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Bob Menendez goes on offense

1. After a month in which Democrats had to respond to a series of surprising retirements and the loss of a special election race in Massachusetts, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (N.J.) is playing a little bit of offense this morning with an appearance at the Monitor Breakfast -- an almost-daily gathering of national political reporters. Expect Menendez to acknowledge the challenges before Democrats -- 10 or more of their seats are considered at least marginally competitive by political handicappers -- but try to underscore that his party still carries some advantages heading into November: a series of contested Republican primaries in places like New Hampshire, Florida, Kentucky and California, a still-tarnished Republican brand in the eyes of voters and a (shrinking) cash edge over their counterparts at the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Menendez will also echo the White House's latest talking point -- urging Republican Senate candidates to bring forward their plans to fix the economy, create jobs and reform the health care system rather than simply criticize Democratic proposals. (As we have written before, it's not entirely clear whether the public expects the party out of power at every turn in Washington to offer a full counter agenda. "I wouldn't have a party agenda at this stage of the process," Mississippi GOP Gov. Haley Barbour, an architect of the 1994 Republican takeover, said in a recent interview with reporters.) What Menendez really needs -- although he won't say it this morning -- is a lucky break: a weaker Republican candidate or two to emerge from a primary fight or a surprise retirement within the GOP ranks. To his credit, he has -- to date -- made the best of several bad situations by finding credible candidates to run in open seat contests in Delaware and Indiana but, as all politicians know, it's better to be lucky than good. ALSO WORTH NOTING: The National Republican Senatorial Committee will announce today that former Republican National Committee chairman Jim Nicholson will serve as a co-chair for its large donor program known as "Majority Makers."

2. A new Pew study of 18 to 29 year olds -- the "Millenials" -- set to be released today shows that this group, which turned out in large numbers and voted heavily for President Obama in 2008, became far less enchanted with the president and his party over his first year in office. Much of that falling-off appears to be due to a sense that things in Washington have not changed in the way the president promised they would; 46 percent of Millenials said Obama had changed Washington while 48 percent said he had not. Obama's job approval scores have also faltered among the youngest voter segment -- slipping from 73 percent approval in February 2009 to 57 percent by the end of the year. Not surprisingly, the Democratic party's advantage with these Millenials has also eroded significantly. In January 2009, 60 percent of those 18-29 identified with the Democratic party while just 31 percent called themselves Republicans; by the end of last year, the Democratic self-identification number had dropped to 54 percent while the Republican number had risen to 40 percent. Ask any Democratic strategists about the biggest unknown heading into the 2010 midterms and, to a person, they are likely to cite the uncertainty about how much of the Obama coalition -- of which Millenials were a key pillar -- will turn out for downballot Democrats in the fall. The 2009 Virginia governor's race was a bad omen for Democrats in that regard; Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) won voters age 18-29 by 10 points just one year after Obama had carried the same age group by 21 points in the Commonwealth.

3. For those of us -- almost everyone -- who know next-to-nothing about Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, Frank Bruni's profile of the newest Republican superstar is must-read material. Among the things we learn: 1) Brown competed in six triathlons of varying length during the first half of last year. 2) His famous pickup truck, which came to symbolize his "average Joe" nature during the campaign was originally purchased to haul his daughter Arianna's horse, a plan scrapped when Brown realized "it's scary pulling a trailer." 3) On a first date with the woman who would become his wife, Brown showed up in pink leather shorts that he had received from a modeling shoot: "I did the couture shows and instead of paying in cash they paid in clothes," he told Bruni. 4) Brown's parents were divorced before he was one and his mother remarried three times before he was a teenager. Part of Brown's decision to attend nearby Tufts University was so that he would be close to home to intervene on his mother's behalf in incidents of domestic violence. 5) His dream job? No, not the Senate. "Secret ambition is to play for the [Utah] Jazz or [Boston] Celtics and be outrageously happy," he wrote in his yearbook his senior year of high school. ALSO CLICK: The Post's Brown profile -- offering a more detailed look at his life as a state legislator in a chamber dominated by Democrats.

4. Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D) has regained a five-point lead over former representative John Kasich (R) in a new Quinnipiac University poll. Strickland took 44 percent to 39 percent for Kasich, an improvement for the Democrat on a November Q poll that showed the race tied but still not at the double-digit lead he enjoyed in mid-September. The tightness of the race seems due, in large part, to environmental factors rather than the candidates themselves as just one in three (32 percent) of Ohioans said they were satisfied with the direction of the state. Despite the closeness of the ballot test, 45 percent of the sample had a favorable opinion of Strickland while 36 percent had an unfavorable impression; by contrast a whopping 62 percent didn't know enough about Kasich to offer an opinion. Ohio is rightly regarded as the central front of the midterm elections; in addition to the governor's race, there is an open Senate seat contest and at least six competitive House races.

5. And speaking of the Buckeye State, its most famous/infamous politician -- jailed former representative Jim Traficant -- said in a CNN interview Tuesday that he is plotting an independent bid for Congress although he did not specify in which district he planned to run. "I'll be running for Congress in northeast Ohio as an independent," Traficant told CNN's Kyra Phillips. "I've been a Democrat all my life but quite frankly I am disgusted with both parties." (As he has done since he was convicted in 2002 of a litany of charges including racketeering and bribery, Traficant maintained his innocence -- and in the third person no less! "Jim Traficant didn't really commit any crime," he said.) Traficant, who held the Youngstown area 17th district from 1984 until 2002, could run for his old seat -- currently held by Rep. Tim Ryan (D) -- or for the sprawling 6th district that includes much of the state's eastern border and is represented by Rep. Charlie Wilson (D). In either scenario, Traficant is more distraction than serious contender although, as a third party candidate, he could well siphon off low double digits in vote share thanks to those who remain loyal to him in the area.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 24, 2010; 6:24 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Comments

ObamaCare has gone from "we don't need to listen to the people" to " I Do Not Report To You Anyway, !! I Am The President"

Posted by: RayOne | February 27, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Obama is acting more and more like an unrealistic child who is throwing a tantrum because he didn't get what he wanted.


Obama has got to be kidding - the country deserves a level of maturity that we are not seeing.


The American People do not want Obama's health care bill - they do not want to create a massive spending program - they do not want the massive taxes. Somehow Obama sees massive spending as his path to greatness. It is not.


Everyone is quickly getting sick of Obama.


We have a situation in this country in which people are tuning Obama out - they don't want to listen to anything he's got to say - You know I still want to see good government.


Obama's positions and tactics have poisoned the political system in this country.


It is horrible.


Obama has made serious mistakes - and his arrogance has made the whole situation worse. When reporters who used to fawn over the Obama people are now using the word "delusional" then there is a serious problem with our government.

Obama has to grow up - and fast - it is about time that Obama realize he is a LAME DUCK - and start acting in a way that reflects reality.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 24, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Are referring to the achievement of E-Gore having one of the largest carbon footprints on the planet?

==

first of all, that's a lie, but I expect nothing else from someone of your allegiances. Being a good global citizen doesn't require a vow of poverty. Gore is a wealthy man. He owns a large house. He also recycles while you sh|theads put aluminum cansin the trash.

Second, Gore pays for carbon sequestration, offsetting his footprint.

X - X = 0 for all X, however large.

Idiot.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 24, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

There goes the neighborhood

Posted by: Noacoler | February 24, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

ceflynline


Obama is operating in a fantasy world - the democrats are complaining about the filibuster but Obama's real problem is in the House.

So what is everyone talking about?

I'm not sure what the correct word is - delusional - childish - completely out-of-touch ???

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 24, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

If you're so envious of Gore's achievements you might try getting a job, zouk.
Try to keep up. Start by getting your sorry state-supported carcass out of the booby hatch.
Posted by: Noacoler
--------------------------------------------
Are referring to the achievement of E-Gore having one of the largest carbon footprints on the planet?

Posted by: leapin | February 24, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

"health care reform is making progress... which is good considering the insurance companies or on a plundering rampage and soon NO ONE will be able to afford health care: Posted by: drindl"

And all these ill timed rate hikes are likely to make HCR reform MORE popular everywhere but within the T-Base of the R-Party.

Well Point, particularly, has decided to give a practical demonstration of WHY the individual mandate is an absolute requirement in any HCR bill. Now will it become obvious that some form of Public Option is the obverse of the Mandate coin?

It will be interesting to see what the Republican conferees have to say about all this Free Market regulation of insurance rates.

Posted by: ceflynline | February 24, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

"Despite the closeness of the ballot test, 45 percent of the sample had a favorable opinion of Strickland while 36 percent had an unfavorable impression; by contrast a whopping 62 percent didn't know enough about Kasich to offer an opinion."

