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Morning Fix: Rust Belt Revival

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The retirement of Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle (D) on Monday further solidifies the area known as the Rust Belt as the central proving ground for both parties heading into the 2010 midterm elections.

With Doyle's retirement, there are now four open seats governor's races in the region -- Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Pennsylvania -- and two other gubernatorial contests in Illinois and Ohio where both sides anticipate serious fights.

Of the six states, five are currently controlled by a Democratic governor; the lone exception is in Minnesota where Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) decided not to run for a third term and instead to focus on a potential presidential race in 2012.

The Rust Belt states should rightly be regarded as leading indicators of the political climate heading into 2012 and the relative political standing of Democrats and Republicans for two main reasons: economic distress and size.

Four of the six states rank in the top 20 in terms of highest unemployment rates in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Michigan leads the (ignominious) pack with 15.2 percent unemployment followed by Ohio at 11 percent (7th overall), Illinois at 10.3 percent (13th) and Wisconsin at nine percent (20th).

If, as most smart strategists suspect, the 2010 midterm elections will be a referendum on President Obama's handling of the economy, then these states will almost certainly comprise the eye of that political storm.

The other reason the Rust Belt matters is the sheer size of the states in play. None of the six states awards fewer than ten electoral votes and, taken together, they comprise a whopping 99 electoral votes -- more than one-third of the 270 that Obama or the Republican nominee will need to claim the presidency in November 2012.

Democrats have reason for optimism in both 2010 and 2012. Obama carried all six of the states in 2008 -- by margins varying from four points (Ohio) to 25 points (Illinois) -- and with the notable exception of Michigan, Republicans are considered underdogs to win the remaining five governorships next fall.

Still, the economic state of the states almost certainly gives Republicans an opening to argue they can do it better, and the historic volatility of open seats is not to be discounted.

Watch the Rust Belt governors' races next November. They should provide a window into the minds of voters heading into the 2012 presidential election.

Tuesday's Fix Picks:

1. President Obama insists U.S. is on the right course in Afghanistan.
2. Co-ops vs the public option.
3. Chris Christie holds a loan for employee in U.S. attorney's office.
4. David Dewhurst and the Senates (Texas and U.S.).
5. Is Brett Favre un-retiring (again)?

Tpaw Emerges on Town Halls: Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) is moving to capitalize on the town hall protests being staged against Obama's health care plan, painting himself as a defender of the protesters and joining his voice to theirs. In an interview with Fox News Channel's Greta Van Susteren on Monday night, Pawlenty cast the town hall protests as a "groundswell of grass roots people who are ticked off" and adding: "That is why we have a democracy." Pawlenty's comments to Van Susteren come less than 24 hours after his denunciation of climate change legislation being pushed by Obama drew the attention of none other than Matt Drudge. Pawlenty, as Politico's Ben Smith has noted, is rapidly raising his national profile in advance of a likely 2012 run, and seizing on town halls as an issue is sure to further endear Tpaw to the Republican base.

Handicapping the Crist Pick, Part 20: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) has now said publicly that he plans to pick an interim replacement for former senator Mel Martinez (R) no later than early September. The Fix -- always keenly interested in what goes on in the mind of Crist -- exchanged emails with several smart Florida sources to get their take on who the governor might pick. Views differ on the current frontrunner. Some suggest Florida Board of Education member Bobby Martinez, a former U.S. attorney who is of Cuban descent and lives in the Miami area is at the top of list; others insist there is no obvious favorite. Aside from Martinez, the candidates known to be in the mix include: Reps. Lincoln Diaz-Balert, another Miami-area Cuban, and Bill Young, who is widely expected to retire in 2010 as well as party-switching former Secretary of State Jim Smith. That two of the four names on Crist's short list are Miami residents of Cuban dissent should not be lost on political junkies; Crist's opponent in next year's Senate primary is former state House Speaker Marco Rubio who is (you guessed it!) a Miami-area Cuban lawmaker.

American Values Network Pushes on Climate Change: American Values Network, a progressive religious organization run by Burns Strider, the former faith outreach director for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, is enlisting former members of the military in its call for climate change legislation. In an e-mail appeal sent to more than 650,000 people in Nevada, Colorado and Arizona, Brigadier General John Watkins insists that "droughts, famines, and rising sea levels caused by climate change pose perhaps the greatest destabilizing influence the world will face over the next 50 years." Watkins goes on to argue that climate change is a matter of national security, noting that if global warming is left unchecked "conflict will erupt among climate refugees competing for dwindling resources...and political destabilization will create ungoverned spaces where terrorists can flourish." The cap and trade bill, which passed the House earlier this summer, has an uncertain future in the Senate as it remains decidedly unclear whether Democrats can forge unity on the measure -- particularly after what promises to be a tough early fall as the fight over health care reform concludes.

