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House Republicans try to stop bleeding from PA special election loss

1. House Republicans are trying to quickly pivot away from a devastating loss earlier this week in a Pennsylvania special election, using their fundraising totals announced Thursday and the prospect of a win in a Hawaii special election over the weekend as the leading edge of an argument that they retain real momentum heading into the fall.

In the wake of businessman Tim Burns (R) surprisingly lopsided loss to Rep. Mark Critz (D) in the southwestern Pennsylvania 12th district, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) addressed the entire GOP House conference on Wednesday -- taking full responsibility for the defeat, according to one informed insider.

On Thursday, Public Opinion Strategies pollster Gene Ulm, who handled the survey research for the NRCC in the race, sat down with the leadership team of the committee to explain what had happened and why. (Short explanation: Turnout was driven heavily by the primary races, which were on the same day as the special election.)

Later in the day on Thursday, the NRCC announced that it had raised $7.1 million in the month of April, outdistancing the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee by roughly $2 million in the cash chase over the past month. The NRCC still had less than half the cash on hand as their Democratic counterparts -- $11.4 million to $27.3 million -- however.

And, Republicans are extremely optimistic that Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou (R) will win on Saturday in a special election to replace former Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D) who resigned earlier this year to focus on running for governor full time.

While the NRCC won't get a huge boost of out Hawaii -- due to the fact that Democrats have two serious candidate who will split the vote and likely allow Djou to shoot the gap and because the DCCC stopped spending there last week -- it will still be a seat pickup for the party and break a six competitive special election winning streak for the DCCC.

House GOP strategists are hoping that series of steps will cut short the prevailing storyline that emerged out of the Pennsylvania special, which is, bluntly: "If they can't win in a culturally conservative district like that one, how can they take back the majority"?

Putting aside the Pennsylvania loss, historical midterm election trends and the sheer number of tough seats Democrats have to defend virtually ensure double digit pickups for House Republicans this fall.

But, the failed attempt to nationalize the race around President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) has to be of longer- term concern for GOP strategists as they seek a message that can deliver them the majority.

And, for a committee operating at a significant cash disadvantage, a win in Pennsylvania would have created the sort of financial momentum -- both among GOP members and donors -- that the NRCC badly needs.

Without it, the party is left to look for some other spark on the horizon and, at the moment, there doesn't seem to be an obvious one.

2. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs refused to elaborate Thursday on whether the Obama Administration once offered Rep. Joe Sestak a job to get him out of the primary against soon-to-be-former Sen. Arlen Specter (D).

Pressed by reporters for details on the purported deal, which Sestak made reference to on the campaign trail, Gibbs repeatedly answered that he did not "have anything to add." He also referred reporters to a March 16 statement in which he said that he was "told that whatever conversations have been had are not problematic," and that "whatever happened is in the past."

Sestak has remained mum on the incident as well, telling CNN's Rick Sanchez on Wednesday, "I've said I was offered something. I don't have to go beyond that."

While Sestak and the White House are eager to put the offer behind them, Republicans appear keen to use it against Sestak as his general election race against former Rep. Pat Toomey (R) kicks off. Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele issued a searing statement on the deal Thursday -- charging that "it is unacceptable for an administration that touts itself as the 'most transparent' in history to continue to stonewall a significant and potentially devastating accusation of political corruption."

The incident -- along with several others from Sestak's contentious primary against Specter -- prove that not all primaries are beneficial for a party.

In the weeks before Tuesday's primary, Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chair T.J. Rooney called a potential Sestak win "cataclysmic", claiming that "if we want to keep this seat in Democratic hands, the only person capable of delivering that victory is Arlen Specter."

And Specter didn't hold back when asked by CNN's Candy Crowley three days before the election whether Sestak could win; "Sestak can't do it," he responded.

It's a near-certainty that the alleged Sestak White House job offer as well as the comments made by Rooney and Specter will make their way into Republicans ads this fall.

3. Former state Sen. Dino Rossi (R) is still weighing whether to run against Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), but former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin isn't waiting around.

Palin on Thursday endorsed former Washington Redskins tight end Clint Didier for the Republican nod against Murray -- the latest in a series of endorsements for Didier from those friendly with the tea party community.

"I'm proud to support Clint Didier as he willingly puts it all on the line to serve Washington state in the U.S. Senate for all the right reasons!" Palin wrote on her Facebook page. "This selfless, inspiring commonsense constitutional conservative will help put our country on the right track."

Palin's decision will likely give Didier something of a financial boost as well as up his conservative bona fides in the eyes of primary voters. At the moment, the two best known names in the GOP primary are Didier and state Sen. Don Benton although Rossi, if he decides to run, would immediately be the most prominent Republican in the race.

Rossi, who lost runs for governor in 2004 and 2008, is widely seen as a likely candidate but his continued reluctance to get into the race -- the filing deadline is June 11 -- has to be somewhat worrisome to national Republicans.

It's worth noting that Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who has backed a number of insurgent Senate candidates across the country, has already said he would likely support Rossi.

But, Palin's support for Didier means the state's Aug. 17 primary has the potential to be a more real race for Rossi than anyone would have thought even a few days ago.

4. The 2012 New Hampshire primary is former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's to lose, according to a Granite State Poll from the University of New Hampshire.

The poll shows Romney at 41 percent -- unusually strong for a candidate in an early presidential primary poll -- while no other candidate gets much more than 10 percent.

Romney's lead is attributable to his geographic connection to the state -- he spent 2002 to 2006 as governor of the neighboring Bay State -- and to the 2008 presidential campaign where he finished second to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire is not a place of strength for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who is in second place but carries just 12 percent of the vote. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is at 11 percent, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is at nine percent, and Texas Rep. Ron Paul (aka the father of Rand), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty all take lower single digits of support.

Of course, it's 20 months before the likely first-in-the-nation vote and, as a result, only eight percent of voters said they have settled on a 2012 candidate.

But considering the field he is facing, New Hampshire should be a place of strength for Romney. No other candidate likely to run has an established relationship with the state (like McCain had in 2008), and nobody else is seen as a son of the Northeast as Romney is.

Given his lead there, New Hampshire is almost certainly a must-win for Romney in 2012 especially when you consider that Iowa, which will cast the first votes of the nominating process, remains a difficult state for him to crack.

5. If it's Friday, it's the "Live Fix" chat -- our hour long online gabfest where we answer any and every question that Fixistas throw at us.

Given the primary excitement of the week -- not to mention Dick Blumenthal and Mark Souder! -- we should have plenty to talk about.

You can ask your question in advance or just follow along live. Or do both -- heck, it is Friday after all!

With Aaron Blake and Felicia Sonmez

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 21, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Poor lonely Ped.

Posted by: Moonbat | May 22, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

I've lived in Washington state since 1975 and never heard of Clint Didier.

We know about Dino Rossi, though, see faded Rossi stickers next to Bush/Cheney stickers and angry NRA stickers on 20 year old beaters and rusty pickup trucks.

Posted by: Noacoler | May 22, 2010 1:57 AM | Report abuse

Stop all your whining about libertarians and Rand Paul - and whatever else.

Everyone hates Obama.

