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House Democrats approach danger zone with retirements

1. The political import of New York Democratic Rep. Eric Massa's surprising retirement on Wednesday was largely eclipsed by the controversy surrounding why he decided to depart Congress after a single term. It shouldn't be. Massa is the seventh House Democrat leaving a seat that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) won in 2008. That means that 43 percent of the Democratic retirements in the House so far in this election have come in McCain districts. It also means that 14 percent of the 49 Democratic members who hold McCain districts are retiring this fall. (Here's the full list of Democratic-held districts that McCain won.) In addition to the seven McCain districts that are now open seats, there are two others -- Kansas' 3rd and Washington's 3rd -- where Obama won with 51 percent and 53 percent, respectively, of the vote in 2008. (All told, those nine districts gave McCain an average of 54 percent.) Conventional wisdom has suggested that if Democrats have to defend 10 or more seats either won by McCain or narrowly carried by Obama that their majority status might be legitimately in danger. "We're in the [danger] zone," said Charlie Cook, a political handicapper and former Fix boss. "The open seats are a problem but [Democrats] have lots of problems." Remember, too, that filing deadlines have passed in only eight states. The next month, which includes filing deadlines in places like California (March 12), Iowa (March 19) and Missouri (March 30), will be critical in determining just how bad it is going to get for Democrats this fall.

2. Speaking of New York, Rep. Charlie Rangel (finally) gave up his chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday -- an acknowledgment of the political damage his admonishment by the House Ethics Committee has caused. House Democratic strategists insisted that Rangel's decision, after initially refusing to step aside on Tuesday night, would effectively end the barrage of stories trying to link Democratic incumbents targeted in 2010 to the New York congressman. But, Republicans insisted that Rangel's decision to give up the gavel was only the first part of a two-pronged strategy. The second? "The goal is to wrap this around the neck of [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi and undermine her credibility within the Democratic caucus," said one senior Republican strategist. Republicans have long coveted the idea of turning Pelosi into a national figure against whom they can run -- in much the same way Democrats across the country campaigned against then Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) in 1998. Recent polling suggests that Pelosi is far better known than she was when she took over the speakership last decade and public opinion runs heavily against her. Still, the Gingrich comparison is inexact. Gingrich was the de facto head of the Republican party and the chief antagonist of President Bill Clinton. Pelosi's party, on the other hand, controls the White House. This midterm election will almost certainly be nationalized. But, it will be a referendum on President Obama, not Pelosi.

3. A new Quinnipiac poll in the Pennsylvania governor's race shows state Attorney General Tom Corbett (R) has emerged as a clear favorite over any of a trio of Democrats he might face in the fall. The Democratic field, which includes Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, state Auditor Jack Wagner and former Rep. Joe Hoeffel, is unknown even to its own primary voters; six in ten don't know who they will vote for in a primary trial heat. Corbett, who has systematically eliminated any serious competition for himself in the Republican primary, has opened up double digits leads over Onorato, Wagner and Hoeffel -- although Corbett is still in the low 40s on those ballot tests. Pennsylvania voters seem to want a change from Gov. Ed Rendell (D) too; Rendell has a net negative favorability rating and 60 percent of those tested said they were dissatisfied with the direction of the state. With Pennsylvania slated to lose a seat in the 2010 census and a number of Democratic House incumbents sitting in perilous districts, redistricting will be of critical importance in Pennsylvania. Corbett's strength should worry lots of Pennsylvania Democrats eying their political futures over the next decade.

4. Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway (D) has moved quickly to take advantage of the national press attention Sen. Jim Bunning's (R) now-ended legislative blockade by launching television ads hammering the retiring Republican incumbent and the two GOPers trying to replace him. Conway accuses Bunning, a Hall of Fame pitcher, of "throwing high and wild" -- get it? -- and hits Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R) and businessman Rand Paul (R) for "shamefully cheering him on." The ads, which are running in the Lexington and Louisville media markets, make no mention of Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo against whom Conway is running for the Democratic nomination but do make clear that the state's top cop is casting himself as a populist; "I saved taxpayers millions of dollars by hammering the big drug and oil companies for price gouging," says Conway. With the May 18 primary just 75 days off(!), Conway appears to be moving to exploit his significant financial advantage over Mongiardo; at the end of 2009, Conway had nearly $1 million more in the bank than the Lieutenant Governor. The Republican primary fight between Grayson and Paul -- with all of its tea party intrigue -- is sure to dominate national headlines, the Conway-Mongiardo race could be the sleeper primary of the year. And, while Kentucky's Republican lean and the GOP-tilting nature of the national playing field makes it a tough race for Democrats, Bunning's cantankerous and unpredictable behavior is a major x-factor.