Kasich can have some following until he actually has to campaign. He is so anti tax that he can't address Ohio's virtual bankruptcy, because he wants to reduce income for the state, and doesn't dare talk about reducing expenses. In an event yesterday he ranted about how we drive jobs out of Ohio, demanded reduced taxes, and they flatly refused to talk about what programs and jobs he would eliminate to balance the budget. It used to be good enough for republicans, before Strickland started ACTUALLY closing mental hospitals, prisons, and otherwise reducing the states employment. Kasich can't just agree with Strickland, and if he proposes cutting Education, especially, he runs into an already thoroughly angry electorate on a really sore subject.

Still, just sometimes I think that R's getting the Govenor's mansion and both Houses next year would be justice in a big way, because very large tax increases are inevitable, and when it is the republicans who are forced to write the bills and provide the majority of votes to pass them, and Kasich has to sign them, the republicans lose their "Tax and Spend" campaign theme for a decade or so.

Posted by: ceflynline | February 24, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

If you're so envious of Gore's achievements you might try getting a job, zouk.

Try to keep up. Start by getting your sorry state-supported carcass out of the booby hatch.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 24, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

fortunes by stick manipulation

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

not talking about what YOU SPEND your gold on Ped.

Try to keep up. Start by getting your face out of the pillow.

Posted by: drivl | February 24, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

- civil RICO lawsuits against Mr. Gore and any IPCC scientists who participated in blocking the publication of contrary research, cooking the data, all of whose annual income skyrocketed from the public hysteria.

==

yeah so much nobler to make fortunes by stick manipulation

Posted by: Noacoler | February 24, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

TO: "elijah24" @ 1:20 p.m.

Got a better one for you. Read this, print it out and make a paper hat out of it. We need the tin foil for the shape shifter spacecraft.

http://nowpublic.com/world/true-tales-lame-u-s-govt-psy-ops-censors

Posted by: scrivener50 | February 24, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Cant help it. His frequency is comming through the fillings in my teeth. It has been since I drank the floridated water while watching neil armstrong bounce around on a sound-stage in hollywood.

Posted by: elijah24 | February 24, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Not sure you want to be on Scrivener's frequency.

Posted by: drivl | February 24, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

scrivener, My daughter needs a "space helmet for a school play. I have some aluminum foil. can you get me a good pattern for how to make a hat out of it?

Posted by: elijah24 | February 24, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

If Mr. Gore's "green" companies do crash and significantly injure private investors, attorneys in a civil lawsuit could compel Gore to answer questions like:

(1) When you claimed that "the science is settled," did you mean that it's "settled" that you and the IPCC scientists could make quick millions by manipulating the data and fomenting public hysteria?

(2) What does "peer review" mean if none of the IPCC scientists who controlled the academic journals protested that there was no original data to support your frightening claim of accelerated temperature increases after 1995?

(3) If the very scientists that the public trusted to act as the "check and balance" against careless research -- or worse yet, to protect against research fraud -- did not catch a "tiny" problem like not having original supporting data after 1995, does "peer review" mean that IPCC's scientists would secretly work in concert to cover each other's a$$es and keep the grants coming?

Such questions need answers.

In "The Dog Ate Global Warming", an article at the Cato Institute, Patrick J. Michaels noted that "[i]f there are no data, there's no science. U.S. taxpayers deserve to know the answer."

Posted by: drivl | February 24, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

STILL "FIX"-ATING ON ROGUE GOVERNMENT NET CENSORSHIP


Gee, I can't get a rise out of the paid blog spammers. But I've been censored twice today, apparently by rogue government operatives on a witch hunt, who tried to banish me from this space a few days ago.

I can't get any posts through to the NY Times -- even though it appears on my (re-directed) computer connection that the post has been received by NYT -- instead of being deep-sixed by rogue government agents, as appears to be the case.

Does Team Obama have a handle on the bureaucracy? Because I recall specific statements by President Obama, and Secs. Clinton and Napolitano, to the effect of, "The U.S. does not censor the internet."

Which is highly questionable. Read this:

http://nowpublic.com/world/u-s-censors-net-while-obama-lectures-china-net-censorship
http://nowpublic.com/world/how-u-s-spy-ops-censor-web-political-speech

(If rogue agents corrupt links, try:

NowPublic.com/scrivener

Free speech is not free when rogues disobey the chain of command...