Click It!: State Sen. Nikki Haley is the least well known of the four candidates running for governor in South Carolina but her campaign is doing some pretty creative things on the Web in hopes of changing that dynamic. The latest is a contest in which Haley supporters offer their 30 second take on why they are backing her candidacy. A good idea -- and you get to see a VERY cute cameo of her two kids.

Democratic States Score Higher on Health: A new Gallup study ranking the most and least healthy states in the country -- check here for more detailed data -- shows that places that tend to vote Democratic have the market cornered on healthy living. Of the ten healthiest states in the country, only three -- Montana, Idaho and Wyoming -- were carried by Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) last fall. Of the ten least healthy states, McCain carried all but three -- Indiana, Ohio and Illinois.

More NY-23 Special Blogs: After we listed a trio of blogs closely following the pending special election in New York's 23rd district, several other recommendations came in including The Albany Project (a standout member of the Fix's list of best state political blogs) and All Politics is Local. Check them out.

Say What?: "He's been working hard all summer trying to get in shape, improve his flexibility, endurance, etc. He's lost 12 lbs already!" -- Dani DeLay Ferro on her dancing dad, a.k.a. former House majority leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas).

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 18, 2009; 6:15 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Morning Fix: Creigh Deeds's Presidential Dilemma
Next: A Comment on Comments (Part Two)

Comments

reason5, our TX primaries are always open. But I can only vote in one on primary day. So if the D gov. race is Schieffer's I definitely vote for my law school classmate, KBH in the R primary. I may vote for her in the R primary anyway depending on the D 'field".

Posted by: mark_in_austin | August 18, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

“God bless him, bless his heart, president of the United States—a total failure, losing all credibility with the American people on the economy, on the war, on energy, you name the subject.” That was Nancy Pelosi’s assessment of George W. Bush last July.

A little harsh, if you ask me. It’s not like Bush burned through a near trillion dollars in a stillborn stimulus, scolded America while the economy pitched, tried to close the country’s most important maximum-security facility without a plan, alienated allies from England to Israel, emboldened the world’s bad actors from Hugo Chavez to the Burmese junta, repeatedly trashed his predecessor around the globe, heralded America’s indifference to human-rights abuses, insulted police in a botched attempt to reignite a fading grievance culture, and frittered away the dregs of his political capital on a socialist health-care hodgepodge that neither he nor any other American could explain, let alone embrace.

Nope, accomplishing all that—and doing so between Valentine’s Day and Labor Day—takes a visionary, a new Lincoln, a “sort of God,” as a sort of apostle from Newsweek put it.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 18, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Hey Chris,

Great take on 2010 and 2012 elections with regards to the oft' called rust belt.
It looks formidable from my vantage point.
But if the economy starts a long term recovery the dems could be in even better shape than they are now.

Regards,
dePaul Consiglio

Posted by: depaulconsiglio | August 18, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Hey Chris,

Great take on 2010 and 2012 elections with regards to the oft' called rust belt.
It looks formidable from my vantage point.
But if the economy starts a long term recovery the dems could be in even better shape than they are now.

Regards,
dePaul Consiglio

Posted by: depaulconsiglio | August 18, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Hey Chris,

Great take on 2010 and 2012 elections.
It looks formidable from my vantage point.
But if the economy starts a long term recovery the dems could be in even better shape than they are now.

Regards,
dePaul Consiglio

Posted by: depaulconsiglio | August 18, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Hey Chris,

Great take on 2010 and 2012 elections.
It looks formidable from my vantage point.
But if the economy starts a long term recovery the dems could be in even better shape than they are now.

Regards,
dePaul Consiglio

Posted by: depaulconsiglio | August 18, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Blarg writes
"Whether a state is "red" or "blue" isn't determined by the party affiliation of the governor. MA had Republican governors until 2006; HI has a Republican governor right now. They're still extremely blue states."


Perhaps it would be more appropriate to just toss the Red/Blue nomenclature entirely. In MN, for example, Red Pawlenty is governor not because we're a more conservative state, but because enough moderate/independant voters are frustrated with the two national parties that we're electing governors with pluralities, not majorities.