5. Former Arkansas governor -- and former/future -- presidential candidate Mike Huckabee waded into the Michigan gubernatorial primary, endorsing state Attorney General Mike Cox in a competitive four-way race in the economically ravaged state. "Mike Cox is pro-life, pro-family and pro-second amendment," says Huckabee in a recorded phone call, adding that Cox is a "champion for all the issues we hold dear." Cox is considered the co-frontrunner in the race along with Rep. Pete Hoekstra although wealthy businessman Rick Snyder and Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard also have a path to the nomination. Huckabee, who emerged as a conservative icon during his surprisingly successful 2008 presidential race, has dabbled in the endorsement game since that race. In 2009, he sent money -- via his Huck PAC -- to eleven total candidates including now Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, former Florida state House Speaker Marco Rubio and Iowa gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats. Huckabee has long been criticized for his lack of any real political operation although the recent hiring of Hogan Gidley, a former executive director of the South Carolina Republican party, to run Huck PAC was seen as a step in the right direction.

By Chris Cillizza  |  March 4, 2010; 5:40 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Fix Poll: How high will House retirements go?
Next: To vote or not to vote (or health care and the 2010 midterms)

Comments

AndrewP, "the Great Obama" has been quaking in his boots since the inauguration in the face of a Republican minority. Just imagine how timid he will be in the face of a Republican majority. He might as well play golf and basketball full time and just sign the bills that will come his way.

Posted by: stan81747 | March 4, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter how many House members retire. It doesn't even matter how many lose in November. If they don't pass health care reform now, they will pass it in the lame duck session, after the November elections. Obama has the power to call the Congress back into session after the elections, and if the Democrats get their clocks cleaned, they can pass HCR as free men, with the guarantee that The Great Obama will protect it with his veto.

Posted by: andrewp111 | March 4, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Suzy, apparently he came back to get slimed and slandered by the filth surrounding politics, without any evidence or reason to justify the attacks.

Stan Davis
Lakewood, CO

Posted by: stan81747 | March 4, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

After all, he lost his race in 2006 and came back for more in 2008, when he won.

Posted by: stan81747 | March 4, 2010 5:12 PM


He came back for more of what? Another male staffer?

Posted by: SuzyCcup | March 4, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Broadway, I don't believe a word of what Politico implied. No other report has bought into that implication. All evidence indicates that he cussed out a staffer. The staffer apparently felt "harassed," but not in the way that usually accompanies that word, especially in scandal-mongering Washington and the media.

Stan Davis
Lakewood, CO

Posted by: stan81747 | March 4, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Stan, Mazza may have, er, another "issue," according to politico.com.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | March 4, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Chris, you seem to think that Rep. Massa is afraid of losing in November. Eric is nothing if not fearless. After all, he lost his race in 2006 and came back for more in 2008, when he won. This 24-year Navy veteran isn't afraid of anybody or anything except for tomfoolery in Washington. He may have a temper, and he may sprinkle his language with English's more colorful words as Navy men are wont to do (I was one of those, myself), but showing fear after beating cancer and running for Congress? Fuggedaboudit.

Stan Davis
Lakewood, CO

Posted by: stan81747 | March 4, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

WillSeattle, I was wondering if I was the only one who saw an obvious "Archer" joke in the title of this post.

I couldn't think of a way to reference it that anyone would have understood.

Posted by: GJonahJameson | March 4, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

It's official.

The Fix has jumped the shark.

(high quavering voice) "Danger Zone!"