Posted by: scrivener50 | February 24, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Gore's financial gains were based on the contradictory and error-plagued assertion that man's release of the trace gas CO2 will fry the planet.

Once it becomes clear to everyone that the AGW theory is based on cleverly manipulated data twisted by rigged computer models controlled by several dozen IPCC politicians/scientists, we can expect that investors who lose millions by investing in these companies will eventually haul Mr. Gore and the insider IPCC scientists into court.

Over the years, American tax dollars were poured down the fantasyland AGW "rat hole." Sooner or later, Al Gore needs to answer some hard questions. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait for lawsuits from private investors. Today, legal counsel will advise him to remain silent.

It's impossible to predict how many lawsuits, or what kind, might arise once everyone realizes that the AGW scam dwarfs Bernie Madoff's $50-billion Ponzi operation. New studies appear almost daily that further undercut AGW theory. The biggest daily newspaper in the Netherlands vindicated that country's leading AGW critic in the article "Henk Tennekes -- He was right after all."

Dr. Tennekes was fired in the 1990s from a prominent research position and blacklisted for debunking AGW theory. He upset the same IPCC scientists who control the leading "peer review" climate research journals and who blocked the publication of all contrary research in those journals for decades.

As investors learn the extent of the scam, Mr. Gore's start-up "green" companies will lose considerable value, like flaky dot-com companies lacking a real product. Investors in these "green" companies -- who reasonably relied upon Gore's alarming claims -- may pursue several possible remedies:

- derivative shareholder lawsuits, disgorging from Mr. Gore and other senior officers in these companies any illicit gains from any insider trading that could be proven; and/or

- lawsuits against brokers who did not perform the SEC's necessary "due diligence" research before peddling those shares; and/or

- civil RICO lawsuits against Mr. Gore and any IPCC scientists who participated in blocking the publication of contrary research, cooking the data, all of whose annual income skyrocketed from the public hysteria.

Posted by: drivl | February 24, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

To the left, Al Gore is an admirable person who's raised the profile of an important issue. He isn't considered a hero, or a leader, or a scientist. Just a concerned citizen and environmentalist.

To the right, Al Gore is a nefarious combination of Lex Luthor, Karl Marx, and David Koresh. He single-handedly invented global warming, convincing thousands of reputable scientists to falsify data, so he could become unbelievably wealthy.

Both sides make some good points. I'm glad the media gives them equal time.

Posted by: Blarg | February 24, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

It's the science deniers who belong in prison.

A few months ago some goob was trying the anti science smear on me in the gym. He chose a great day for it. It was 108 outside. In Seattle. It was only 93 in Saigon. On the equator.

Go suck a tailpipe, zouk.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 24, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Gore is in hiding today -- no longer the "courageous" leader of the AGW movement. Apparently, Planet Earth is "no longer in grave danger" or "needing to be saved," but Gore could lose all of his ill-gotten assets.

If the victim list grows and criminal intent is proven, Mr. Gore could do serious time. After a much smaller scam, Bernie Madoff got 150 years.

What if you want answers about the potential misuse of tax dollars that enriched AGW insiders but didn't invest in one of Al Gore's fantasies?

Call Congress and demand that the GAO audit all climate change grants. GAO has the professional audit expertise to follow the money, gather objective facts, and report on any significant fraud or abuse.

Posted by: drivl | February 24, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

WaPo's Milbank: Obama failing because he's surrounded by sycophants and lefty idealists

Posted by: drivl | February 24, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Umm.. what? Sorry, I wasn't paying attention.

Posted by: JakeD3 | February 24, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Washington (CNN) - Another prominent Republican is lining up behind Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, in his primary fight against former Rep. J.D. Hayworth.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said Tuesday he is "proud" to support McCain, calling him "a leader of character, courage and principle."

==

that was a long long time ago. The McCain who campaigned like a recalcitrant adolescent and handled his defeat like a spoiled child bears no resemblance to the aisle-crosser of decades ago.

All that was in a different century.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 24, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

'Washington (CNN) - Two-thirds of Americans think that the Republicans in Congress are not doing enough to cooperate with President Barack Obama, according to a new national poll.'

people ARE paying attention...

