision not to challenge Kirsten Gillibrand in next year's Senate primary makes the appointed Democrat a very strong favorite in the primary and the general election. "Giving up for a critical period of time the things I do best -- passing legislation, working on the issues, serving New Yorkers -- would put politics before policy," Maloney said in a statement explaining her decision. Perhaps. But, the weight of organizational -- the White House and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee had endorsed Gillibrand -- and financial support lined up against Maloney made her decision not to run easier. Republicans seem more interested in trying to oust Gov. David Paterson in 2010 than in recruiting someone serious against Gillibrand.

Huntsman's Popularity Rises (!) : One week before he leaves Utah to take up residence in China as the U.S. ambassador to that country, a new poll shows that Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. (R) is among the most popular politicians in the country. Eighty-six percent of those tested approved of the job Huntsman had done as governor while a stunningly low eight percent disapproved in a new Dan Jones & Associates poll conducted for the Deseret News. Almost seven in ten Republicans said they would vote for Huntsman if he decided to run for another office in Utah while six in ten (58 percent) of Democrats and Independents said the same. Before Huntsman was chosen by President Obama as the ambassador to China, he was was clearing moving toward a national bid in either 2012 or beyond. While his new post likely precludes a 2012 run, Huntsman will almost certainly be in the mix in 2016.

Say What?: "It seems like she always gets in trouble when she opens her mouth." -- Supermodel Christie Brinkley offers her opinion on the political future of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R).

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 10, 2009; 6:15 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Comments

mtcooley:

I hereby apologize for my August 10, 2009 10:55 AM post.

Posted by: JakeD | August 12, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Some serious house cleaning is an absolute NECESSITY IN 2010 -- THROUGHOUT THE US CONGRESS!

NO MORE ARROGANCE!

NO MORE EAR MARKS!

NO MORE REFUSED PHONE CALLS!

NO MORE SPECIAL CREDIT & MORTGAGE DEALS FOR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS!

NO MORE CONDESCENDING COMMENTS FROM STAFFERS WHEN BASIC QUESTIONS ARE ASKED!

NO MORE PERKS FOR MEMBERS AT TAXPAYER EXPENSE!

----and like many Americans have had to experience this past year ----

SALARY REDUCTIONS FOR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS -

AND

PERSONAL STAFF REDUCTIONS FOR EACH MEMBER!

Maybe if their pay and perks were cut, they would spend a bit more time in their districts listening to their BOSSES (crooks might then not find it feasible to run for office!!)

We need to begin with the removal of Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer who had the audacity to insult the American people with their Aug 10 editorial, AND PELOSI AIR!! But followed close behind should be weasels like Chris Dodd!!

Posted by: wheeljc | August 11, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

What kind of loser begins and ends their day by insulting palin over and over. This from a person who has never demonstrated one inkling of succes, intelligence, integrity, humor, popularity or personality. On the one hand we have a lonely loser consumed with hate and obsessed with an out of reach conservative beauty. On the other hand, the target of the loons rage.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 10, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Well then what was that crack about her being a divorcee all about? Sounded like a snide put-down of her as an immoral woman, as opposed to that nutbar fundie Sarah Palin.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 10, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

mtcooley:

I never said that Christie Brinkley has no worth (she's reportedly worth $80 million) and is clearly entitled to her opinion, as am I.

Posted by: JakeD | August 10, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

"As is customary for the "do you know who I am" party, they actually beleive they have a monopoly on intelligence, wisdom, benevolance, creativity and morality. If you do not see things, their way, you are clearly deficient in one or more aspect of this formula."

Great, now I'm going to be up all night trying to think of a Republican policy that doesn't lack in any of these things.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 10, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

THIS IS IT!

More than two thirds of the American people want a single payer health care system. And if they cant have a single payer system 76% of all Americans want a strong government-run public option on day one (85% of democrats, 71% of independents, and 60% of republicans). Basically everyone.

AND NO INSURANCE MANDATES WITHOUT A STRONG GOVERNMENT-RUN PUBLIC OPTION ON DAY ONE! An insurance mandate without a strong government-run public option choice on day one, would be a DISASTER! And it would be worse than the GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT HEALTH INSURANCE HORROR! SHOW you have now. YOU MUST MAKE CERTAIN!! THAT DOES NOT HAPPEN AMERICA.

The healthcare reform bills released by the first two committees of the House Of Representatives are excellent bills as I understand them. They are bills with a strong, robust, government-run public option, and an intelligent, reasonable initial funding plan to cover almost all of the American people. They are carefully written, and thoughtfully constructed, informed, prudent and wise. These bills will save trillions of dollars, and millions of your lives. They are also now supported by the AMA.

These are the type of bills that all Americans can feel good about. And these are the type of bills that have the potential to dramatically improve the quality of healthcare for all Americans. Rich, middle class and poor a like. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and all other party affiliations. These bills have the potential to dramatically improve the quality of life of every American.