Posted by: bsimon1 | August 18, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD,
Everyone has a need for a luciferase reagent kit they just don't know it yet.

Roche also is a major pharmacuetical company so that is probably why they were advertising on Faux News.

Posted by: AndyR3 | August 18, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

You've got a bit of competition: That piece by Ezra Klein on Co-Ops vs. Public Options is exceedingly clear and just proves my long-held opinion that in a society in which not merely profit, but USURIOUS profit is the acknowledged motivator, how can TRUE reform ever be possible?

Interesting about Chris Christie in NJ. Ah, the offspring of 'Turdblossom' (vile name, quite worthy of Bush) will out. Is the NJ race going to be yet another chimera for the Republicans in Nov.? Time for Corzine to get his publicity staff organised to fan these flames.

Interesting T-Paw realignment. Doubt that it will help him in 2012, but eventually, who knows. So long as he doesn't channel Palin and others on the extreme right, he may do well. It's important to seem merely naive rather than cynical or 'knee-jerk' in his pronouncements.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | August 18, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Whether a state is "red" or "blue" isn't determined by the party affiliation of the governor. MA had Republican governors until 2006; HI has a Republican governor right now. They're still extremely blue states.

I think you have to look at Congressional delegations, statehouse, and Presidential election results. Democrats make up 2/3 of the state legislature, 5/8 of the House delegation, and 2/2 of the Senate delegation. And MN has gone for the Democrat in every Presidential election since 1972. That makes it a blue state by any reasonable definition.

Incidentally, this is why governor's races don't reflect national politics very well. People have different priorities for their own governor than for federal representation. Congressional and Presidential races are about the party; gubernatorial races are more about the person.

Posted by: Blarg | August 18, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone else having trouble loading the WaPo.com pages? This one seems to be fine, but I'm having trouble loading up the Eugene Robinson and RIchard Cohen columns as well as the articles on Novak and co-ops.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 18, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

"Those that have pulled their advertising dollars includes:

Walmart, Best Buy, Broadview Security, ConAgra, CVS, GEICO, Proctor & Gamble, Ally Bank (GMAC Financial Services), Travelocity, State Farm Insurance, Progressive Insurance, Roche, Sanofi-Aventis, SC Johnson, Radio Shack, Re-Bath, Men's Wearhouse, Lawyers.com, Sargento""


Roche?? I buy chemical reagents from them for scientific research. They advertise on Glen Beck? Does the typical right wing nut have a need for luciferace reagent kits?

Posted by: DDAWD | August 18, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Andy R, you suggest that Minnessota will "stay" blue. It's not blue, T-Paw is the governor there. It may turn blue, but it's red right now as T-Paw is looking at a Presidential run.

I think Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Illinois & Ohio all could well turn red. Republicans already have top quality candidates in Michigan, Pa. & Ohio. They have a really good candidate in Walker in Wisconsin. In Ill., they have no top notch candidate that I see that could win the state. Kirk has a great shot at taking the senate seat, but for gov. the GOP has no top notch candidate. They can't win with noone. I'm still pondering why Lisa Mandigan didn't want the governor's post. It was hers for the taking! I think in Wisconsin frmr. Gov Tom Thompson or US Rep. Ryan could run against Feingold for the US Senate seat. That would make Wisconsin truly a competitive state in 2010.

Posted by: reason5 | August 18, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, reason. That was really helpful.

This looks to me like a step down from the public option. Not as cheap and not as expansive, but it does seem like it will be better than what we have going on now.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 18, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Mark_in_Austin: Question for you. In Texas, are primaries open or closed? That makes a big difference in the Republican primary of Perry vs. KBH.

DDAWD writes "So does anyone knoe how the co-ops work? What they are?"

I'll give an overview of co-ops. A co-op is a non-profit, member owned group. It's not government owned. The idea is to get together a network of health care companies and negotiate prices with them. Each co-op will likely need around 750,000 members in order to get prices lower and still be profitable. It won't be a forced thing. People can choose to go with a co-op or keep their healthcare if they like it. Co-Ops can eliminate some costs by reducing care or profits, making them very competitive with private insurers. However, to lower costs they may give up some significant selling points of private insurance policies. Wondering about the costs? I think it will take around $8.5 billion to get these co-ops started. Then, governing is turned over to the board of directors for the co-ops.

I hope that explanation helps. Some co-ops have worked well and many have plummeted. This is how co-ops could work.