Stop trying to SMEAR SOMEONE ELSE - just because you are upset that Everyone hates Obama now - in large part because he went back on his campaign pledges.

So just stop it.

Stop your smears, your false charges of racism - your everything - just go away.


Posted by: 37thand0street | May 21, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

The President has a 48.1% job approval rating according to RCP. So, somebody likes him.

I'm sorry, but we Dems/Libs/Progs are not going anywhere.

Posted by: denise4925 | May 21, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Ahhhh, I'm feeling better and better about the November elections for the Dems.

Posted by: denise4925 | May 21, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Hey RonKH. The GOP sunk a cool mill into that district and if they couldn't win there then the whole "Republican Resurgence" thing is in deep trouble, and you know it. Hyperventilate all you want; running as "anti-Obama" is not going to be a winning strategy, and it's **all the Republicans have. period**.

Better get used to being on the outside looking in, and you can be as angry as you like.

Now put the bib back on and get up to the counter.

Posted by: Noacoler | May 21, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Stop all your whining about libertarians and Rand Paul - and whatever else.

Everyone hates Obama.

Stop trying to SMEAR SOMEONE ELSE - just because you are upset that Everyone hates Obama now - in large part because he went back on his campaign pledges.

So just stop it.

Stop your smears, your false charges of racism - your everything - just go away.


Posted by: 37thand0street | May 21, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Cilizza calls a 54-47% loss "devastating" to Repubs and also called it a "lopsided loss." Nonsense. The Dem registration in PA 12 is about 65-70%, so the "I'll bring home the pork" DEM CANDIDATE LOST 11-16% OF THE DEMS' VOTERS. Cilizza, your use of the Dems' talking points is really shameful. Don't you have an intelligent, personal thought about the situation? Hope you can find a job after the WaPo starts going under like its sister publication, "Newsweek." Or maybe you'll join the approximately 17 million people unemployed. Not many independents like me will weep. We'd like to find some balance in what we read.

Posted by: RonKH | May 21, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

The "bleeding" will really flow in November...

Posted by: NO-bama | May 21, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Why not explain that in this district in PA about 65-70% of the voting registration is Dem. So the "Dem earmark campaigner" actually lost some 10-15% Dems in this election -- since he got only 54% of the vote. Not quite a booming victory. Why should I ask a left-wing publication to be objective? That's old fashioned, of course. Left-wing pubs must boost left-wing positions, don't they? No wonder WaPo is losing circulation so fast.

Posted by: RonKH | May 21, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul is also a frequent featured speaker at Constitution Party events.

The founder, Rousas J. Rushdoony, was a Holocaust denier, a racist, a creationist, and an advocate for slavery who claimed that African-American slaves were lucky.

As Rushdoony wrote in Politics of Guilt and Pity:

The white man is being systematically indoctrinated into believing that he is guilty of enslaving and abusing the Negro. Granted that some Negroes were mistreated as slaves, the fact still remains that nowhere in all history or in the world today has the Negro been better off. The life expectancy of the Negro increased when he was transported to America. He was not taken from freedom into slavery, but from a vicious slavery to degenerate chiefs to a generally benevolent slavery in the United States. There is not the slightest evidence that any American Negro had ever lived in a "free society" in Africa; even the idea did not exist in Africa. The move from Africa to America was a vast increase of freedom for the Negro..."

Posted by: drindl | May 21, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

"Funniest think about zouk is he actually doesn't seem to grasp how pathetic he is. Does he think we believe he's a success?"

I don't see how he could, given he doesn't do anything except post on blog sites. But then, he's clearly had a break with reality a long time ago. Just like Rand Paul!

"Campaigning for his father in Montana back in 2008, Rand Paul spoke out against the NAFTA Superhighway, encouraging Congress to stop the mythical project that would connect Mexico, the U.S., and Canada and, critics say, deal a fatal blow to American sovereignty. Long a bugaboo on some segments of the Right, the NAFTA Superhighway does not actually exist.

"It's gonna go up through Texas, I guess, all the way to Montana," said Paul, at an event in Bozeman. "So, it's a real thing, and when you talk about it, the thing you just have to be aware of is that, if you talk about it like it's a conspiracy, they'll paint you as a nut."

As was amply documented by The Nation a few years back, "There's no such thing as a proposed NAFTA Superhighway." It represents, Newsweek put it, "a strange stew of fact and fiction, fired by paranoia" that was popularized by Jerome Corsi, the man who spearheaded the Swift Boat attacks on John Kerry in 2004."

Nobody needs to 'paint' you a a nut, paul.

Posted by: drindl | May 21, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

It’s a sign of how good things are right now for the cause of limited government and liberty — among the electorate, though clearly not in Washington — that on a night when President Obama’s support once again failed to lift a candidate to victory (the loathsome Arlen Specter) and a “Tea Party candidate” won a Republican primary (Rand Paul), the Democrats are taking solace in having won Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District.

Slate’s John Dickerson even goes so far as to describe that district as being “Republican-leaning.” Actually, it went for the Democratic presidential candidate by an average of four percentage points across the last three presidential elections (Obama lost by 1 point, Kerry won by 2, and Gore won by 11) and hasn’t been held by a Republican congressman since the Nixon administration. If that’s a Republican district, then the Democrats are going to have to steal a lot of them in the fall.

And yet, in winning a district that is relatively centrist but clearly Democratic-leaning, the Democrats ran a candidate, Mark Critz, who clings to his guns, opposes abortion, and says he wouldn’t have voted for Obamacare. Still, on the MSNBC blog, Mark Murray writes, “If the GOP couldn’t win here — the only congressional seat that John Kerry won in ’04 but Obama lost in ’08 — it’s not going to have an easy time netting the 40 House seats in November it needs to retake the House.” It would be far more accurate to say that if this year’s dynamics require Democrats to run an anti-abortion, anti-Obamacare candidate even to win a Democratic-leaning district, then things certainly look bright for Republicans in November.

Jeffrey H. Anderson

Posted by: bumblingberry | May 21, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul finally shed light (exposed) on what the "tea party" movement is really all about. They want to turn the clock back to segration, discrimination against those with disabilities and make a mockery of the worthy gains made by sweat, blood and tears. I do not think Americans will take them seriously now after Paul exposed their real "agenda".

I love Pres. Obama but I voted for Sestak. No one in their right mind is going to vote for a Republican turn coat. We did not want another Lieberman on our hands. We need real Democrats and those conservative Dems who are still doing the bidding of insurance, Wall Street and corporations -- they too are going to go. We need a united Senate of Dems who are single minded on the People and not big business and corporations.

Posted by: wdsoulplane | May 21, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

@drindl: "rumpled comatose ferret," wonderful, almost as good as "attack chipmunk" Hoffman.

Funniest think about zouk is he actually doesn't seem to grasp how pathetic he is. Does he think we believe he's a success?

Posted by: Noacoler | May 21, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"The truth is Critz LOST 13,000 votes"

They're always in the last place you look.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 21, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

"surprisingly lopsided loss"

Not everyone was surprised.

Wait until November, and the surprise will become shock and awe on the part of Republicans who have been misled by the poundits here and elsewhere that they have a big day coming.

The same poundits had McCain neck and neck right up until the landslide buried him.

One might think they would not be so easy to fool again.