... when last we left our intrepid field operative, he was negotiating with a cuban sandwich and a cup of coffee at ISIS headquarters ...

Posted by: WillSeattle | March 4, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

We have NO CHANGE, EXCEPT DOOF HAS GOTTEN WORSE.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | March 4, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

37th IS OFFICIALLY A PART OF THE CESSPOOL !!!

Posted by: margaretmeyers | March 4, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Try cutting and pasting from Kos, firedog or Huff. that seems to be popular around here.

Posted by: drivl | March 4, 2010 1:12 PM
---------------------------------
Your secondary title would be Poobah of the Plagairism (POOP). You lift thousands of words, don't credit the author, pretend the words are yours and when caught, defend your actions.

Drivl, Head Crapster and POOP

Anything else you require to fulfill your role?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | March 4, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Nce try but remember you are up against the constant and powerful voices of dribbl and Ped. you may have to have at least half your brain removed to compete.

this stuff is more along the lines of Loud and Dumb or jacka$$, trivially ignorant and petulant.

Try cutting and pasting from Kos, firedog or Huff. that seems to be popular around here.

Posted by: drivl | March 4, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I nominate drivl to be the self appointed Czar of the Rules of the Post, (CRAP). Hereinafter, known as the Head Crapster.

The duties of the Czar is to establish what number of stooge positions are open, their qualifications and acceptible topics. Deference to the Czar is required at all times. The Czar's decisions are final and not subject to appeal, much less discussion.

Any thing else you would require, O'crapster?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | March 4, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

37th must live in a hall of mirrors.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | March 4, 2010 12:40 PM
------------------------------------
Got to tell everyone--I try to skip 37th's posts in entirety, but sometimes my bad ole eyes fall on a word or phrase. The one about Obama being like Hoover just cracked me up. You mean the Hoover who refused to help people who were homeless and starving because he didn't want to damage their character?

Shrink, if you are still here, isn't there some phenomena about how sane people feel when they are around someone who is, shall we say, unhinged? Could you describe it? Because I think all of us could benefit from it.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | March 4, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

12bar. We appreciate your efforts, but the stooges are specifically limited to at most 3, four if you include DDAWD.

currently dribbl, Ped and Bahgdad BJ are chairing those positions.

As you are aware Loud and dumb was kicked out for excessive stupidity, a very low bar for humans, but in the normal range for liberals.

If you wish to be considered an official stooge (clearly you have interest) please file your paperwork, in crayon, with the head stooge dribbl.

According to barry's official liberal creed, all decisions will be ruminated on for no less than 9 months before additional consideration is given. the deadline is of course next week, but you know how serious Libs take deadlines.

good Luck. It is a very competative position. It turns out only less than one percent of the population has the ignorance, envy, hostility and idiocy to make the cut. your skills look promising though.

Posted by: drivl | March 4, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Bwahahahahahahah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

37th thinks President Obama is like Hoover!

Hoover was the do nothing Republican who paved the way for FDR and the enormously popular New Deal. At least enormously popular with the people of the U.S. even if the Republicans hated it.

So, now Hoover Obama is going to pave the way for the do nothing Republicans? 37th must live in a hall of mirrors.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | March 4, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

another person who commented.)
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

that was no person. that was dribbl.

classification pending.

Posted by: drivl | March 4, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

This forum is a great opportunity for an exchange of ideas among rationale people that are critical thinking (sarcasm)
See posts by doof: 1.) You spend too much time talking with your boyfriend andyR3. That bill will never pass.
2.)you forgot the she-males like you (doof was referring to another person who commented.)

Posted by: jmr862003 | March 4, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD2 | March 4, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Perry's victory shows that voters want conservatives — real ones, non-compromisers — and leaders with track records.

That's who's winning elections now.

It's not only obvious from Perry's 50-30-19 victory over his two rivals; it's echoing across the country in other races. Big gubernatorial victories by New Jersey's Chris Christie and Virginia's Bob McDonnell went to full-on conservatives beating back the liberal tide.

The same is true for the Senate victory of Scott Brown in Massachusetts. By Massachusetts standards, Brown's a Reaganite. Voters think, quite simply, that Washington has tilted too far left.