Posted by: reason5 | August 18, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, bsimon. I guess these things work like mini insurance companies, just non-profit. I'd prefer the public option, but if that's dead, this might be an interesting alternative. Perhaps it's a good combination of the government's appeal of being non-profit with the corporate appeal of financial constraints?

Maybe I'm just trying to put a positive light on this. The whole health care debate has left me a bit flagged.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 18, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

The co-ops are Republican smoke and mirrors. They don't want co-ops, they just want to derail progress towards reform -- again. Once they get this round of reform shut down and co-ops are presented the next time, they'll be against them then.

Their point is to keep things as they are -- profitable. Unahppily, this is the way they ran the stock markets and the banking industry under Bush and eventually their greedy-grabbing put both financial areas in the ER. Health care in this country can go that way, too, as long as the right people make money off it.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | August 18, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

ddawd, here is a link to a MN coop. They describe themselves as a not-for-profit HMO:
http://www.healthpartners.com/

Posted by: bsimon1 | August 18, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

So does anyone knoe how the co-ops work? What they are? The link Chris C posted has no policy explanation, only a political one. (That it's a good compromise between people who do and don't want the public option)

Posted by: DDAWD | August 18, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Good piece for a change in the WaPo about the teabaggers..


"Something is severely off when economically stressed Americans confront members of Congress about "death panels" in the Obama health plan. The rumors, fanned by talk radio with a little help from Republicans, are false and even delusional. Yet the anger, if misdirected, is genuine.

People should be plenty angry about their jobs and their mortgages and their health insurance. With health care, however, virtually all of the fears attributed to the Obama health reform efforts more accurately describe the existing private system.

It is private insurance companies that ration care by deciding what is covered and what is not. Private plans limit which doctor and hospital you can use, define "preexisting conditions" and make insurance unaffordable for tens of millions. For many, all this can cause suffering and sometimes even death. Our one oasis of socialized medicine, Medicare, has the most choice and the least exclusion."

Posted by: drindl | August 18, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

""And then there is Sarah Palin, self made, well liked, magnificent speaker, moral, honest, hard working, in short, everything that is antithesis of liberlism."

King of kook is now channeling joked. This might be the funniest thing kook has ever posted. Every word of this is a laugh line."

Well, you've seen zook's writing. If my own verbal skill were as sufficiently lacking, I'd think that Palin was eloquent as well.

But I wonder if she's ever worked a hard day in her life. Given her views on the people who do, I really doubt it.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 18, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse


Sarah is the sweetheart of all those lonely misanthropic guys like zouk and joked who spent all their time drooling and foaming at their keyboards and never get a date because no normal woman would look twice at them.

Posted by: drindl | August 18, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

We can win the war against FOX rightwing propaganda. Thanks to all who participated in this petition campaign.

"The growing number of corporate sponsors of Glenn Beck's show now includes Walmart.

Those that have pulled their advertising dollars includes:

Walmart, Best Buy, Broadview Security, ConAgra, CVS, GEICO, Proctor & Gamble, Ally Bank (GMAC Financial Services), Travelocity, State Farm Insurance, Progressive Insurance, Roche, Sanofi-Aventis, SC Johnson, Radio Shack, Re-Bath, Men's Wearhouse, Lawyers.com, Sargento"

Posted by: drindl | August 18, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

"And then there is Sarah Palin, self made, well liked, magnificent speaker, moral, honest, hard working, in short, everything that is antithesis of liberlism."

King of kook is now channeling joked. This might be the funniest thing kook has ever posted. Every word of this is a laugh line.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | August 18, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is a much more intelligent spokesperson for the repukes than Dean is for the dems

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

think about it. Sarah posted a quip on Facebook and derailed the entire message of the elected Present edent. howard shot off his mouth and insisted that the forthcoming compromise was a total failure for liberalism. So one has the pulse of the nation and the other has the screaming fit which results in a total route we know so well.

At this point Obama should settle for free lollipops after the doctor visit if congress will send it to him.
he can then go on a victory tour touting his accomplishment.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 18, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

margaret -- those folks are so common there's a name for them -- "concern troll'.

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

Huckabee jettisons any hope of another run for president with this little trip. What he is doing is telling American Jews and the state of Israel that American evangelicals should call the shots in Israeli policy. Isn't going to go over well with them.

"Former U.S. presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee said Tuesday there is no room for a Palestinian state "in the middle of the Jewish homeland" and Israel should be able to build settlements wherever it wants — taking a stance firmly at odds with Washington.