But they WILL believe what they WANT to believe. No matter the evidence to the contrary.

Posted by: JEP07 | May 21, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I can hear you whistling in California and I don't even live near a graveyard.

Posted by: DrMysterious | May 21, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse


You can stop with the snarky obnoxinous comments - they are a reflection on you, not anyone else.

we get it, you disagree - but no need to be nasty

Posted by: 37thand0street | May 21, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Maybe schizo, shrink?

Posted by: drindl | May 21, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

PA 12


The democratic party is the one which could not hold the voters who voted in their OWN primary - usually regarded as the most loyal voters to a party.

OK - I have said this too many times - because those are the facts.

Where is the Republican bleeding in PA 12?

- the democrats took the Republican platform, pro-gun, pro-life anti-Obamacare

- the democrats lost 13,000 voters - 10% of the total

IN NOVEMBER, the Independents will be out - so the Republicans have to win those ADDITIONAL VOTERS by 10,000 - that is certainly possible.


Posted by: 37thand0street | May 21, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Just to pretend he isn't on all the time, I imagine. We often see something like this on blogs, people will affect virtual characters with overwrought mock personalities, sometimes even arguing both sides on an issue. They do it for fun, I suppose. But to switch off through several screen names all posting identical content, that makes no sense.

Posted by: shrink2 | May 21, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

If the mainstream media were not so ideologically wedded to Obama's big-government agenda, they would be doing more than pointing out his secrecy and hypocrisy with the occasional headline. They'd be skewering him daily for his marked inaccessibility. Not having a genuine news conference since July would be remarkable for the least transparent administration, let alone one that made openness a signature campaign issue

They know that their statist goal of greatly expanding government depends on Obama's not revealing any more than necessary how radical to the core he actually is because true transparency about his real agenda would be suicidal.

But his handlers also realize, even if Obama doesn't, that the less scripted he is the more difficult it is to manage the message. And they understand that he ought not be allowed to venture too far from the teleprompter very often, lest he demonstrate that his manufactured reputation both for eloquence and wisdom are, well, manufactured. Oh, yes, and don't let me forget those manufactured bipartisan myths, but surely no one is clueless enough to pay any attention to those anymore.

Posted by: bumblingberry | May 21, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

spin, spin, spin, zouk and 37. nobody reads your vomit anyway.

Posted by: drindl | May 21, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

"Stop the bleeding"

The narrative in PA12 has to be closely defined.

The democratic candidate adopted many Republican positions: pro-gun, pro-life, pro-fiscal restraint - anti-Obamacare, and he campaigned on jobs.

HOW can that be seen as an endorsement of the democratic platform, or ideas, or Obama ??? It is just a straight out lie to try to say that.

The NUMBERS: There was a primary that day so we know EXACTLY how many people voted in the Republican primaries and democratic primaries - and then voted into the Special Election.

The truth is Critz LOST 13,000 votes from people who voted in the democratic primaries - and then crossed over and voted for Burns as the Republican in the Special Election.

Due to the Registration advantage for the democrats in the district, Burns needed just over 18,000 democrats to vote for him in order to win.

So - where's the BLEEDING? The democrats are the ones who abandoned their platform JUST TO KEEP THE DEMOCRATS IN THE DISTRICT.

And the democrats LOST 13,000 of their own people.

Those are the facts - in a gerrymandered district.


Posted by: 37thand0street | May 21, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

It seems the Obimbo administration would strive for someday that the US realize the gains we could make by:

Having immigration laws and policies nicer and gentler than Mexico

Having human rights policies friendlier than China

Having religious freedom and womans rights more advanced than Syria and Egypt

Having economic strength superior to Greece

Military prowess higher than France

Press freedom more open than Russia

more windmills than Holland

Daily existential fear like Israel

unemployment like Ireland

I think Berry is making excellent progress in those directions.

Posted by: bumblingberry | May 21, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

You have to hand it to Paul. He isn't following the Bob McDonnell model of waiting until AFTER the election to let the crazy come out. We know what we're getting with this guy.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 21, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"When does my honeymoon period start?" said Paul when he was again asked about his past statements Friday. "I had a big victory, I thought I got a honeymoon period from you guys in the media."

dawd, yes, I believe he thinks he won an election so now he is an elected official. Someone needs to explain he rules to him.

Posted by: shrink2 | May 21, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

shrink -- I would guess that Paul is indeed a stormfront kind of guy and that we will be hearing more about all that soon.Everytime he opens his mouth, something precious just tumbles out. He's more amusing than ditzy sarah.

as a shrink, why do you suppose zouk changes from moonbat to bumblingberry at noon? it's like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, only he still stays Mr. Hyde afte changing the name. just a ruse to pretend he isn't on here all the time?

Posted by: drindl | May 21, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

You have to hand it to Paul. He isn't following the Bob McDonnell model of waiting until AFTER the election to let the crazy come out. We know what we're getting with this guy.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 21, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Weakness incarnate:

From DrK:

traditional American allies, having watched this administration in action, have decided that there's no cost in lining up with America's enemies and no profit in lining up with a U.S. president given to apologies and appeasement.

They've watched President Obama's humiliating attempts to appease Iran, as every rejected overture is met with abjectly renewed U.S. negotiating offers. American acquiescence reached such a point that the president was late, hesitant and flaccid in expressing even rhetorical support for democracy demonstrators who were being brutally suppressed and whose call for regime change offered the potential for the most significant U.S. strategic advance in the region in 30 years.

They've watched America acquiesce to Russia's re-exerting sway over Eastern Europe, over Ukraine (pressured by Russia last month into extending for 25 years its lease of the Black Sea naval base at Sevastopol) and over Georgia (Russia's de facto annexation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is no longer an issue under the Obama "reset" policy).

They've watched our appeasement of Syria, Iran's agent in the Arab Levant -- sending our ambassador back to Syria even as it tightens its grip on Lebanon, supplies Hezbollah with Scuds and intensifies its role as the pivot of the Iran-Hezbollah-Hamas alliance. The price for this ostentatious flouting of the United States and its interests? Ever more eager U.S. "engagement."

They've observed the administration's gratuitous slap at Britain over the Falklands, its contemptuous treatment of Israel, its undercutting of the Czech Republic and Poland, and its indifference to Lebanon and Georgia. And in Latin America, they see not just U.S. passivity as Venezuela's Hugo Chávez organizes his anti-American "Bolivarian" coalition while deepening military and commercial ties with Iran and Russia. They saw active U.S. support in Honduras for a pro-Chávez would-be dictator seeking unconstitutional powers in defiance of the democratic institutions of that country.

This is not just an America in decline. This is an America in retreat -- accepting, ratifying and declaring its decline, and inviting rising powers to fill the vacuum.

There's nothing to fear from Obama, and everything to gain by ingratiating yourself with America's rising adversaries. After all, they actually believe in helping one's friends and punishing one's enemies.

Posted by: bumblingberry | May 21, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

@ bumblingberry,
The gov't didn't say anything about oil spill possibilties in 2004 when America was being led by the Big Oil loving Bush Republicans?