Congress, which is now trying to ram through a health care bill no one wants, is stoking more demand from voters for conservatives.

Posted by: drivl | March 4, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

the occasional outburst of inchoate rage by genuine psychotics.

Posted by: drindl
-----------------------------------------
Your self-referral and self-analysis is getting to be overwhelming. Try singing "We are the World".

Posted by: leapin | March 4, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

and then a general sprinkling of rightwing morons, punctuated by the occasional outburst of inchoate rage by genuine psychotics.

Posted by: drindl | March 4, 2010 11:09 AM

you forgot the she-males like you

Posted by: doof | March 4, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

That's kind of the point I was driving at, mark_in_austin, but you worded it a lot better (and a lot more succinctly) than I did. I was going more broadly with the notion that on health care, like on everything else, the American people can't agree. But your point is probably the most salient: The biggest disconnect in voters' minds is the one between wanting a bunch of awesome stuff and not wanting to pay for it. A lot of folk say they don't want their taxes to go up, but they want the government to do things that are fantastically expensive.

Taxes are probably the most consistent and reliable political rallying point, but it seems like hardly anyone really understands the dynamics of how they work and, increasingly, hardly anyone has any interest in learning.

Posted by: GJonahJameson | March 4, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I'm hungry. Where's MY free lunch???

Oh wait, one of the department is hosting a seminar today. They always have the best sandwiches.

Thank god for the Democrats and their free lunches!!!

Of course, the department gave out sandwiches under the Bush administration and the Republicans.

But they were giving me sandwiches to Keep America Safe.

Cause when I'm hungry, I hate your freedoms.

And I'm really hungry.

But Obama isn't going to feed me for another hour and a half.

Which is 90 minutes of me hating freedoms.

It's all because Obama hates America.

But unlike him, I hate terrorists and secret Muslims too.

Since they aren't giving me any good sandwiches.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 4, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

dribbl, is having continuing issues with the raving and ranting voices in its head. the confusion between me and they is taking its toll on the old bat.

Next she'll claim that tea parties are really part of her base.

Is it the botox or just general stupidity?

do you wave your hands wildly when you type kook?

Posted by: drivl | March 4, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

After an entire year of self centered pontificating, now messiah wants to sprinkle an idea or two into the poison potion of health care.

How stupid do you have to be to think that Repubs did not at least attempt to participate, yet stymied by the arrogant messiah. closed doors, no amendments, skyrocketing costs, government takeovers, death panels.....

Now he has crumbs only to show for his ineptitude. Even his fellow libs have bailed on this failure.

Posted by: drivl | March 4, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

This is the "OH BROTHER WEEK" for the democrats.


First Obama gives a Federal Appeals Judgeship to Rep Matheson of Utah's brother.


THEN Nancy Pelosi gives the Chairmanship of Ways and Means to SENATOR CARL LEVIN'S BROTHER, SANDER LEVIN.


YES, - Carl Levin has a brother named SANDER LEVIN


AND he is NOW CHAIRMAN OF WAYS AND MEANS.


You can't make this stuff up.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | March 4, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse


This is the "OH BROTHER WEEK" for the democrats.


First Obama gives a Federal Appeals Judgeship to Rep Matheson of Utah's brother.


THEN Nancy Pelosi gives the Chairmanship of Ways and Means to SENATOR CARL LEVIN'S BROTHER, SANDER LEVIN.


YES, - Carl Levin has a brother named SANDER LEVIN


AND he is NOW CHAIRMAN OF WAYS AND MEANS.


You can't make this stuff up.


Posted by: 37thand0street
-----------------------------------------
The libs, in their kindness and compassion, claim that HC is all about the little guy going without. If this is the case why the continuing outright bribes, and favors to convince and coerce such a righteous plan?

Posted by: leapin | March 4, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

leapin


Thank you for making that post about Obama support for the filibuster rules.


What is amazing is the youtube video showing Biden, Hillary, Reid and other democratic Senators making similar statements.


It is absolutely astonishing.