The house healthcare bills released by the first two committees should be viewed as the minimum GOLD STANDARD by which all other proposed healthcare legislation should be judged. All supporters of true high quality healthcare reform should now place all your support behind these healthcare reform bills released by the first two committees of the United States House Of Representatives, as the minimum Gold standard for healthcare reform in America.

You should all now support the first two committees bills with all your might, and all of your unrelenting tenacity. These first two House committees healthcare bills are VERY, VERY GOOD! bills for all of the American people. Fight tooth, and nail for every bit of these bills if you have too. Be aggressive, creative, and relentless for these bills.

From this time forward, go BIGGER and DEEPER with the American people every day until passage of healthcare reform with a robust, government-run public option.

FIGHT!! like your life and the lives of your loved ones depends on it. BECAUSE IT DOES!

SPREAD THE WORD

Senator Bernie Sanders on healthcare (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSM8t_cLZgk&feature=player_embedded)

God Bless You

Jack Smith — Working Class

Posted by: JackSmith1 | August 10, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse


Good description of the GOP.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | August 10, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

As is customary for the "do you know who I am" party, they actually beleive they have a monopoly on intelligence, wisdom, benevolance, creativity and morality. If you do not see things, their way, you are clearly deficient in one or more aspect of this formula.

Except, by thinking that way, they demonstrate that they are void on those aspects.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 10, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

You'd think with a bill this complex, there'd be enough real problems to concern folks, without making up false fears.

Most reasonable people have given the gummint their account number so they can have their tax refund direct-deposited. For example.

But the fearmongering technique is well-honed by now. Throw junk out and see what sticks. If a majority of folks object to one provision (real or imagined) they will want to keep the status quo.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | August 10, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I think of those "check cashing" places as for people with heavily overdrawn accounts who don't want to deposit a check and see it eaten up by accumulated late fees. I had one roommate who used them all the time.

But no matter. The teabaggers / birthers / deathers are seeing monsters and don't want to be informed.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 10, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

"Euthanasia, death squads, back account theft ..
Posted by: chrisfox8 | "
Euthanasia/death squads - if you are referring to Palin's "Death-Panel" believe it or not, it was a Republican (Isakson, GA) representative's legislation!

Re: bank account theft - requiring someone to register their bank account with the federal govnt. sounds scary enough but would help drive down costs (curb the use of paper statements) and make it very difficult to game the system, Illegals have a very hard time getting bank accounts, that is why all those "check cashing" businesses exist.

Posted by: JRM2 | August 10, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

When I read

"How could I be a racist? I voted for Alan Keyes"

and

"How could I be a racist? I support Rubio!"

and

"How could I be a misogynist? I support Sarah Palin"

I tend to read it as:

"How could I be a racist? I voted for a right wing nutbar"

"How could I be a racist? I voted for a right wing nutbar"

"How could I be a misogynist? I voted for a right wing nutbar"

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 10, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

You know he got that from some talking point email

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 10, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

>>I'm not exactly sure how I get labeled "misogynistic" by actually supporting a WOMAN for President of the United States

No. You're mysogynistic by putting down Brinkley by being a divorcee instead of by merit like a sane person. There's nothing to discuss but the fact that you blatantly said she has no worth because she's a divorcee while Sarah Palin is not.

Seriously dude there is no way to get around being called that by putting your foot in your mouth as you did.

Posted by: mtcooley | August 10, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

most of the people the dems are attacking are dems...

==

you're demented

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 10, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse


I understand why the insurance agencies and drug companies want to shoot down reform. Greed. Profits.

I can understand wanting to hear from your congressman. But I see no reason to shout down your congressman unless what you are looking for is a "Waterloo" event.

Unfortunately the insurance industry has the advertising budget to stir up the "Waterloo" types. Let's hope the pro-reform side can keep up.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | August 10, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

most of the people the dems are attacking are dems...
so, hiding from your own voters...
having them beat up by unuion thugs...
refusing to talk to them...
are these the ways these voters will reelect you back into office...
funny...

Posted by: DwightCollins | August 10, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

@mikeinmidland: I've read of at least one town hall being canceled over fears about safety. At least one of our own GOP posters rejoiced and seemed to consider that some sort of victory.

These guys are all torqued up over seriously deranged lies; for GOP types to lie is nothing new, but until now those lies usually had some (highly contrived) foundation in truth. Not anymore.

Euthanasia, death squads, back account theft .. the GOP falsehood machine is pulling all the stops. And with cooperative media letting the attacks go un- or under-reported, the hope I suppose is that health care reform will be perceived as having failed on its own.

Manipulating perceptions seems to be instinctual with these lunatics, as scent-marking is instinctual for territorial beasts.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 10, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking that word was a little overly dramatic, chrisfox8, but then I looked it up:

Terrorism: the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear.