I'm schocked!......not

Posted by: DrainYou | May 21, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

President Obama has decided to pre-announce to the world once-secret American ballistic missile tests and satellite launches. The Democratic administration's goal is to show a friendlier face to other countries and to coax Russia to do the same. It's part of a confidence-boosting initiative launched, so to speak, last fall when Obama suddenly abandoned the U.S. missile-defense system in Eastern Europe that had exercised the Russians, though it was aimed at potential future missiles from Iran.

I wonder if the recently fired spy chief thought this was a good idea. I suppose that Obumbler is going to fire anyone who is not a sycophant and delivers the good news, no matter what the real situation.

"the good news is Mr Present ident, they only blew up a few American cities, there are several left."

Posted by: bumblingberry | May 21, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Paul is chock full of the crazy.

Teabagger Rand Paul Calls Criticism of BP 'Un-American'

Is this guy for real?

"Taking another unconventional stand, Kentucky's Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul criticized President Barack Obama's handling of the Gulf oil spill Friday as putting "his boot heel on the throat of BP" and "really un-American." "What I don't like from the president's administration is this sort of, 'I'll put my boot heel on the throat of BP,'" Paul said in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America." "I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business."

Well, sure. Because BP is a blameless victim......NOT!

Rand really is the gift that keeps on giving ... barely three days since he won the nomination and he's come out in favor of allowing discrimination based on skin color, in opposition of the Fair Housing Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act.

It seems that the idiocy of Rand Paul can best be described as developing ... stay tuned.

Posted by: DrainYou | May 21, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

U.S. Coast Guard officials have apparently known for years that there could be significant problems in the federal and industry response to a major oil spill. The report that followed a 2004 "Spill of National Significance" training exercise concluded, "Oil spill response personnel did not appear to have even a basic knowledge of the equipment required to support salvage or spill clean up operations." It continued, "as a result, some issues and complex processes unique to spill response were not effectively addressed." The so-called SONS exercises have been conducted by the Coast Guard and other agencies every two or three years since 1997.

what we NEED is more big government just like this. Oh wait, we are getting it as fast as the socialists can peddle.

Posted by: bumblingberry | May 21, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Isn't getting to know the darling of the new Republican Party fun?

For those of you who want to brush up on Randy Weaver/Ruby Ridge episode, here is Stormfront's page on the topic.

I wonder if Rand is a Stormfront kind of guy?

Posted by: shrink2 | May 21, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

The one thing I hope the corporate media finally learned from Tuesdays elections is this:

The Teabaggers are not new voters who are suddenly "waking up".

They're the same people (Republican base nuts) who reflexively vote Republican every single election, faithfully. They voted for Bush twice and they voted for McCain in 08.

Out of necessity, they've rebranded themselves as Teabaggers because they already trashed the Republican brand name during the Bush years.

For those of you who are counting, the results of Tuesdays election makes it 7 straight special elections that have been won by Democrats.

But don't worry, I'm sure the pro Republican/Teabagger wave will start sweeping across American any minute now.....NOT!

Posted by: DrainYou | May 21, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Mars Bars DON'T come from Mars?

Posted by: margaretmeyers | May 21, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

funny, dawd.

lo, the more we find out about Paul, the better it gets -- turns out he's a 9/11 truther!

"Kentucky Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul has been a guest on the show of wacky conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones multiple times in the past couple years.

For Jones, who runs the site and broadcasts his eponymous radio show out of Austin, 9/11 trutherism is only the beginning. He regularly devotes his show to investigating the Bilderberg Group, the "rise of FEMA," the Bohemian Grove, how to fight the New World Order, etc.

Paul appeared on Jones' show at least three times in 2009."

If you're not familiar with Jones...

'He represents an old strain of American conservatism--isolationist, paranoid about elite conspiracies--that last flowered during the John Birch Society's heyday. ... Steeped in the rhetoric of the militia movement, he's long been a champion of Randy Weaver, the white supremacist whose wife and son were killed in 1992 by federal agents at Ruby Ridge, Idaho. (He's asserted that the people behind Ruby Ridge and Waco were also behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombings--"Clinton's Reichstag.")

Posted by: drindl | May 21, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Half of BP is the former Amoco. It's no more a British company than M&M/Mars is an extraterrestrial one.

Posted by: JakeD3 | May 21, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I wish I could take credit, but I can't. I would have had the senior in a 'stang.


Posted by: JakeD3 | May 21, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

@drindl: just ignore the broken record, let him stew in his own juice. A lot of great posts today, don't sidetrack to the usual attack crap.

Nice to see Chris' craven narrative getting zero traction. It'd be nice if this blog was turned over to someone with a nodding acquaintance with reality.

Posted by: Noacoler | May 21, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Ok, who submitted this question to the Fix Chat??

"Impact on Transocean stock
I'm a senior in high school at Langley, and I have a bone about the coverage. I understand there's concern about the oil, but even in the worst case there's so much water in the Gulf that the oil gets diluted. What really bugs me, though, is the huge impact on investors. My grandfather left me 1,000 shares of Transocean when he passed away last year. It was enough, selling at $95 per share, to buy me a 2010 Land Rover Sport Supercharged. Well, not anymore. I just looked and the stock is down to $58. So now I'm stuck with the Land Rover LR-4. With NO Supercharge. All because Obama fusses about the leak rather than swallowing Transocean and BP's liability so the companies can stabilize themselves. Thanks a lot Obama. Stop being the problem, and start being the solution."

I'm still trying not to bust out laughing.

J3D? I'm looking at you.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 21, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

" On Good Morning America today, Paul also steered the conversation toward something more recent, President Obama’s criticism of BP following the oil spill. Paul said: “This sort of, you know ‘I’ll put my boot heel on the throat of BP,’ I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business.”

Yes. When the American President states he is going to make sure that BRITISH Petroleum is going to be required to clean up the spill that is polluting American shores and fisheries, it is “un-American.”

When you are an idiot."

Posted by: drindl | May 21, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

poor zoukie -- spinning even faster than usual. must be so very frustrating to be aboard a sinking ship. keep bailin there, little buddy... the water is pouring over the gunwales.

Posted by: drindl | May 21, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Spy chief resigns. Someone had to take the blame for the total failure to defend our nation.

Only one problem. They missed the obimbo buffoon who should one day take responsibility for his utter incompetence.

Posted by: Moonbat | May 21, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

If Rossi decides to run against Murray, he has a decent chance. He comes across as a moderate Republican, and would take some independent votes. But Didier is an unknown here, and his position on every issue will only appeal to GOP voters East of the Cascades. Very right candidates have no chance in a left leaning state like Washington.

Posted by: Cyclopsina | May 21, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

The Washington Post had a little brain fart today. In an effort to dismiss the notion that Dear Leader Obama's aganda is not exactly what you'd call popular these days, they simply forgot to report the facts correctly.