You would think that these people would shy away from the obvious hypocrisy - if for no other reason than to maintain the little bit of credibility the democrats have.

But they don't - the democrats PROVE over and over again how worthless they are - take a look at Nancy Pelosi holding onto Charlie Rangel - she practically was begging him to stay.


How pathetic - Nancy was right - we need to drain the swamp - only she has to go too.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | March 4, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

drindl


You are talking about the hospital you are in, right?


You are confusing the posters on this blog with the other patients, right ?


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | March 4, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

OBAMA IS OFFICIALLY A PART OF THE CESSPOOL !!!


Obama names Scott M. Matheson, Jr. of Utah to a Judgeship - and Obama is trying to get his brother's vote for health care.


Add this to the deal for Louisiana


Add this to the deal for Medicare payments for Florida.


Add this to the deal for Nebraska

Obama is officially now the leading part of moral filth and immorality in Washington


We have NO CHANGE, EXCEPT WASHINGTON HAS GOTTEN WORSE.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | March 4, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

yes, joe. everyday at the Fix is like groundhog day.

first, a column unfailingly full of Great News for Republicans!

Then 37, posting the exact same idiocy over and over and over again -- maybe he has alzheimer's.

And then zouk/dingbat/mongoose/dribbling/whatever his name is today, everyday all day long dispensing the same infantile tirades ad infinitum, tht no one ever reads.

and then a general sprinkling of rightwing morons, punctuated by the occasional outburst of inchoate rage by genuine psychotics.

Posted by: drindl | March 4, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama 4/25/05: “The President hasn’t gotten his way. And that is now prompting a change in the Senate rules that really I think would change the character of the Senate forever…what I worry about would be that you essentially still have two chambers the House and the Senate but you have simply majoritarian absolute power on either side, and that’s just not what the founders intended.”

Posted by: leapin | March 4, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

This is the "OH BROTHER WEEK" for the democrats.


First Obama gives a Federal Appeals Judgeship to Rep Matheson of Utah's brother.


THEN Nancy Pelosi gives the Chairmanship of Ways and Means to SENATOR CARL LEVIN'S BROTHER, SANDER LEVIN.

YES, - Carl Levin has a brother named SANDER LEVIN


AND he is NOW CHAIRMAN OF WAYS AND MEANS.

You can't make this stuff up.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | March 4, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Only a complete idiot takes daily Kos seriously. It is designed for deranged leftists to vent their spleens. Only.

Posted by: Moonbat | March 4, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Mark, thanks for the clarification although I got a little lost when you got into allocation etc. I don't have a problem with taxing the estate as a whole as capitol gains and I truly beleive that ET are important in evening out the wealth in this country from generation to generation. It is no accident that the middle class in this country really didn't appear until estate taxes really came into effect.

Posted by: AndyR3 | March 4, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

TO: Dr. Henry Gates Jr., Editor, WaPo's "The Root.com" web site
(c/o "The Fix" -- WaPo webmaster, please forward ASAP)
FROM: "scrivener" (subscriber)
RE: Apparent Gov't Fusion Center Blocking of Posts to Your Site

Dr. Gates:

Once again I am being blocked from posting comments to your site, which appears to me to be a target of a pervasive program of U.S. government censorship of political speech on the internet and all forms of telecommunications, including email.

May I direct you to an email I sent to internal affairs investigators for the agencies and commands that input the nation's 70-odd Department of Homeland Security- administered "fusion centers" -- a network that appears to this veteran journalist to be the backbone of an American Gestapo?

The email can be found in the latest "comments" section of this article:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/u-s-silently-tortures-americans-cell-tower-microwaves
OR: http://NowPublic.com/scrivener ("stories" list)

Thank you so much for your immediate attention to this important matter -- and please mention this to President Obama the next time you communicate with him.

Sincerely,

Victor Livingston (a/k/a "scrivener50")

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 4, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Andy, let me clarify how much work lawyers and CPAs have this year.