A three-day tour of Israel, hosted by a far-right group of religious nationalists, is taking Huckabee to some of the most contentious hotspots in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict including a West Bank settlement outpost that even Israel's hard-line government considers illegal and an east Jerusalem housing project that the Obama administration has demanded be halted.

Huckabee's opposition to a Palestinian state puts him at odds with the accepted wisdom of both Democrats and Republicans — and to some degree even with conservative Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has come out in favor of some form of Palestinian independence."

What I don't understand is why so many R politicans are trying to appeal to the crazy shrinking base instead of the mainstream/independents. These loons will end up voting for some unelectable crazy like Ron Paul anyway.

Posted by: drindl | August 18, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

(((((WHY ARE GUN-TOTING CIVILIANS PERMITTED OUTSIDE PRESIDENTIAL VENUES?

The answer: Agents could, and should, "expand the perimeter."

Scriv -- you are right about this. If you could just stick closer to the subject, you have somethng to say.

Posted by: drindl | August 18, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse )))))

TO: "drindl" @ 10:07 a.m.

Let me help you connect the dots:

THE FED-ENABLED SECRET MULTI-AGENCY SECURITY/MILITARY/INTEL EXTRAJUDICIAL TARGETING AND PUNISHMENT NETWORK:

AN IDEOLOGICALLY-DRIVEN SOCIAL GENOCIDE THAT VIOLATES THE HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS OF UNJUSTLY 'TARGETED' U.S. CITIZENS...

And federal citizen volunteer programs front for the "community gang stalkers" who are terrorizing their neighbors by means of covertly placed GPS tracking devices and warrantless video and audio surveillance -- as police look the other way...

...harassing, vandalizing, slandering, destroying their livelihoods -- as their health is degraded with microwave and laser radiation "directed energy weapons" -- the weaponization of the electromagnetic spectrum.

A parallel array of federal "programs of personal financial destruction" slowly decimate the family finances of "target" families -- surely a factor in the mortgage meltdown that precipitated the global financial crisis.

And Congress and the mainstream media are largely unaware.

When victims seek justice, they are told there is "nothing to investigate."

True -- because the Obama administration's Bush-Cheney "leave-behinds" and local law enforcement authorities nationwide KNOW ALL ABOUT IT.

Team Obama: Ban the unconstitutional, warrantless covert tracking of U.S. citizens via GPS and/or cellphones -- the electronic backbone of an American Gestapo.

And ban the use of directed energy weapons on ANY American.

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

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):

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

Posted by: scrivener50 | August 18, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I'd rather complain to zookies' mom. He shouldn't be using her computer and living in her basement.

Posted by: jasperanselm | August 18, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Let's examine the VP choices made by both parties for a moment.

We have "disconnected from the brain" biden, not quite sure what planet he is on.

We have "disconnected from his morals" Edwards, not quite sure what family is his.

We have "disconnected from his party" Liebermann not sure which side of the aisle to sit.

And then there is Sarah Palin, self made, well liked, magnificent speaker, moral, honest, hard working, in short, everything that is antithesis of liberlism.

go compare.

I can't say I blame you for not wanting to talk about legislation at all. what would you say. "We Libs love failure" maybe a little too much truth for the voters to stomach so soon???

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 18, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

What I am laughing at lately is the conservative posters going on, posing as Democrats, and sayin "I worked hard for Obama but NOW I see him for what he is!"

They usually say something that gives up their game just like when all those "Hillary supporters" went on-line and said that their party's betrayal of feminism was why they were voting for McCain. Hoo-boy!

Posted by: margaretmeyers | August 18, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I suggest once again, that you all write to Chris Cilizza and let him know how much it annoys you to have to scroll past zouk's droolings all day long.

Posted by: drindl | August 18, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Sure, zookie. Sarah Palin is a much more intelligent spokesperson for the repukes than Dean is for the dems. One's a doctor and the other took six years in college to earn a "journalism" degree.

Idi0t.

Posted by: jasperanselm | August 18, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

All lib states. All broke. Choked to death by unions and dem policies. No mystery here. Ca and ny are right behind ya.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 18, 2009 10:05 AM

Maybe these states are broke because they pay more in federal taxes per capita to support the red states. For example, for every $1 CA sends to the Feds, they get $0.78 back in federal spending in the state. AK - they get back $1.84...