While Obama did not campaign in the special election to replace the late congressman John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), he did play a major role -- as the Republicans' favorite foil in a conservative Pennsylvania district where he is deeply unpopular. But by tailoring his message to local concerns, Democrat Mark Critz won handily against a GOP candidate who framed the vote as an opportunity to register a protest against Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
"...tailoring his message to local concerns..." ?!? Quite some tailoring it was. Good thing that the WaPo had George Will on hand, in the very same section of the paper, to flesh out the story a bit:

The candidate who on Tuesday won the special election in a Pennsylvania congressional district is right-to-life and pro-gun. He accused his opponent of wanting heavier taxes. He said he would have voted against Barack Obama's health-care plan and promised to vote against cap-and-trade legislation, which is a tax increase supposedly somehow related to turning down the planet's thermostat. This candidate, Mark Critz, is a Democrat.
Sounds like Obama was actually Mark Critz's favorite foil. Thank goodness for those conservative columnists who are imminently capable of calling a spade a spade.

Posted by: Moonbat | May 21, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

"Drindl, I don't know the last time the political environment has been the way it is now. It seems so fractured and just really WEIRD. (sorry, that's the best word my sleep deprived brain is giving me now) That's why I think the beltway CW is so screwed up. They just lack any sense of context"

I think it's just that the rightwingers [so-called 'conservatives] have, as predicted, just lost their minds -- the last election did them in. They have not been able to recover. They still hate Democras, but now they hate their own party too... and as a consequence are electing total idiots who won't survive the general. Look at Rand paul, for god's sake -- a rumpled, comatose ferret. And the right-leaning pundits rush out to embrace them -- and then these nuts just embarrass everyone.

If I were in the media, I would take time out for some soul-searching, maybe some remedial training in actual journalism.

And yes, Rasmussen is just as rigged as FOX.

Posted by: drindl | May 21, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Paul has heard nothing about BP not paying for the spill? Well, apparently he doesn't listen to the news -- what a surprise. Newsflash -- there is an old law under which a drilling platform is considered a 'ship' and there is a cap on how much damages a sunken 'ship' must pay for. The cap was passed long ago, and US taxpayers are now paying hundreds of thousands a day for the cleanup. Obama is trying to raise the cap, to force BP to pay for its own messed - caused by HALLIBURTON negligence.

But what a surprise -- BP is fighting that and as fast as humanly possible distributing its vast profits to owners and shareholders so there will be nothing left to pay for the debacle.

Rand Paul wants US TAXPAYERS to pay instead of business. This is all he is really about -- greed and selfishness. Anybody who votes for him is a damn fool.

Posted by: drindl | May 21, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Devestating loss? In a two to one dem district? Cilizza is sucking up to his base again.

And the leftists loons respond by flooding the board with the usual drivl. Why have all intelligent posters fled CC?

Posted by: Moonbat | May 21, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Rand Paul feels that the White House is being too hard on BP.

From CNN:

Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul is taking aim at President Barack Obama's handling of the oil crisis off the Gulf Coast.

The president, Paul told ABC, is being too tough on BP - the oil giant which controls the well that has been leaking thousands of barrels of oil a day in the Gulf Coast since late last month.

"What I don't like from the president's administration is this sort of 'I'll put my boot heel on the threat of BP," said Paul who overwhelmingly won Tuesday's GOP Senate primary in Kentucky and is a favorite of Tea Party activists. "I think that sounds really un-American in his criticisms of businesses."

"I've heard nothing from BP about not paying for the spill," Paul continued. "I think its part of this blame game society in the sense that it's already got to be someone's fault, instead of the fact that sometime accidents happen."

Since capturing the Senate nomination, Paul has faced a barrage of questions over his past criticisms of several federal regulations that intrude on the private sector, including provisions of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the national minimum wage.

"When does my honeymoon period start?" said Paul when he was again asked about his past statements Friday. "I had a big victory, I thought I got a honeymoon period from you guys in the media."

Posted by: Bondosan | May 21, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Drindl, I don't know the last time the political environment has been the way it is now. It seems so fractured and just really WEIRD. (sorry, that's the best word my sleep deprived brain is giving me now) That's why I think the beltway CW is so screwed up. They just lack any sense of context

By the way, I saw this interesting Kos posting on Rasmussen. Of course, he rails against the pollster, but what's interesting is that as much as Rasmussen polls, they seem to stop polling big races close to the election date. It's as if they are avoiding accountability.
"Yesterday the nation had several hot races, including the House special election in PA-12, primaries in both parties in Kentucky and Arkansas, and the Democratic Senate primary in Pennsylvania.

And somehow, Rasmussen was nowhere to be found. Yet this past week, Rasmussen found time to poll Colorado, California, and those burning Idaho senate and governor races. He even polled the general election in Arkansas, ignoring the imminent primaries -- the better to show Arkansas Republican primary voters who their strongest candidate was.

So why take the risk of getting an actual election result wrong, this early in the cycle? There's a special election in PA-12? Who cares! Rasmussen is nowhere to be found. Just like in January, when Rasmussen -- who had polled the Massachusetts Senate special election twice earlier, decided to pull out of the race two weeks before the actual election. The day before that special, Rasmussen released a bizarre poll saying that nationally "interest high" in the race. Who gave a [darn] if there was national interest? Why wouldn't Rasmussen poll the actual race like the rest of real pollsters?"

There's a little bit more, plus a very interesting graph showing how far out of line Rasmussen is with everyone else on the generic ballot polling. (to me, it almost looks like the results are fabricated - or to put it in FOX News speak... Rasmussen is fabricating data ?)

Posted by: DDAWD | May 21, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

What that TeaParty/Republican Rising thing sure fell apart fast -- and Rand Paul will be the gift that keeps on giving -- for Democrats:

"Rand Paul has already embarrassed Kentuckians in the eyes of the world," Yarmouth said in a statement. "The Commonwealth deserves better because we are better - and I call on Mitch McConnell and my other colleagues in the Kentucky Congressional Delegation to join me in condemning his despicable views."

Yarmouth called Paul's libertarian take on the landmark 1964 law -- Paul takes issue with portions of the legislation banning discrimination in private businesses -- "simply appalling."

"Rejecting the fundamental provision of the Civil Rights Act is a rejection of the foundational promise of America that all men and women should be treated equally," Yarmuth said, "a promise for which many Americans have lost their lives."

Posted by: drindl | May 21, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

If electionwatcher is correct and PA 12 Independents did not turn out to vote for the GOP candidate, whom he presumes they would have supported, the question is why?

Maybe they weren't interested in voting for the GOP in the first place. Or maybe they don't exist, but if that were the case, how did the district vote McCain/Palin? So, what turned them off to the McCain/Palin agenda?

Posted by: shrink2 | May 21, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Chris, you're peddling bullshot on this Critz-Burns race. Ulm is simply trying to cover his own hiney. Reliable polling had Critz up 8 points consistently in the weeks before that race. What the republicans, the tea party and the mainstream media tried to pull was the same tactic they used in the Massachusetts race--they tried to hype the atmosphere surrounding the race and create a bandwagon effect. It didn't work because there are not as many independents in Pennsylvania and the traditional democrats came out in greater numbers than in Massachusetts.

I tried for days on this blog to tell you that there was scant evidence that anything had really changed in the polls but you didn't want to hear that because you are so flat out devoted to this down-with-democrats, go-teaparty-go narrative that it blinded you.

Maybe you mainstream media types ought to stop trying to hype these races in one direction or the other and just let the people have their say. You seem to be more interested in your precious narrative than in the more pressing issues the country faces.