To the extent that this intimidation limits understanding of the proposals, and thereby increases resistance to change, the definition is applicable.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | August 10, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

It would really help if people could hear the details of the plan, and ask questions of their elected representatives, in order to reduce that anxiety. The biggest objections of the proposed reforms are rooted in unfamiliarity and false perceptions. It is therefore unfortunate that some town hall attendees insist on shouting down information with disinformation.

==

The town howlers don't want any information, they have no room left in their heads for informatio, already stuffed to capacity with lies and paranoia.

The point of the town hall meetings is to get out the real information, the GOP howler monkeys who go there want to prevent that from happening.

This isn't democracy. This is terrorism.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 10, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Jake, why don't you let "lurkers" look after themselves? I don't recall you being appointed arbiter of clarity around here, and you would certainly not be anyone's chocie.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 10, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

If anyone wants the ENTIRE context of the line I quoted (and not the GOP version) they could just click the link, helpfully provided by Mr. Cillizza. Fix Pick #2.

Ain't technology wunnerful?

Posted by: mikeinmidland | August 10, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm simply giving lurkers the entire context of the two (2) sentences you provided. See you later.

Posted by: JakeD | August 10, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse


It would really help if people could hear the details of the plan, and ask questions of their elected representatives, in order to reduce that anxiety. The biggest objections of the proposed reforms are rooted in unfamiliarity and false perceptions. It is therefore unfortunate that some town hall attendees insist on shouting down information with disinformation.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | August 10, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

The Obama administration doesn't need advice from a Republican pollster to know that health care reform is part of the overall economic picture. They've been saying all along that spiraling health care costs are a major problem for our economy going forward.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | August 10, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

(from the paragraphs right before that excerpt)

In years past, it has taken two to nearly four years for consumer confidence to rebound after it has dipped as low as it did in this recession. "We have a long, long way to go before people start feeling better about the economy," he said.

McInturff's second observation is that declining confidence in the president's economic policies has affected attitudes about the rest of Obama's agenda and his overall leadership. Much attention has been focused over the past few weeks on the health-care battle, but McInturff sees the landscape differently. "We're not having a health-care fight," he said. "There is a broad and underlying unease about the state of the economy and the country. . . . I think the Obama administration needs to understand that health care is interwoven with these broader concerns."

Posted by: JakeD | August 10, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

O.K., thanks -- I hadn't read Dan Balz.

Posted by: JakeD | August 10, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Per the questioner's previous criteria, please see "Fix Pick #2."

"Obama needs his party's lawmakers to return to Washington after Labor Day ready to move on health care. If failure is not an option, as so many Democrats say, August will have to be a time in which consensus takes shape."

Posted by: mikeinmidland | August 10, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Is this a healthcare thread?

Posted by: JakeD | August 10, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Thank you mike. It's too bad most journos don't have the balls to take on all the surreal disinformation on this issue that's out there.

The cranks never shut up.

Posted by: drindl | August 10, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Excellent post, drindl. I am alternately amused and appalled at posts which exhort Obama and congress to "sign themselves up first!" Their plan is exactly what they want all of us to have.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | August 10, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

@awunsch:

Well, IF Dodd was unethically abetting the financial industry, that's hardly socialist behavior, is it?

You can be a socialist, or a tool of the capitalists, but its very hard to be both.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | August 10, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

During a recent town hall in Massachusetts, an angry attendee asked Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA) why she and other Members of Congress won’t enroll in a public plan. Tsongas responded, “People often say why don’t the American people have what those of us in Congress have.” As she tried to explain the substance of the health care reform bill, the town hall participants began screaming, refusing to allow her to speak.

As a member of Congress, Tsongas said she has a “tremendous array of choice” in health care options available to her. The audience yelled, “We want choice! We want choice!” To those who were willing to listen, Tsongas explained, “That is essentially what we are creating for the American people – we are creating greater choice.” Watch it:


As is often the case with these angry town hall participants, their fervent complaints are grounded in a shallow understanding of the facts. The truth is, Obama’s health care plan delivers for those who want more choice, like members of Congress have. The public option would insert public/private competition in a “market” that is currently dominated by a monopoly of health insurers who dictate the terms. As Republican congressman Pat Murphy (R-PA) said:

One of our big frustrations with insurance companies is they control the marketplace, they control what’s done, a lot of times doctors not making the decisions here.

Obama is pushing to establish more health care choices for the consumer by creating a national health insurance exchange “where Americans can one-stop shop for a health care plan, compare benefits and prices, and choose the plan that’s best for them, in the same way that Members of Congress and their families can” in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. “One of these options,” Obama said, “needs to be a public option that will give people a broader range of choices and inject competition into the health care market so that force waste out of the system and keep the insurance companies honest.”