Check out how red states are on welfare here: http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/show/266.html

Posted by: mwmaceyka | August 18, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

you know you are in deep trouble when you trot out Kookoo howard scream Dean to bail you out.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 18, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Lib charges of racism melting into dust, again:

The L.A. Times reports details on the Obama Joker poster artist. (Snip) -Was it an ultra-conservative grassroots group or a disgruntled street artist going against the grain? Nope, it turns out, just a 20-year-old college student from Chicago. (Snip) -”After Obama was elected, you had all of these people who basically saw him as the second coming of Christ,” Alkhateeb said. “From my perspective, there wasn’t much substance to him.”

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 18, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

As predicted here yesterday, Obimbo takes curtain 3 Monty:

The White House is blaming the controversy over its Web site and mass e-mails on viral rumors, "fear-mongering" and "sinister conspiracy theories" even as it acknowledges problems with its online practices.

The good ole VRWC.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 18, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

"In a stunning amount of irony, Mansonite Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme was released from prison this week, after 34 years in prison. The gun she pointed at President Ford had no bullet in the firing chamber-- unlike Sarah Jane Moore, she never even pulled the trigger or fired. Presumably, these gun nuts showing up for the health care events have their weapons actually loaded.

I repeat, Fromme did *34 years in prison.* Where, may I ask, was the Secret Service today? Far be it from me to tell them how to do their job, but letting armed extremists near the President of the United States would appear to not be in their job description. Were the AR-15 guys questioned? Detained? Quite frankly, given the history of political violence in this country, I would think that the operative policy would be to disarm these guys first and ask questions later.

The legal standard for determining what is a threat to the President is rather low, as these things go (as I recall, requiring only a threat and an apparent ability to carry it out-- Francisco Duran, while he fired his gun, never got within a hundred yards of President Clinton, who was behind several walls at the time. He's doing 40 years in prison.). What is going on here?"

This is what I want to know --- why are these teabagger jackboots who bring automatic weapons to presidential events not in maximum security?

Posted by: drindl | August 18, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I see Cornell is among the jack-booted thugs of the far rightwing nutbag minsions.

Posted by: drindl | August 18, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

OK, Corny, then we'll see ya later. Go find another blog to pollute.

Posted by: jasperanselm | August 18, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Chris channeling his inner-Axelrod? "townhall staged protests"

Dude, you are another liberal in denial. If anything, the democrats having meetings in union halls with their thugs punching US citizens in the face is going to backfire on liberals like yourself. The internet gives us options -- we don't believe the liberals at the Washington Post anymore.

Dismiss the people showing up at townhalls as "staged" as your own ignorance. Pretend that the radical lefties in the congress aren't stacking their audience with paid thugs and you are acting "stupidly".

Check the polls. Your irrelevance and bias is front page on blogs. We don't listen to you anymore. We mock your censorship and propaganda on behalf of government officials. You are a tool. A very outdated, obsolete TOOL.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | August 18, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

This is pretty telling -- the states that need healthcare the most are the ones fighting getting any -- but there is a high correlation to intelligence and taking care of your health, so don't expect red states to get any healthier anytime soon:

' A new Gallup study ranking the most and least healthy states in the country -- check here for more detailed data -- shows that places that tend to vote Democratic have the market cornered on healthy living. Of the ten healthiest states in the country, only three -- Montana, Idaho and Wyoming -- were carried by Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) last fall. Of the ten least healthy states, McCain carried all but three -- Indiana, Ohio and Illinois.'

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


"WHY ARE GUN-TOTING CIVILIANS PERMITTED OUTSIDE PRESIDENTIAL VENUES?

The answer: Agents could, and should, "expand the perimeter."

Scriv -- you are right about this. If you could just stick closer to the subject, you have somethng to say.

Posted by: drindl | August 18, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Chris, you aren't giving the voters' of the mid west much credit for intelligence or memories. and your assumptions are based on former criteria that showed in '08 is no longer relevant. But that's okay, you just keep insulting the independents and swing voters by saying this drivel. It only reinforces their resolve to never vote republican again, after all of the outsourcing of jobs Bushco did.

Posted by: katem1 | August 18, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

All lib states. All broke. Choked to death by unions and dem policies. No mystery here. Ca and ny are right behind ya.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 18, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

"Watch the Rust Belt governors' races next November. They should provide a window into the minds of voters heading into the 2012 presidential election."

Inside the beltway claptrap. MN hasn't elected a Dem governor since 1986 but hasn't gone for a Repub president since 1972.

Posted by: bsimon1 | August 18, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

RACHEL MADDOW ASKS FORMER SECRET SERVICE AGENT:

WHY ARE GUN-TOTING CIVILIANS PERMITTED OUTSIDE PRESIDENTIAL VENUES?