The rules for 2010 provide for a modified carry-over basis that is determined by both the initial basis of the assets and the status of the beneficiaries who are to inherit those assets. Upon a person’s death, the starting point for determining the new basis of an asset is the lesser of the decedent’s basis or the fair market value of the asset as of the decedent’s date of death. From that starting point, the decedent’s estate is allowed an additional allocation of $1,300,000 for any property in their estate and an additional $3,000,000 for property passing to a surviving spouse either directly or through a properly formed trust. * Additional factors that can contribute to a modified basis are unused capital losses, net operating losses, or other losses built-in to the asset value. Taking these modifications into consideration, the basis of the asset may not increase above its fair market value as of the date of death, even if it means a portion of allowable allocation is not used.

Once the amount of additional basis allocation allowed is determined, the estate Executor is still left with the DAUNTING task of deciding how much of that allocation will be allotted to each individual asset. Imaginably, this is a tricky task in an estate with multiple assets and multiple beneficiaries inheriting assets with different basis starting points.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 4, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

This is the "OH BROTHER WEEK" for the democrats.

First Obama gives a Federal Appeals Judgeship to Rep Matheson of Utah's brother.

THEN Nancy Pelosi gives the Chairmanship of Ways and Means to SENATOR CARL LEVIN'S BROTHER, SANDER LEVIN.


YES, - Carl Levin has a brother named SANDER LEVIN


AND he is NOW CHAIRMAN OF WAYS AND MEANS.


You can't make this stuff up.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | March 4, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Andy, with regard to whether it is possible to have even more gridlock, we'll have to wait a bit, we'll see what the House accomplishes, or not, by which I mean bills signed into law. But the point was the game changers are the Presidents and by extension, the Courts. With a nod to our Scrivener, it is still hard to believe or even know what we were/are doing in the name of fighting terror.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Jake, put the pipe down.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | March 4, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Sadly, six (6) checks today.

Yet another free Charlie Cook ad/mention. (Wasn't Cook the guy who famously compared 44's health care reform to 43's Iraq War? Real unbiased--NOT). Check.

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/2/20/0710/98388

Dems-in-trouble bogus narrative. Check.

GOP comeback. Check.

Cherry picked GOP-leaning poll (Pa. race). Check.

Reporting on non-news story of zero interest to anyone other than the Huckabee hive (Huckabee endorsement). Check

No positive mention of the 44th President of the United States. Check.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | March 4, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Andy, I would like Brad or Optimyst, who are tax folks, to step in but I can give you a quick and dirty reply.

An estate transfer to the recipient is like capital gain, not like ordinary income. It is a one time thing, from years of accumulation, and if treated like income to the recipient should be either averaged over several years or treated to a lower rate than the a progressive tax structure permits, such as a capital gain mechanism. That would raise more money for the treasury but would not satisfy TR's original imperative which was to prevent the establishment of the aristocracy in America.
In other words, it would be a middle class tax, not a tax on the top 1% of wealth.

Second, there is an enforcement problem if the government has to chase down all the recipients. By making the Estate and the Executor or Administrator responsible, the tax is easy to collect.

This second problem is the ultimate driver for disguising a tax on windfall to the recipient as tax on the decedent's estate, IMHO.

Capital Gains tax on estates is what we have this year, with a healthy exemption, BTW.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 4, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Does Obama have to remind us anymore that he has put together horrible economic policies with misplaced priorities ???

Well, Obama hired Julianna Smoot.

WHAT A NAME TO REMIND US OF HOW HOOVER-ESQUE OBAMA IS.

WHAT A JOKE.


Obama is more like Hoover than any other President - he keeps on going in the wrong direction - and Obama refuses to focus in on the economy.

Obama is a nightmare.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | March 4, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Corruption. Perverts. Out of control spending. An opposition happy to just block and blame.

It's like Deja vu all over again.

Posted by: Moonbat | March 4, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

OBAMA IS OFFICIALLY A PART OF THE CESSPOOL !!!


Obama names Scott M. Matheson, Jr. of Utah to a Judgeship - and Obama is trying to get his brother's vote for health care.


Add this to the deal for Louisiana


Add this to the deal for Medicare payments for Florida.