Posted by: drindl | August 10, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I am sure CC looks forward to the hourly update about his blog from the mental case drivl.

now even Peloony is trying to eliminate all discusssion that does not border on loco. It must be a symptom of not having a spare idea in your head.

So the loudest, and stupidest of all get to scream at the top of their lungs for eight years, but when the populace rejects the takeover, they freak out and try to stifle all talk that they deem subversive.

could it be they have nothing to say but the usual hate and insult? so far that must be the conclusion.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 10, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

"By all rights, from a traditional American point of view, Sen Dodd should go down in flames because of his unethical behavior "

If ethics is the standard, the whole R party should go down in flames. And indeed, it is.

Posted by: drindl | August 10, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Dodd's future in CT will depend upon how much the voters follow what is going on in this administration and the role that Sen Dodd has had in the financial meltdown. By all rights, from a traditional American point of view, Sen Dodd should go down in flames because of his unethical behavior and his support for socialist/marixist policies. Hopefully the Catholic population in Ct will have awakened by 2010 and will vote him out.

Posted by: awunsch | August 10, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Gee Jake the perception that you're a hateful bigot seems universal among all the hinged posters here.

I guess every one of us is wrong, huh?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 10, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

mtcooley:

I'm not exactly sure how I get labeled "misogynistic" by actually supporting a WOMAN for President of the United States -- some women I admire never even got married, so that wasn't my point -- I'm out right now, but maybe later tonight we can discuss.

Posted by: JakeD | August 10, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Democrap Socialist ... Democrap Socialist ... Democrap Socialist

==

Why don't you go entertain a kindergarten class with this stuff.

Or take it over to stormfront where it belongs

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 10, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

armpeg and kingofzouk 2 good examples of why the Rs will lose even bigger in the next election. Illiterate, ignorant, and childish.

Chris Cilliza's personal email address is at the top of the page. I have just written him a formal complaint about the use of 'coxsuxer' by one of the deranged wingers. You might want to also.

Posted by: drindl | August 10, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Awwww. how cute. Moonbats in love.

Despite all probability, the two most hating creatures on the planet managed to find two other (barely)intelligent beings to befriend.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 10, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Surprise, surprise! The Democrap Socialist--controlled Senate ethics Committee found that Democrap Socialist Cris Dodd and Democrap Socialist Kent Konrad did nothing wrong in taking payoffs and kickbacks from Countrywide. The party of corruption and their propaganda arm, the Democrap Socialist--controlled Main Stream Media, is once again true to form. Only Republicans are held to account. They, and the Democrap Socialist--controlled Main Stream Media would have tarred, feathered, and crucified any Republican who did the same. Dodd and Konrad--like most Democrap Socialist elected officials--being members in good standing with the mob and organized crime gangs that have cloaked themselves in businesses like Countrywide, I'm sure, will get very large contributions(?) come the next election from their friends in the mob and their various business fronts. The voters of Conn., being as dumb as they are and have always been, will re-elect this slimeball without a doubt. Typical Democrap Socialists all.

Posted by: armpeg | August 10, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I see drivl is from the Peloony school. silence the free speech types. Only hate and lies is to be spread for Lib dogma to succeed.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 10, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

'You know you've poked a pig when it squeals.'

yes, that's palin alright. with far too much lipstick.

Posted by: drindl | August 10, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

@drindl: the Ombudsman isn't really connected with web stuff. At least "Report Abuse" emails no longer bounce, they just go into a black hole.

ChrisC did a warning at zouk a few days ago, but it wasn't about the sexually explicit stuff, just about off-topic posts .. within the hour zouk did another, no effect.

It's a joke.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 10, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

it don't take much to unhinge them... most of the R base already there.

Posted by: drindl | August 10, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin must be pushing their buttons again in Washington. It was the talk of the town on the Sunday talking heads shows (ABC). You know you've poked a pig when it squeals.

Despite all the caterwauling by the brainless chrisuxcox, who by the way, wouldn't know an intelligent thought if it hit him in the emnpty skull , the brilliant Palin leads the country around by the nose. Meanwhile, the moonbats wallow in self-contempt and hate, trying to spread it to others. getting old, all this class warfare, the lefty lies, the supercillious attitude.

still waiting for a single demonstration as to why the idiot coxsuxer has any means to insult and put down others. as far as I can tell the sole contribution to society is simply taking up bandwidth in meaningless blogging all week.

and to think, the bonehead sees fit to take on a popular governor, a VP candidate, a national leadewr, a crowd pleaser, an inspiration for millions, a mother,a politician, in short a success. Everything the moonbat is not I presume.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 10, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox -- did you try the ombudsman yet? This kind of sexual harrasment is clearly antithetical to the Post's rules, and they are responsible for the comments on this forum.

Posted by: drindl | August 10, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

instead of chasing down endif loops that won't behave.

==

We already know you're an institutionalized nut but even a guy who got ECT earlier this morning should know that loops are "while" and "for," not "if."