The answer: Agents could, and should, "expand the perimeter."

http://voxaleadnews.labs.exalead.com/play.php?flv=MSNBC_Rachel_Maddow/pdv_maddow_netcast_m4v-08-17-2009-204722.mp4&q=Rachel+Maddow&language=all


***

This comment, in a longer form, elicited the "held for blog owner" message when I attempted to post it here a few minutes ago. WaPo does not "hold" posts unless foul language is detected.

I believe the post was subject to censorship by government surveillance operatives using real-time monitoring and page "spoofing" software targeted against certain individuals.

I will attempt to post the unexpurgated version at the following thread of the ACLU "Freedom Blog," where I daily memorialize apparent government censorship of telecommunications. (Please scroll to end of thread for most recent items.)

http://blog.aclu.org/2009/01/26/internet-filters-voluntary-ok-not-government-mandate

Posted by: scrivener50 | August 18, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

"Is Brett Favre un-retiring (again)?"

That says more about the team's confidence in their current quarterbacks, which tends to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Posted by: bsimon1 | August 18, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I don't know how much of an indicator for 2012 Ohio will be in 2010, honestly.

The state's unemployment rate isn't exactly heartwarming, but Gov. Ted Strickland is turning out to be way more conservative than anyone expected him to be, and it's not looking like his expected Republican opponent, John Kasich, is going to offer anything new. For all their general distaste for the state of the state and the economy, voters just aren't cottoning to Kasich and most of them will likely vote for Strickland -- nose-holding optional -- in 2010. Contrast that with the 2012 presidential election, in which the Republican candidate will almost certainly work to present himself or herself as a perfectly viable alternative to President Obama and to present all the woes of the last four years as Obama's doing. Barring a series of overwhelming successes on Obama's part that Republicans cannot feasibly try to deny him credit for, and barring a last-minute breakdown by their candidate -- both of which, I suppose, are possible -- Obama will have a tougher time keeping the presidency than Strickland will have keeping the governorship.

The only thing that could sink Strickland is a concerted effort on the part of liberals ticked off at how conservative he turned out to be. This would have to be a massive "stay at home and let the Republican win" effort, a primary challenge from a more liberal Democrat who can capitalize on anti-Strickland sentiment but who still can't overcome Kasich, or a third-party candidate who is able to take away way more Strickland votes or Kasich votes. The only one of these that could potentially apply to the 2012 presidential election is the first one, and I view its possibility as highly unlikely in either case.

Posted by: GJonahJameson | August 18, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

"Still, the economic state of the states almost certainly gives Republicans an opening to argue they can do it better"


Not likely. Is our collective memory really that short?

Posted by: mikem1 | August 18, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Umm, I'm hoping this was a joke, Mark? With some of the posts I've read online, I'm not really sure. On the other hand, the 'reptile dysfunction' cracked me up, so I'm guessing it's parody. But satire is getting harder to do.

There actually have been a couple ministers who had 'bring your guns to church days' --read about that?

Posted by: drindl | August 18, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

The following comment to the Phoenix armed contingent story as it appeared in the "Kansas City Star"
tickled me:

Pastor is right. You should carry rifels to teabagger parties. We allways do to keep out the Ken Ya terrorist muslums thats why pastor had our Sunday Bless Your Bulletts Breakfast at church It only costed 25 dollars and you could get your bullets blessed by pastor and all the grits you care to eat, no sharing, no take out. Rush says now Obama is having dogfights and aborshuns at the White House and Glen Beck says that Obama is a raciststs and hates good clean white peple and there is a reason the fonding fathers called it the White House instead of the Ken Ya House. Now I can't go to the docter because Obama won't let me and my wife says I have a reptile disfunshon cause she wanted to get frisky and I couldnt because Bill O'Reilly was on and the Mrs. has bad gas but can't go to the bad gas dokter because Obama got govrnmunt in our Medicare so Rush says we shouldnt go. So now I have to get medicine I don't need because of Obama and my communist muslum wife. We are doomed. Drill now.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | August 18, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

newageblues -- I am afraid you are right, and I am very angry that MY right to peacefully assemble is being stolen from me by bullies who act like jackbooted thugs.

Posted by: drindl | August 18, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Drindl, Thanks for that seriously underreported information. Some Repubs and allies are doing their best to encourage another Timothy McVeigh to think mass murder against a government target is righteous and revolutionary.