Posted by: jaxas70 | May 21, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Sure is fun watching Republican "leaders" turn on each other. But there is one thing I can't figure out, why? Why are they getting into these relentless, so ubiquitous now they are getting boring, endorsement battles?

Is it just about keeping your name in the news, no matter whether you pick a winner, no matter the cost to party unity?

Posted by: shrink2 | May 21, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

electtionwatcher - you have a condescending incorrect perception. Can't you and others of your ilk, not see the truth and just admit to the fact that THE PEOPLE SPOKE AND CHOSE THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE.

Posted by: utahmink | May 21, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Dawd, hhere's another blow to the Beltway Narrative -- teabaggers turn on Sarah Palin -- you gotta love it!

"Out in Idaho, one tea party Republican has had enough of Sarah Palin.

Lucas Baumbach, who's running for the state senate, is angry that Palin is butting in to the Republican race to unseat U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick (D). What's worse, she's endorsing the other guy.

"I think she should let Idahoans pick for themselves instead of shoving a candidate down our throats," he told TPMDC in an interview today.

Baumbach supports Raul Labrador, a conservative state representative who openly supports repealing the 17th Amendment. But Palin is stumping for Vaughn Ward, who was the Nevada state director for John McCain's presidential campaign, by headlining a fund-raiser tomorrow night.

So, as the Idaho Reporter originally reported, Baumbach is organizing an anti-Palin protest outside the rally He said he expects about 200 people, many of them from the local tea party.

"I'm a big fan of Palin's in the past, but I have to question whether the money's going to her head," Baumbach said, or whether she's just doing "what McCain tells her."

Baumbach takes issue with Palin for endorsing candidates like Carly Fiorina in California, accusing her of following McCain's line instead of listening to what tea parties have to say.

And it's even worse, he says, for her to impose herself on Idaho.

"She has a lot more star power here" than in California, he said. "I think it's just abusive."

Posted by: drindl | May 21, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

"So not only is Scott Brown a pro-choice, very liberal Republican who often votes with the Dems, but now he is a pro-choice, very liberal Republican who often votes with the Dems AND WORKS WITH BARNEY FRANK!"

Brown is clearly a RINO/TINO.

No wonder he couldn't deliver the vote for Burns.


Posted by: bsimon1 | May 21, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Chuck DeVore, lying about his military service:

"Chuck DeVore, the conservative candidate in California's U.S. Senate election, has apparently embellished an incident in which he says he was "shot at in Lebanon."

As the L.A. Times reports today, part of DeVore's personal mythology is that he was "shot at in Lebanon." He said it in a recent debate, in interviews, in a Facebook post about whether the Council for American-Islamic Relations is really a "terror-loving group."

In the March debate, he said it in response to a question about why he's the best candidate to "represent the country in the Senate in the midst of a war on terrorism."

"I am the sole candidate on either side of the aisle with military experience. I'm a lieutenant colonel of military intelligence within the U.S. Army. ... I have been to Israel four times, I've studied in Egypt, I've been shot at in Lebanon, I've experienced the gritty reality of the Middle East. This has, I think, given me good insight into the present conflict in the Middle East," he said, in part.

The Times dug into the incident and found that saying he was "shot at" is somewhat of a stretch.

At the time -- and DeVore described this readily in an interview with the Times -- he was a student studying in Egypt. He called the Israeli army and asked to see the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, describing himself as a student, a member of the Army Reserves and a credentialed reporter. He was taken on a media tour.

"The Syrians shot at us and kind of drove us off the hill, because they didn't want press over there. It was like warning shots," DeVore told the Times.

In another interview this March, he said, "The Syrian Army in Lebanon started shooting at us ... I dropped to the ground. But the journalists we were with just kept standing. You could hear the shh, shh, shh, of the bullet rounds as they got closer. And the journalists were still standing. I asked the Israelis we were with, "Why are they test firing?" They said, "Don't take it personally, but they're not test firing." The Syrian army was trying to shoo us away from the hill."

The Times spoke to former ABC News correspondent Bob Zelnick, who was also on the tour.

Zelnick said the group climbed an observation tower in Israeli-occupied Lebanese territory, from which the Bekaa Valley could be seen. He recalls the Israeli troops taunting the Syrians, who fired shots in response. But Zelnick said they were out of range and that Israeli journalists present had publicly teased him for reacting to the gunshots. "Nothing I saw or experienced could reasonably be interpreted as our having been driven off the hill by Syrian fire," he said."

Posted by: drindl | May 21, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

So apparently Barney Frank was someone who had a big role in convincing Scott Brown to vote for cloture on the FinReg bill. Brown would vote for the bill if Frank promised to fight to protect certain Massachusetts institutions.

So not only is Scott Brown a pro-choice, very liberal Republican who often votes with the Dems, but now he is a pro-choice, very liberal Republican who often votes with the Dems AND WORKS WITH BARNEY FRANK!!!!!!

Man, if that isn't a slap in the face of the bottom dwellers, I don't know what is. Sorry, Chris C.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 21, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

It's really funny watching Rs try to spin this election that they were so SURE they were going to win. Yes this actually was, as you all said, a barometer for November. And it showed Democrats will do just fine.

Now stop whining and spinning. You're going to make yourself throw up.

Posted by: drindl | May 21, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Bondosman you are right. What is wrong with offering a decorated retired rear admiral the position of Secretary of the Navy? Why they did it makes no difference, he is definitly qualified.

Posted by: AndyR3 | May 21, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele issued a searing statement on the deal Thursday -- charging that 'it is unacceptable for an administration that touts itself as the 'most transparent' in history to continue to stonewall a significant and potentially devastating accusation of political corruption.'"

Does Michael Steele wake up every morning, look at himself in the mirror, and just laugh his ass off for about 20 minutes? He's the biggest punchline in American politics and I think he's in on the joke.

Of course the White House offered Sestak a job. It's called politics.

If this is the best line of attack the Republicans have against Sestak, I think he's going to cruise to victory in November.

Posted by: Bondosan | May 21, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Devastating defeat? That is a huge Democratic district. It was a longshot.

Posted by: dubuqueman | May 21, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

We get the point you made about the ballot, again and again and again, but do you understand what this means?

"Very few independents voted which definitely hurt the GOP candidate Burns."

Posted by: shrink2 | May 21, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Pennsylvania's partisan primary ballot definitely tilted the special election to the Democrat Critz (the special election was listed at the bottom of a very long ballot) after many Democrat party races were listed (even party committee races).

Such an important race should have been at the top not the bottom of the ballot.

Most of the district's voters, registered Democrats, had to wade through tons of Democrat primary contests (including even party committee races) before they voted on the special congressional election.

Any pollster will tell you that how you position questions in a survey will influence the poll results. And this rigged machine ballot definitely had the intended effect - get all those Democrats to keep voting Democrat until the end of the ballot where the special election was located.

When you match the primary results by party with the special election results by county, the results are almost identical. Very few independents voted which definitely hurt the GOP candidate Burns.

Scheduling the election in a 2-1 Democrat district during a partisan primary was definitely unfair but what do you expect from the Rendell machine?

There is just as good a case here as all the screaming media people did in 2000 in complaining about the Broward and Palm Beach county ballots but as usual no one seems interested because it benefits liberals.