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 10, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

If you ban the mysogonist queen, who will she annoy? all the IRL people have fled.

Keep her around. It makes drivl feel superior and that is a most unlikely situation. where else in the world could a group of misfit moonbats get free therapy, assuming Barry doesn't get his bill passed of course.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 10, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

It is sad that some people feel that they have to lash out with ad hominem attacks at anyone who expresses a negative opinion of Ms. Palin's communication skills.

==

Not sure why you would refer to this as an opinion. That Palin is an incoherent bo0b is hardly open to interpretation.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 10, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

If you want to waste your time so urgently why don't you just watch
(Posted by:) chrisuxcox

post on the fix all day every day, instead of chasing down endif loops that won't behave.

this person has to have the most warped view of its own intelligence I have ever observed. Of course, compared to drivl, a slug is genius.

==

As long as this kind of crap is A-OK here I don't want to see any more civility scolds for calling a racist jerk a racist jerk.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 10, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

>>It is sad that some people feel that they have to lash out with ad hominem attacks at anyone who expresses a negative opinion of Ms. Palin's communication skills

It's pretty much part of typical internet discussion though. You have logical fallacies, changing the subject to put the ball back in your proverbial court, and downright personal insults. Despite the attempts there's really no way to read it out without screening which will do nothing but cause cries of bias.

In the end I just find a good dose of apathy works best because I know I have a far happier life than the people that feel the need to make themselves the winners of an internet argument.

Posted by: mtcooley | August 10, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

If you want to waste your time so urgently why don't you just watch
(Posted by:) chrisuxcox

post on the fix all day every day, instead of chasing down endif loops that won't behave.

this person has to have the most warped view of its own intelligence I have ever observed. Of course, compared to drivl, a slug is genius.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 10, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

You gotta laugh at the illiterate rightwing cranks on this board.

==

Hard to see the humor in a movement that is clearly intended to enrage a few million seriously unhinged RKBA types so that one of them takes a shot at the president

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 10, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

You gotta laugh at the illiterate rightwing cranks on this board.

Posted by: drindl | August 10, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

drivl and chrissuxcox spewing mindless hate again on the fix.

what a shocker.

brainless moonbats Unite!!!

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 10, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Back to Brinkley on Palin (no pun intended), at least the former Governor has been married only once.

==

And she resigned her governorship because it started requiring some actual work.

And it took her five (5) colleges to get an "easy" degree.

What was your point again? I forgot.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 10, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

" If anyone has read the Book by Michelle Malkin "Culture of Corruption""

First of all, if it isn't a holy book [and it's quite the opposite] don't capitalize 'book.'

Second, if you're going to read the hateful Orwellian madness of someone like Malkin, you might as well just drink poison, same effect.

Posted by: drindl | August 10, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Obviously Christie Brinkley has no standing as a political commentator. So her opinion of Sarah Palin carries no more weight than those of the 70+% of Americans who agree with her.

It is sad that some people feel that they have to lash out with ad hominem attacks at anyone who expresses a negative opinion of Ms. Palin's communication skills.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | August 10, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Blade, Dodd may have ethics issue but against Rob Simmons he looks pretty darn clean. I don't think people have entirely forgotten the Abramoff stench.

Posted by: drindl | August 10, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

If anyone has read the Book by Michelle Malkin

==

If you want to waste your time so urgently why don't you just watch television

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 10, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Dodd's biggest problem, even bigger than the Countrywide allegations, is that he had his finger in almost all of the significant regulatory changes since the 1990s that brought about the economic collapse, and then he inserted last-minute language into the bailout bill that guaranteed hundreds of millions of dollars would go to executives of failed companies in the forms of bonuses, even though that money was coming from taxpayers.

Of course, a lot of high-flying Wall Street folks live in Connecticut, so Dodd has been effective, in a way, at representing the people who donate to him and who voted him into office. But at the same time, there have to be a lot of working class people in Connecticut who must distrust him deeply, and while what he has done may have helped a few prominent Connecticut constituents, the trade-off is that he has been disastrous for the rest of the country.

Posted by: blert | August 10, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Honestly I kind of have to agree it's completely misogynistic to characterize that her words mean nothing purely on the fact she's been married more than once. So has my mother, and I'm a product of her second marriage. Pointing out she's not a political figure or has any real grasp of politics at large makes more sense and is a credible argument to dismiss her if you want.

What he said is downright nearly hateful and much like the maligning of Palin people keep moaning about.

Posted by: mtcooley | August 10, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I don't think that Dodd's trouble is a function of the current environment. The Countrywide mess isn't going to go away. In looking at Dodd's mortgage, he didn't get that great a rate. A very competitive rate, yes, but not beyond the bounds. However, being on the VIP list of a company at the heart of the crisis is difficult to overcome.