Posted by: drindl | February 24, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Of course, we don't really know how much people have turned on him. I think the only backlash we've really seen is a bunch of angry facebook posts. Remember, Michael Steele threatened to take away funding from Collins and Snowe after their votes for cloture on the stimulus. Even Limbaugh was like "well, he's a MA Republican, what do you expect?" so no real cries for his head from the mainstream press or from influential party figures as far as I know.

==

he's on a honeymoon, the new celebrity Republican who gave the filibuster obstruction power back to the infantile GOP. They love their myths (see Reagan, Ronald). The honeymoon won't last. He's a half-termer if he legislates a like the mainstream GOP.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 24, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Looks like the stooges have already settled in for the day.

==

says the spittle-flecked loser, every single day, as he settles in for another day of derisive content-free posts.

Why don't you just tell the doctors what they want to hear, get a

* discharge

* job

* life

... You pathetic loser

Posted by: Noacoler | February 24, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

"To DDAWG:

I've always thought of most of your comments as really spot on. Still, could the R.s truly be so utterly naive as to expect Scott Brown to be the Second Coming? He's from MA, for goodness sake! He wants to be reelected!

Posted by: sverigegrabb"

I'm sure actual Senate Republicans are thrilled to have him. Yeah, he's relatively liberal, but from a state like MA, it's quite a windfall to have someone who is "sorta" liberal.

But for the rank and file teabaggers, they were sold a product that they weren't getting. I think this is less a fault of Brown and more a product of self-delusion as well as unattainable expectations raised by the media. And don't forget that we aren't dealing with the brightest bunch of people here. Not that I watch cable news, but I'm pretty sure there wasn't much mention as to Brown's positions. Perhaps some passing mention of being pro-choice, but not much more than that. By the same token, the only position I really had heard Brown take was that he is against HRC and Cap'n'Trade, so people kind of made up their own expectations that he would fight Obama tooth and nail over every issue.

Of course, we don't really know how much people have turned on him. I think the only backlash we've really seen is a bunch of angry facebook posts. Remember, Michael Steele threatened to take away funding from Collins and Snowe after their votes for cloture on the stimulus. Even Limbaugh was like "well, he's a MA Republican, what do you expect?" so no real cries for his head from the mainstream press or from influential party figures as far as I know.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 24, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I remember that you were the one predicting last week that unemployment would go down .2% percent each month. Now you say republican resurgence has peaked? What do you know that Charlie Cook doesn't know?

==

even the amnesiac American electorate has to notice that Republicans have nothing to offer. No ideas. No plan. Just mockery and rage. They can only get so far on that.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 24, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

yet another R disses the TPers and endorses McCain...

Washington (CNN) - Another prominent Republican is lining up behind Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, in his primary fight against former Rep. J.D. Hayworth.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said Tuesday he is "proud" to support McCain, calling him "a leader of character, courage and principle."

Posted by: drindl | February 24, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Bob Menendez advocates affordable health care yet his actions on behalf of special interests tell a different story.

He fought tort reform for his lawyer friends. He fought the re-importation of prescription drugs for his PHARMA friends. He fought for the exemption from the cadilac tax for his union friends. He supported the "Louisana Purchase" and the "Cornhusker Bribe" for his friend Harry Reid, all of which cost millions of dollars in additional health care costs.

Menendez should spend his time trying to help NJ residends get a better return on the tax dollars they send to the federal gov't, they are currently ranked 48th, rather than trapse around the country helping others get elected.

As an independent NJ voter I only wish that Menendez was up for re-election so that we could vote him out!

Posted by: gman6 | February 24, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Looks like the stooges have already settled in for the day.

Posted by: Moonbat | February 24, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

health care reform is making progress... which is good considering the insurance companies or on a plundering rampage and soon NO ONE will be able to afford health care:

'WellPoint’s hikes created a political opportunity for reform, but California policy holders aren’t the only ones experiencing drastic rate increases. A new survey from the Center for American Progress Action Fund has found that “double-digit hikes have been implemented or are pending in at least 11 other states among the 14 where WellPoint’s Blue Cross Blue Shield companies are active: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Virginia, and Wisconsin.” Below is a sample:

– California: Average rates are expected to increase 25 percent in 2010, with increases as high as 39 percent for some policyholders.

– Colorado: Average rates are expected to increase 19.9 percent in 2010, with increases of up to 24.5 percent for some policyholders.

– Indiana: Rates are expected to increase 21 percent in 2010.