Even the GOP experts in DC have totally ignored the impact this rigged ballot had on the special election in PA 12th CD.

This was a very poorly designed ballot in a district where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1. Actually, I think it's amazing Burns got as close as he did.

On top of that he had to fight a two front war with an obnoxious sore loser Republican who won 43% of the vote against him on the ballot above the special election.


Posted by: electionwatcher | May 21, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

"If they can't win in a culturally conservative district like that one, how can they take back the majority"?


Posted by: drindl | May 21, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

The GOP keeps braying and braying about how they have the momentum, the enthusiasm and that they will have a surge in voter turnout, the GOP Tidal Wave, thanks to the Tea Party. Chris, would you please point to me where this surge is. The ouster of Bennett was done in a confernece of GOP operatives. The much ballyhooed KY primaries found the Democratic turnout at 60% above the GOP turnout, and this was a race for the Tea Party darling, Rand Paul. Oh, I've heard all the GOP apologists saying that turnout was light because Paul was a shoe-in but that's a sure fire way to lose a race. Sure they got their candidate nominated to run in the general but if they want to win they need to get the vote out.

Now you have their latest excuse that the reason why the GOP lost in PA-12 is because there was a contentious Democratic primary that brought out the Democratic vote. This excuse sounds good on the surface but if you think about it the thing just sounds goofy. Correct me if I'm wrong but in the November election won't there be a Democratic candidate on the ticket or is the GOP simply waiting for an election where they are the only candidate on the ballot to gain the momentum? I don't think the GOP can blame this loss on the Democratic Senate Primary because it flies against their entire Talking Point that the GOP base is fired up and will help them take back Congress because by admitting that the Democratic Senate Primary, which is after all their base, is more willing to get out and vote then the GOP base - and didn't the GOP have a primary as well. If this Tidal Wave of Tea Party voters are going to turn out for the GOP when is that Tidal Wave going to start to swell or is this going to be a sneak Tidal Wave that waits to the November election before showing its face? And the Hawaii elections is a fluke and the GOP knows it, which is why they're not talking it up. But the Hawaii race does remind me of that Saturday this year after the Chilean earthquake and I sat watching the TV for the Tidal Wave to hit Hawaii and, Thank God, it never came. A Tidal Wave needs some kind of momentum for it to build into a force to be reckoned with and this "GOP Tidal Wave" sure is taking its time.

Posted by: dre7861 | May 21, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

What a hoot.

The Dems lose Mass and it is a vote against the prez and Dems.

Repubs lose Penn big time and oh it's because of a primary NOT that the voters rejected them.

The Repubs are spinning this story like whirling Dervishes.

Don't they get it? People don't like what your party has become; a rightwing, bigoted, racist, selfish bunch of whiners.

Posted by: utahmink | May 21, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

What a hoot.

The Dems lose Mass and it is a vote against the prez and Dems.

Repubs lose Penn big time and oh it's because of a primary NOT that the voters rejected them.

The Repubs are spinning this story like whirling Dervishes.

Don't they get it? People don't like what your party has become; a rightwing, bigoted, racist, selfish bunch of whiners.

Posted by: utahmink | May 21, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Rand Paul rhetoric: a symptom of disrespect for human and civl rights that is enabled by rogue elements within the security-intel bureaucracy...


• "Dissidents" and "undesirables" also targeted by multi-agency "program" for financial sabotage, community-based, police-protected vigilante stalking and harassment, and ideologically-driven censorship -- a genocidal purge.

All of those cell towers you see all over America are NOT all for phone calls.

Some of them are TORTURE TOWERS -- part of a nationwide microwave/laser radio frequency "directed energy weapon" system that is being used by operatives of the multi-agency Homeland Security-run "fusion center" network to silently torture, impair, and physically and neurologically degrade the functioning and well-being of extrajudicially, unjustly '"targeted" citizens...

And apparently, this precision-targeted domestic weapon system being used to attack and harm U.S. citizens has been deployed WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF CONGRESS or high state officials.

• When will President Obama stop the human and civil rights atrocities of the multi-agency fusion center shadow government?

BUCKS COUNTY, PA: "Mid-Atlantic States (including D.C.) Centcom of a Fusion Center Gestapo."
OR re: "Obama: Take Down Fusion Center Gestapo..."

Posted by: scrivener50 | May 21, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

2. When did anyone ever say that all primaries are beneficial for a party? The fact that Sestak got a bounce against Toomey strongly suggests that this primary wasn't bad for him. Ironically, Sestak was helped by Specter's party switch. Specter would have been tougher in the general election opponent as opposed to Toomey (sponsored by CfG).

3. The Redskins don't play in THAT Washington, Sarah, the other one.

Jake in 3D

Posted by: JakeD3 | May 21, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Obama is toxic and radioactive.

When the president of the United States applauds another country's vile words against citizens of America, Bubba, there's something wrong.

Obama is no president, he's a community hatemonger and @hit stirrer!

Posted by: prossers7 | May 21, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Way off topic - thanks to Bobbywc for his article on veterans' court status in TX published in the Texas Tribune. For those of you who remember Bobby, a link:

For the rest of you, I apologize for the threadjack.

Posted by: MoreAndBetterPolls | May 21, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Chris Cillizza what are you doing with that article title? You are a liar of the first rank saying things like 'stop the bleeding,' what the heck is that supposed to mean, there is no bleeding except behind your eyes, man.

Posted by: prossers7 | May 21, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

DDAWD, thats the thing with these polls that say I hate congress etc. The thing is that you may hate congress but people don't think it is their representative that is the problem. Taken on the fact that there really arent' that many truly purple districts out there. Ohio for example has John Boehner and Dennis Kuccinch as representatives, and both of them will win reelection in a WALK. But Ohio is as purple as you get.

On the State level though it is a different story. Massachusetts has some areas of the state that are very conservative like the western mountains and the outer Boston suburbs (Lynn Lynn city of sin...) as well as the most opinionated and liberal Zip code in america (Yeah 02138!!!). Brown won by taking all the conservative areas and winning just enough of the moderate liberals to pull out a win. He knows that he will always get the conservative vote so his goal is to make sure that he can hold on to the moderates otherwise he will get creamed by Capuano in 2012 (which may happen anyway). I am starting to think of him as the new Lincoln Chafee, which isn't neccesarily a bad thing.

Posted by: AndyR3 | May 21, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

AndyR3 writes
"I think the GOP resurgence has peaked and Scott Brown which the GOP saw as their ultimate weapon has turned out to be a pretty reliable bipartisan vote."

Celebrity Senator Scott Brown didn't exactly boost Burns over the finish line.


Posted by: bsimon1 | May 21, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Wow. From GOP "surge" and "tidal wave" to "bleeding" in about 36 hours. Can both these analytical narratives be true? Don't think so.

Posted by: bikobiko | May 21, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Andy, it is looking more and more like Scott Brown is the aberration. It was a pretty seismic election, but Brown could not prevent health care from being passed (and I think his election actually facilitated the process since I think a conference committee screws things up) And since HCR, Brown hasn't stood in the way of the Dems agenda. For all the talk about Mark Critz being a conservative Democrat. Brown is far more out of line with his party than Critz is with his. Brown is probably the second most liberal R in DC. Critz definitely isn't the second most conservative D.