Couple that with moving to Iowa with his family. I recognize that politicians effectively move to Washington once elected for a few terms. Heck, Larry Craig just set up shop here. Still, he rubbed the public's face in it. It was as good as saying he either didn't care about the concerns of Connecticut voters or completely taking them for granted.

Bad political environment or not, these issues cannot be explained away. One would be damaging; two are fatal.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | August 10, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

Re: Dodd, There's a good way to go before the primary. If he carries on doing high-profile 'good works' for his constituents, Sen. Dodd might still pull this one out, but he's got to CONSTANTLY pursue headlines about those good deeds as well, so people have the 'bringing home the bacon' memories uppermost in their minds, not the Countrywide mess--Simmons will definitely remind the electorate of it without any help.

RE: T-Paw, I'd read Kevin Diaz's great article on him in the Star yesterday, but reread it a few minutes ago. T-Paw is presented as a level-headed, fresh (not in the sense of 'cheeky'), non-scary alternative to the Sarah-crowd, and the listed ad-hoc advisors are all formidable strategic minds.

Unfortunately, 2012 is unlikely to be 'The Year of T-Paw'. Firstly, as we all know, the primary is ruled by the base, which always drives all the candidates towards the right--a tough sell for T-Paw with so many others already there. If they want 'competence', they'll likely go with the too-slick-by-half Mitt Romney; otherwise, for idiological purity, they may go even farther to the right to Newt or even Palin, assuming her attention span still encompasses running for public office.

Secondly, 2012 is unlikely to bring a reversal at the top of the ticket. Assuming Pres. Obama has some accomplishments to point to--and he certainly will by then--and doesn't have any new disasters which could be connected with him--it's an enormous act of faith to imagine the national electorate will actually change horses in mid-stream. However, T-Paw will have ample opportunity to introduce himself nationally, and make a favourable impression while doing so.

Of course, the fascinating thing about politics is that one never REALLY knows. A lot could happen in 3+ years.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | August 10, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I have no interest whatever in what supermodels have to say, but I have to admit the always-weird and misogynistic utterances of joked tell us way more than we want to know about the guy and anti-woman worldview.

Posted by: drindl | August 10, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

>>Back to Brinkley on Palin (no pun intended), at least the former Governor has been married only once.

Totally the defining characteristic of a woman's worth I take it.

Posted by: mtcooley | August 10, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm happy for Sen. Dodd, he's a good man and a good senator who works hard for CT. He is especially interested in issues that affect average people, and has earned his valued reputation in the Hispanic community.

On the other hand, Rob Simmons and his people will say or do almost anything to be back in power. The people of CT. spoke loudly and clearly when they elected Joe Courtney over simmons and simmons' ego still has not recovered. His political ambition knows no shame, he was a gung-ho Bush/Cheney cheerleader, and Rob deserves the obscurity he has earned!

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

From the linked story:

"The committee found that the senators' loans were processed through a special, controversial program, but that they did not appear to profit financially from it."

In other words, the bank decided to give Dodds "special handling" but not a lower interest rate or anything else. This should be a non-story.

What I don't know is, what else are the voters upset with Dodds over? If this is it, I think he can recover in time, given the heavily Democratic tilt of his state. If this is seen as part of a larger character issue, then Dems would do well to push for spirited primary.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | August 10, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

"f they recruit Pataki, won't he be an even money bet for the NY senate seat? Now, if Pataki doesn't run and Republicans are left with Rep. Pete King, then Gillbrand begins the race as the overwhelming favorite"

Forget Pataki. You cannot imagine how many negatives he has here. Waaaaay overexposed. Not a chance. Even repubs not enthusastic about him.

And Peter King? Not popular.

Dems do want very much to get rid of Paterson, he's awful. But Gillibrand, while not great, is far better than King and likely to win. Most of us would have preferred Maloney, but Gillibrand will do.

Posted by: drindl | August 10, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Dodd dodged a bullet and saved himself from leaving the race. What Dodd has also likely done is cleared the Democratic primary field to himself. Republicans do still have a great shot to take advantage of public mistrust of Dodd, but they also have a primary that's likely going to get dirty between Simmons & Foley. Foley is the better connected & funded of the 2, but Simmons may be the more moderate & electable in Conn. Who will Conn. Republicans choose? Who will popular Gov. Jodi Rell endorse? These things will make a difference. Dodd now 18 months, no primary and lots of cash to reestablish himself before the race.

On the other headlines: In the article, you said Republicans seem more interested in dethroning Gov. Patterson than in beating out Gillbrand for the Senate seat. I thought Republicans are trying to recruit Former 3 time governor George Pataki for the senate seat. If they recruit Pataki, won't he be an even money bet for the NY senate seat? Now, if Pataki doesn't run and Republicans are left with Rep. Pete King, then Gillbrand begins the race as the overwhelming favorite. Whether the race is competitive or not depends on a Pataki run.