– Maine: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield requested a 23 percent increase for 2010 after five straight years of double-digit increases for individual policyholders. Anthem is suing the Maine Insurance Commissioner for rejecting its request last year for an 18.5 percent rate hike and allowing a 10.9 percent increase.

– Ohio: Average individual rates are expected to decline 40 percent in 2010 due to a new state law that went into effect in 2010.'

Posted by: drindl | February 24, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Republicans plan to stress private-sector alternatives to the president's plan

==

Republicans' ongoing faith in "markets" has taken on literally psychotic dimensions. Our healthcare system is the only such among developed nations and is a coloaslly expensive failure on many levels. Their solution? More of the same.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 24, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Someone should dig up a pic of Brown in the *pink leather* shorts -- maybe a whole TV spot of him on the runway dressed in his model clothes and the gop will be like, 'Scott WHO?'

Posted by: drindl | February 24, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Chris,

Bob Menendez--whatever one might think of his hardscrabble political background, is a remarkable able wheeler-dealer. If anyone can ameliorate the current environment for the D.s, it's he.

To DDAWG:

I've always thought of most of your comments as really spot on. Still, could the R.s truly be so utterly naive as to expect Scott Brown to be the Second Coming? He's from MA, for goodness sake! He wants to be reelected!

Posted by: sverigegrabb | February 24, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Strickland has regained a lead, the republican resurgence has peaked. You heard it here first.

Posted by: AndyR3 | February 24, 2010 9:31 AM

I remember that you were the one predicting last week that unemployment would go down .2% percent each month. Now you say republican resurgence has peaked? What do you know that Charlie Cook doesn't know?

Posted by: doof | February 24, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Strickland has regained a lead, the republican resurgence has peaked. You heard it here first.

Posted by: AndyR3 | February 24, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

As the GOP narrows their base and gets more extreme the Dems are slowly gaining momentum and should pass meaningful reform. The best thing that happened to the Democratic party was losing the super majority. This has freed them from the obsession of retaining all 60 votes allowing them to pursue the Progressive agenda America voted them in to pass. If you are interested in reading more you can visit my liberal political blog, http://dropdeadpolitics.com/

Posted by: dropdeadpolitics | February 24, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

MR. PRESIDENT / TEAM OBAMA: WHY DO YOU CONTINUE COVERT BUSH-CHENEY PROGRAMS OF PERSONAL DESTRUCTION AND DOMESTIC TORTURE?

The Pew "Milllenial" poll underscores the greatest shortcoming of the Obama presidency thus far...

... failure to fulfill the promise of hope and change by restoring respect for civil and human rights and the rule of law in a nation despoiled by Bush-Cheney programs of ideologically-driven programs of personal destruction that the Obama administration inexplicably has allowed to continue. Case in point:

U.S. SILENTLY ATTACKS, IMPAIRS 'TARGETED' AMERICANS WITH NATIONWIDE CELL TOWER MICROWAVE/LASER WEAPON SYSTEM: VETERAN JOURNALIST

Patents reveal why so many cell towers saturate the landscape -- and how this covert weapon system is used to harm and subjugate those deemed to be "dissidents" and "undesirables."

http://nowpublic.com/world/u-s-silently-tortures-americans-cell-tower-microwaves

OR: poynter.org/subject.asp?id=2 (see articles list)

NOW IT'S OBAMA'S GESTAPO USA. WHEN WILL TEAM OBAMA ACT?

• Reporter exposing gov't cell tower microwave torture held hostage to community stalking, police-protected, GPS-equipped goon squads that burglarize, vandalize and terrorize -- officially-enabled lawlessness that afflicts many thousands of other unconstitutionally targeted and persecuted Americans.

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america
OR NowPublic.com/scrivener (see "stories" list)

Posted by: scrivener50 | February 24, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Off topic because there is nothing about HCR in today's column,but here is David Herszenhorn in today’s NY Times on Budget Reconciliation:

"While reconciliation is extremely controversial — it typically enrages the minority party in the Senate – it is no more of a hardball tactic than the filibuster, and it is clearly permitted under the rules...