Posted by: newageblues | August 18, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Andy, we cannot automatically assume one way or the other whether the protestors at town halls are racists. Their rage over changes in the health care system that would likely benefit them is completely irrational and over the top, that's for sure. And all this crazy stuff with guns is just, well, crazy. Did you catch this?

"PHOENIX - About a dozen people carrying guns, including one with a military-style rifle, milled among protesters outside the convention center where President Barack Obama was giving a speech Monday - the latest incident in which protesters have openly displayed firearms near the president.

Fred Solop, a Northern Arizona University political scientist, said the incidents in New Hampshire and Arizona could signal the beginning of a disturbing trend.

``When you start to bring guns to political rallies, it does layer on another level of concern and significance,'' Solop said. ``It actually becomes quite scary for many people. It creates a chilling effect in the ability of our society to carry on honest communication.''

He said he's never heard of someone bringing an assault weapon near a presidential event. ``The larger the gun, the more menacing the situation,'' he said."

What kind of a message is someone trying to send by carrying an assault rifle around the president? It's a threat to all of us -- a barometer of a sick society, a dying society. One that's forced to use scarce resources to babysit violent as*holes. That this is even allowed is a testament to how much the lunatic fringe has taken over here.

Posted by: drindl | August 18, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Michigan should not be viewed as an Obama barometer. Granholm will probably be considered the worst governor in Michigan's history and not just by Republicans. When McNamara died she lost her mentor and advisor and all Michiganians have suffered the consequences of that loss. She simply has shown no leadership, no ability to build any working relationships with a very strong and right aligned opposition; she relies on young, bright but very green advisors/staff and her current project is dismanteling the Michigan library system at a time when library use has skyrocketed as a result of Michigan's depression. When Michigan elects a Republican for its next governor, it will speak volumes about Granholm and little about the President.

Posted by: lakewood1 | August 18, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

I have been on vacation so I hadn't seen the videos of the screaming protesters at the town hall meetings. The first thing that came to my mind when I saw the video was the women who would stand outside schools everyday and yell at black students who were attending white schools during the civil rights era. When they were interviewed they would say things like "I have a right to speak my mind and that is what I am doing." That may be true but nowhere in the constitution does it say that you have the right to scream over everyone else who also wants to voice their opinions.

Now the people in these townhall meetings are not racists or anything, but the vitriol that they express their views with has the same sort of feel to it at least from the videos and the pictures.

Posted by: AndyR3 | August 18, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

The Rust Belt states have been given tons of stimulus money and will benefit the most from a reform agenda that works to expand coverage to those uninsured, such as people recently laid off. I wouldn't write this region off just yet for the Dems or Obama.

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

Posted by: parkerfl1 | August 18, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

The problem with this argument for the GOP is that George Bush created the economic mess that the Rust Belt finds itself in. Also it is very possible that the economy may start to recover but Michigan still lags behind. If that is the case then the GOP may pick up one seat, but I would think Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois will all stay Blue, especially with the large urban populations that each of those states has in Chicago, Minneapolis, and Milwaukee

Posted by: AndyR3 | August 18, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Is that a vintage map?
=================
TX prospects are interactive between the parties. If Schieffer [D] is unopposed in our open primaries for Gov. then KBH swamps Goodhair. A hot [D] primary makes the R base and Goodhair a bigger factor.

No D can beat KBH. A strong D, well financed, might beat Goodhair. Schieffer probably cannot beat Goodhair, but he is well financed, and some of the D mainstays are "forgiving" his personal friendship with GWB. It is becoming more likely that Schieffer will go unchallenged and KBH wins twice in a walk.
================
The Ds will make their push at the Senate seat, with two strong candidates. Both have great resumes, one has money and Houston [White], the other is a strong campaigner [Sharp]. Dewhurst is the key on the R side. If he runs for Sen, Abbott runs for LG. If he runs for LG, Abbott [the AG] runs for Sen. Florence Shapiro[R], with good Dallas support and a rep as a moderate, is in the Sen race, and should find a base that would expand if Sharp [D] dropped out of the Sen. race. So this race becomes interactive, too.
===================================
And if Sharp drops out of the Senate special in order to run in the Gov. primary, everything changes: Goodhair can win his primary, Sharp can beat Schieffer,
a tough gov. race ensues, and White can run tough in the special for Senate with no vote split among Ds.

Musical chairs, anyone?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | August 18, 2009 7:23 AM | Report abuse

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