Posted by: reason5 | August 10, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Excuse me, are we talknig about THIS Rob Simmons? Mr. Cilliza, or someone, could you please help me, here? From 2006:

Senior Ohio Republican and Rob Simmons contributor Bob Ney pleaded guilty today to "conspiracy and making false statements in a deal in which he will cooperate with the Justice Department's influence peddling investigation," according to a CNN report.

Simmons has accepted $6,000 from Bob Ney, who is the first Member of Congress to be implicated in the Abramoff scandal. Simmons has also taken $40,000 from former Republican Leader Tom Delay's ARMPAC, nearly $150,000 from the Republican Party's 'Retain Our Majority Program', $1,250 from convicted Delay associate Jack Abramoff, and $9,000 from imprisoned and disgraced former Republican Congressman Randall 'Duke' Cunningham."

Posted by: drindl | August 10, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

"@vbhoomes - Notwithstanding your silly potshot, good post. The only question is *how* toasted Dodd is. He's moved from burnt to golden brown, at best."

I don't think Dodd is toast. He still has a loooong time to rehab himself. This isn't someone like Corzine who has no time left. This is one of the bluest states in what is still a Democratic friendly world. If the job recovery continues, it will be even friendlier. Not saying that Dodd is safe, but it's a long race. Dodd definitely needs something to change, but there is a lot of time for that change to occur.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 10, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I agree it is way too early to predict an impact on the election this story may have - but my problem is the lack of interest by way too many Democrats this story has on the problems facing our government.

If Dodd had no idea of any wrongdoing or appearance of wrongdoing, then he should not be an elected official. It would be silly to blame the mortgage meltdown on Dodd, but these insider privileges certainly contributed to the meltdown.

Dodd gets a good deal - as a consumer he is now happy - how close is he going to look at the mortgage company who gave him a good deal?

Dodd along with members of both parties tend to put on blindfolds to problems when the problem makers are people the like. This is how the econony collapsed.

For Dodd's and a lot of other people's blindfolds we are now paying a heavy price. I hope the good people of Conn. see the long term and short term problems caused by Dodd's blindfold and send him packing. It would me nice if they could find a real maverick young Democrat to defeat him in the primaries.

Bobby WC

Posted by: bobbywc | August 10, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

if Congress had any ethics, then an ethics committee ruling would have weight.

but they don't and it doesn't.

Posted by: millionea7 | August 10, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

The Dodd "scandal" never was.

An individual with the income and resources of a long-time U.S. Senator would qualify for a preferred mortgage rate. As long as the VIP rate fell within accepted norms, which in this case it did, this was never question of ethics.

With this ginned up controversy behind him, Dodd can once again assume his role as a people's watchdog -- starting with THIS:

***

HEALTH CARE RABBLE-ROUSERS: THE SPAWN OF AN AMERICAN GESTAPO

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow got to the nub of those ginned up health care town hall protests this past week when they correctly connected the dots between the anti- health care zealots and the teabaggers, the 2000 election recount "Brooks Brothers" brigade, and other hard-right rabble-rousing.

Fact is, the citizen players in this street theater don't have to be paid by private lobbying groups; there is strong evidence that many, if not most, of them already are affiliated with, and thus subsidized by, federally-funded community volunteer organizations...

...the same kind of GPS-activated 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 health and well-being of the unjustly targeted.

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

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

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

See "GESTAPO USA" at http://NowPublic.com/scrivener ("stream" or "stories" list).

Posted by: scrivener50 | August 10, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

FarlingtonBlade writes
"Notwithstanding your silly potshot, good post. The only question is *how* toasted Dodd is. He's moved from burnt to golden brown, at best."

Notice that vbhoomes is convinced that the electoral environment of today is going to extend to Nov 2010, 15 months from now. This is the same kind of shortsightedness that predicted the 2008 election would hinge on foreign policy. Dodd may indeed be toast, but to make it happen Simmons needs to campaign on more than the hope that the economy still stinks and that voters will stay mad about a sweetheart mortgage for over two years.

Posted by: bsimon1 | August 10, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Back to Brinkley on Palin (no pun intended), at least the former Governor has been married only once.

Posted by: JakeD | August 10, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

My grandson is going to school in New London, CT and has promised me to vote against Dodd ; )

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

@vbhoomes - Notwithstanding your silly potshot, good post. The only question is *how* toasted Dodd is. He's moved from burnt to golden brown, at best.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | August 10, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I believe Chris Dodd problems go beyond just the ethics question of taking a sweetheart deal from those he regulates, he spent so much time in Iowa in 07 and 08, his constituents felt his ambitions took priority over their interests. Not withstanding CC's absentee ballot for Dodd, he has the misfortune to be up for reelection doing a republican year. Adios Amigo.

Posted by: vbhoomes | August 10, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

On topic, the most interesting story today is NY Senate. I suspect Maloney's statement is code for there is no way I can beat Gillebrand in a primary and I've been informed my career is finished if I lose.