But in general, Republicans haven't been making any headway in these elections. Other than the NY-23 where the Republican lost by only a few percentage points, they have been getting blown out of the water. A lot of these special elections are in safe Dem seats, but given the supposed Republican wave, you'd think they could at least be competitive.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 21, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Margaret, I know by now you are needing more news on Dino Rossi.

The title of his speech today...

"Why We're Going to Win Big in 2010!"

Some say this will be his big announcement, that he intends to run. Oh the drama...I can barely breathe. What WILL Dino do?

Posted by: shrink2 | May 21, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

"I'm glad we got the daily "still no news from Dino Rossi" post.

The suspense is killing us... all of us."

For a while it was Tommy Thomson, in WI & Rudy Giuliani for NY Senate. Now the latter shows up in NH polling for the 2012 POTUS race, which is amusing to no end. Are we going to throw Fred Thomson back into the ring too?


Posted by: bsimon1 | May 21, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

"I'm glad we got the daily "still no news from Dino Rossi" post.

The suspense is killing us... all of us."

For a while it was Tommy Thomson, in WI & Rudy Giuliani for NY Senate. Now the latter shows up in NH polling for the 2012 POTUS race, which is amusing to no end. Are we going to throw Fred Thomson back into the ring too?


Posted by: bsimon1 | May 21, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, whoever would have thought the Republican party would be so extremist that Lindsey Graham, Charles Grassley, Bob Bennett, and John McCain became too liberal for their party? It's just amazing how quickly the party has fallen off the rails.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 21, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Since Andy mentioned Cantwell, you know what? She got together with McCain this week and tried to get Glass Steagall back into the FinReg bill, she bucked Reid (together with Feingold) and voted against cloture Wednesday.

There is bipartisanship going on, it just isn't part of the narrative.

Posted by: shrink2 | May 21, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

If Demint runs, I wonder if the rest of the Republican field will skip the SC primary the way the Dems did with Iowa in 1992.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 21, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Lets go all in with: what is Dino Rossi doing today? Ok Margaret?

"Rossi is speaking Friday at the Mainstream Republicans annual conference in [South of Seattle by the airport] -- an event not likely to endear himself to tea party voters.

A scheduled Saturday panel discussion is called "Tea Party or the Republican Party? How Ross Perot Elected Bill Clinton." ST

Ouch! I remember the day when we watched Lindsay Graham at a town hall many months ago. He was being attacked, accused of sleeping with John Kerry, just for having negotiated with him, by his own constituents, screamed at so that security had to calm some people down and that was the day I realized the Republican Party might break right in half.

Posted by: shrink2 | May 21, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

#1-DDAWD makes an excellent point that Obama is still pretty popular, especially given the state of our economy. I have been saying for a while now that I think the GOP resurgence has peaked and Scott Brown which the GOP saw as their ultimate weapon has turned out to be a pretty reliable bipartisan vote. The recent vote on Financial Regulation will sell well in basically every region of the country except for Downtown Manhattan and Greewich Connecticut. Pete Sessions can try and spin this as much as he wants but frankly his strategy has failed and he knows it. In the past three specials where the candidates all campaigned hard against FinReg, HCR, and all things Obama they got smoked. Also an extra two million just makes up for the money they wasted on the PA-12th and NY-23.

#2-This is a non-story. Gibbs should go out and say exactly what happened, that they discussed the possibility with Sestak and he didn't show that he was interested. Que Sera.
Andy who cares what Specter, the man who LOST to Sestak, thinks about his chances to win in November. These things don't influence anyones vote come November.

#3-Dino Rossi is a Joke and Cantwell has absolutely nothing to worry about. Have you been to Olympia or Seattle lately? A large Frappacino would have a better chance then Rossi.

#4-Romney will need NH to fall his way to make sure that Demint, who will have a strong second place showing in Iowa, doesn't run away with the nomination when he wins SC two weeks later. Remember you heard it here first:)

Posted by: AndyR3 | May 21, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Didier, the Palin-described "selfless, inspiring commonsense constitutional conservative" took $273,000 in federal dollars ("farm" subsidies). Check out the Seattle Times, which is still digging and reporting facts, unlike the Washington Post.

What a complete joke. Tea Party Motto: "No government support for OTHER people. But keep your hands off ours!"

Posted by: trace1 | May 21, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

"Of course, it's 20 months before the likely first-in-the-nation vote and, as a result, only eight percent of voters said they have settled on a 2012 candidate."

With NH Republican registrations running at a little over 200,000 voters that would mean Gingrich's low single digit backing of that 8% must, like, maybe 6 or 7 voters.
Awl-right, Newtie.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | May 21, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

There are a lot more than sparks on the horizon, those are flames, your own structure is on fire. When your party has no platform, no leadership, when Rand Paul is a big winner and Tim Burns gets crushed, yeah, fund raising is going to be a very big problem.

The Republican house afire comes to Washington, DeMint tries to endorse a two time loser who has waited far too long to get in the race and Palin endorses a non-starter. Then Patty Murray skates to victory, waving to the crowd, smiling.

Posted by: shrink2 | May 21, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

I would imagine one of the reasons that Obama refuses to hold a press conference is that he does not want to answer questions like the obvious one of who offered Sestak a position and could it be considered a bribe!

Posted by: mwhoke | May 21, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad we got the daily "still no news from Dino Rossi" post.

The suspense is killing us... all of us.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | May 21, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

#2 - According to POTUS [XM's 24/7 political coverage, which rivals Cspan in its coverage of live events]. Sestak was offered SecNav before he announced for the Senate.
If so, the inquiry will be a mere distraction.

A side note - the daily WH press briefings are marked by questions that are so stupid, on occasion, as to make the press corps appear unworthy. Example [paraphrased]:

"BP's CEO said he would stay in the USA until the oil was contained, but now he is flying back to London for
a board meeting and a round of golf. What will the WH do to keep him from leaving?"

Gibbs plays along and tries to actually respond, but one can only play the fool by answering a foolish question.

The only answer to that question is "Next question".

Posted by: MoreAndBetterPolls | May 21, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

DDAWD- very logical and reasonable points there. Of course, logic and reason are usually swept aside as the day goes on here.

Posted by: justmike | May 21, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

#1 - I think simply running against Obama is problematic since 1) Obama is not that unpopular and 2) Republican control is still fresh in voters' minds. People remember what they did the last time they had control since they had Congress four years ago and the Presidency two. When the Democrats took Congress in 2006, they had been out of power for 12 years. People weren't blaming them for anything. Remember that most Americans still blame Bush for the current economy. They may be unsatisfied with the Dems, but that may have to do a lot with unmet expectations. And simply because Obama doesn't meet expectations doesn't mean that voters are eager to revisit the Bush era.

2) I think it will be hard to show a lot of wrongdoing on the part of the Obama administration. First, Sestak is qualified to be the Sec. Navy. Second, no one has to make the explicit statement "If you drop out, we'll offer you the position" All they have to do is simply offer the position. If he accepts, then he necessarily drops out of the Senate race. It's not like he was offered to become Ambassador to Bermuda.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 21, 2010 7:04 AM | Report abuse

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