On Tuesday, the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, dismissed complaints by Republicans who said Democrats should “renounce” reconciliation and suggested that using the parliamentary maneuver for the health care bill would be “jamming” the legislation through the Senate.
Mr. Reid noted that since the reconciliation rules were established, they have been used frequently for a variety of policy purposes.
“I’ve been told that my Republican friends are lamenting reconciliation, but I would recommend for them to go back and look at history,” he said. “Since 1981, reconciliation has been used 21 times. The vast majority of those reconciliation efforts have been by Republicans.”
“Nothing’s off the table,” he continued, “But realistically, they should stop crying about reconciliation as if it’s never been done before. It’s done almost every Congress, and they’re the ones that used it more than anyone else. The Contract for America, most of the stuff in the Contract for America was done with reconciliation. Tax cuts, done with reconciliation. Medicare, done with reconciliation. So they better go back and look at history a little bit.”
Indeed, Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, the senior Republican on the Budget Committee, who has been warning Democrats not to attempt to use reconciliation for the health care legislation, famously defended the process when Republicans were using it in 2005.
“Is there something wrong with majority rules?” Mr. Gregg asked. “I don’t think so.”

http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/author/david-m-herszenhorn/

Posted by: margaretmeyers | February 24, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

I agree parker. The more extreme the GOP gets, the more they will turn off the middle.

Could someone who is angry with Scott Brown please explain to me why? Do you really think that a Republican in Massachusetts (or New York for that matter) can afford to be the same as a Republican in Kansas or Texas? You liked him because he (claimed that he) was the everyman. An outsider not beholden to party leadership. Isn't it a bit hypocritical to turn on him for one vote you oppose?

Posted by: elijah24 | February 24, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

There is definitely an enthusiasm gap between Obama's base and the GOP. But this may end up being a good thing for Democrats. Moderates may lose interest in the Republicans if their base continues to take over the party.

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

Posted by: parkerfl1 | February 24, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2010/02/in-depth-look-at-federal-budget.html

The article I was talking about. The author speculates that the estate tax might serve as more of an excise tax on generational transfer of wealth, but is really unimportant as a source of revenue.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 24, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I don't think I really disagree with you that both parties do it. I think I just have a problem with the false equivalency, but you weren't really doing that anyways.

Speaking of the estate tax, there's a column on fivethirtyeight.com on the different sources of US Federal revenue. Apparently the estate tax is an almost negligible source of income (if I'm remembering it correctly)

And you're right about both sides being involved with the free lunchism. Honestly, I don't think this will ever be solved unless we somehow transform into a dictatorship. Americans want the free lunch and until that changes, politicians will be offering it up.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 24, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

I'll save you the time - I wrote:

Ddawd, the Brooks column pointed to the relinquishing until 2018 of the taxation of ""Cadillac" health plans, which were half the reason the CBO scored the SB as highly as it did. The proposal was kicked down the road to satisfy special interests, mainly on the D side, and it is a more logical assumption that it will be kicked down the road, to please special interests, in the future, as well. This is the unfortunate fate of any legislation that includes fiscal pain for any large pressure group. This is systemic, and not partisan. I would have agreed with you if you had merely pointed out the Rs are historically mischievous in claiming their special interest tax cuts will generate sufficient offsetting revenue. Ds are more likely to acknowledge the problem, but "promise" to fix it later. Not much better, really.

It doesn't matter who is morally worse, in the end, if neither party ever wants to grapple with paying for the special interest benefits of their contributors. "Citizens United" will certainly not resolve the structural problem in a way you or I or even some of the most conservative people in America will want to see.

I point again to the failure to fix the Estate Tax which had been resolved for eight years to be revisited in 2009. The whole year passed, and this no brainer was never dealt with by the Senate. Deals were on the table within reasonable limits that would have received over 60 votes. They could not do it. They failed. The problem is systemic. Kick the can down the road and follow it over the cliff.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 24, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

No, I didn't. Is it in the first page from yesterday? There's a lot of clutter there, but I can always ctrl-F your name.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 24, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/23/AR2010022305181.html?hpid=topnews&sid=ST2010022305523

Republicans plan to stress private-sector alternatives to the president's plan

This should be cute. They seem to be in complete denial that allowing people to buy across state lines is in the bill.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 24, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Ddawd, thanks for that link.

Did you see my examples for you of why I think there is plenty of "Free Lunchism" to go around; that it is. indeed. systemic?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 24, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

#3. Is Brown still a Republican superstar after his vote for cloture on the jobs bill? Kathleen Parker's column is on how Brown has become somewhat of a pariah for that vote.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/23/AR2010022303783.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Posted by: DDAWD | February 24, 2010 6:58 AM | Report abuse

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