10 a.m. and 4 posts by Zouk already. None remotely on topic. Same-o, same-o.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | August 10, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

king_of_zouk:

At least Pelosi is being consistent -- she hated Code Pink with a passion -- the liberal hypocrites here are disgustingly two-faced.

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

The Frank Rich article is scary to the nth but as much in denial as we all are we cant shake a gut-feeling that its true. Punked, indeed. The American public is being lied to, hoodwinked and scammed by 95% of all politicians regardless of party. And what can we do? On several occasions I have e-mailed my congressman only to receive an answer thanking me for taking the opposite position than the position I actually took in my e-mail. They're not listening, they don't want to hear it. I salute those with the courage and energy to continue fighting city hall. Me . . . I'm getting tired.

Posted by: rawreid | August 10, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

On top of the corruption and outright thuggery the secret enemies lust and the orgy of favors and spending, now we learn that free speech and dissent is un American.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 10, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Libs proclaim that special treatment and corruption is just fine with them. It is business as usual.

Wasn't jeffersons defense basically everyone does it. True but too bad.

You call that news? Alert us when you find an honest dem. That would be different.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 10, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

RickJ writes, of Dodd:
"He also is scheduled for prostate surgery which could make voters a bit nervous."

That's a possibility, but prostate cancer isn't as likely to kill you & could very well build a sympathy case for him as well.

If the economy regains strength, Simmons will have to find something more than the Countrywide mortgage deal to beat Dodd.

Posted by: bsimon1 | August 10, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Libs proclaim that special treatment and corruption is just fine with them. It is business as usual.

Wasn't jeffersons defense basically everyone does it. True but too bad.

You call that news? Alert us when you find an honest dem. That would be different.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 10, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

To complete the stazi methodology of gathering info on your neighbors, the wh is following through now by bringing in the leg breakers too. How cccp of him.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 10, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

To complete the stazi methodology of gathering info on your neighbors, the wh is following through now by bringing in the leg breakers too. How cccp of him.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 10, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Why anyone would believe anything that a person as hateful and wrong as Michele Malkin says, if beyond any reasonable person. She appeals only to the "wingnuts" (the people who can be fooled all of the time).

Posted by: gilbertpb40 | August 10, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Dodd is guilty of this offense. If anyone has read the Book by Michelle Malkin "Culture of Corruption" you will see how these politicians protect themselves. This is a must read for everyone in the State of Connecticut. Chris Dodd has been in the Senate toooooo longggg. Time for Connecticut to stand up against this politcal machine.

Posted by: nikkii989 | August 10, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

"GOP strategists insist that being found innocent by a group of senators and being seen as a blameless by voters are two very different things"

Thats the bottom line. He still got a mortgage deal that the unwashed masses would never be eligible for. Who cares what a group of Senators thinks about it? He doesn't work for other Senators; he works for his constituents.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | August 10, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Dodd is every bit as corrupt as Ted Stevens. You don't even mention the Irish "cottage" that he bought from a business connection for far less than its value.

Posted by: Peejay | August 10, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Dodd is every bit as corrupt as Ted Stevens. You don't even mention the Irish "cottage" that he bought from a business connection for far less than its value.

Posted by: Peejay | August 10, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Dodd was and is Chairman of the Senate Banking and Housing Committee - but he knew NOTHING about the impending financial crisis fueled by faulty subprime loans?!?
ha!

Posted by: angie12106 | August 10, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

I'd be very surprised if this race doesn't get considerably tighter as election day nears...

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

Posted by: parkerfl1 | August 10, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Rick J - the point of Rich's column seems to me to be that huge amounts of cash corrupt. Period. And the pols and the public do not actually know, in many instances, that they have been corrupted. His examples are completely bipartisan and frightening for the present and the future of good policy making in our Republic.

I thought it was Rich's most fact filled column in a long time. An opinion columnist is permitted to simply opine, but when the good ones string facts together in a compelling way this old lawyer is more impressed.

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

Dodd is toast: the public is not as 'reasonable' as an in-house ethics committee. We all know what we are going through, and we all have a feeling about who facilitated it.

Jake and KofZ, I give you no other ground and I agree with you on nought but this. I got a Jake-like email from my favorite sister-in-law about Health Care: rrely has so much BS been cut and pasted into one missive.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | August 10, 2009 7:00 AM | Report abuse

The Simmons/Dodd contest should be close in 2010. I don't think either of these politicians is well-liked in CT, so much will depend on the distance Dodd can put between the ethics committee investigation and himself. (He also is scheduled for prostate surgery which could make voters a bit nervous.

Re Frank Rich: not sure I agree with your assessment of the article. It points out pitfalls and problems for the Republicans as well.

Posted by: RickJ | August 10, 2009 6:33 AM | Report abuse

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