Add this to the deal for Nebraska


Obama is officially now the leading part of moral filth and immorality in Washington


We have NO CHANGE, EXCEPT WASHINGTON HAS GOTTEN WORSE.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | March 4, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

EJ Dionne has a beautiful column today.

"Republicans, however, don't want to talk much about the substance of health care. They want to discuss process, turn "reconciliation" into a four-letter word and maintain that Democrats are "ramming through" a health bill.

It is all, I am sorry to say, one big lie -- or, if you're sensitive, an astonishing exercise in hypocrisy."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/03/AR2010030303097.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Posted by: margaretmeyers | March 4, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Mark,
I didn't mean to sound vindictive of the Estate Tax, but the GOP is hoping that this year off of estate Taxes (ET) will create a precedent that the public will not want to go back on. The thing is that to repeal the reversion that will take place next year will cost around 50 billion a year which definitly won't happen with the deficit hawks having so much say in our government right now. So basically they gambled that the public will blame Obama for the hike, but if he sells it as just part of the Bush Tax cuts than it may come off as a pox on both of their houses.

Personally, I think they should set the rate for ET similar to the income tax structure with a 100,000 floor. If you inherit less than 100K you pay nothing, 100-500K then you pay 30% on the money above 100K, 500-1 million 35%, everything above a million 40%. Inheritances are just like any large transaction and therefore should be taxed like income. And don't give me the argument that this money has already been taxed as income, yes income to the person who died not income to you. In the same light if you go and work for your father and he pays you a bonus of 100,000 dollars a year you have to pay taxes on that so why shouldn't you have to pay for the money he gives you when he dies, its just income?

Posted by: AndyR3 | March 4, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Aruba, Jamaica ooo I wanna take you
Bermuda, Bahama come on pretty Charlie
Key Largo, Montego baby why don't we go
Jamaica

Off the Florida Keys
There's a place called Kokomo
That's where you wanna go to get away with it all

Blackberries to get a mil
Campaign contributions in your hand
We'll be amending a bill
To the rhythm of a steel drum band
Down in Kokomo

Aruba, Jamaica ooo I wanna take you
To Bermuda, Bahama come on pretty Charlie
Key Largo, Montego baby why don't we go

Ooo I wanna take you down to Kokomo
We'll get you there fast
And then we'll take it slow
That's where we wanna go
Way down to Kokomo

To Martinique, that Monserrat mystique

Posted by: JakeD3 | March 4, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

ANOTHER DEMOCRATIC SCANDAL IS COMING BACK TO THE NEWS


John Edwards is going to be indicted according to a report.

Wow


We have Massa


Paterson in New York


Charlie Rangle in the Carribean

Who else ???


The democrats are corrupt -

The real problem is that the DEMOCRATS ARE RELUCTANT TO CLEAR OUT THE CORRUPT DEMOCRATS - SO THE PUBLIC CAN NOT TRUST THE DEMOCRATS TO CLEAN HOUSE.


Nancy Pelosi said she would "drain the swamp" - but her swamp is worse than any of them.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | March 4, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Shrink,
I disagree that losing the house will not be a huge problem for the democrats. With the republicans bent on opposition to anything that the demcrats want to do losing one of the houses of congress would cause even more gridlock. If I thought for a second that Boehner and his boys would try and actually compromise with the president than you would be correct, but they have shown no signs of that so far.

Brad, nice find on the polling and I hope that the democrats start using that poll to drum up support for the bill from wavering pols. That 18% or so that doesn't think the bill goes far enough will vote democrat next fall so I don't think you have to worry about them especially if you also pass some other liberal moves like climate change reform.

Posted by: AndyR3 | March 4, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Jonah, some of the polling relies on the pervasive free lunch ideas of both parties. I would venture that 75% of Americans want most of the promised benefits and that 75% do not want to pay for it, with substantial overlap.

Again, both parties since - you name when - have been increasingly selling the benefits we want and the tax cuts we want. The lines crossed forever in the RWR Admin.

More benefits = more costs, but if the Rs want a big military and the Ds want universal health care and most people want both then both parties have to forget tax cuts and the public has to say it is ready to pay for services it wants.

However, for the most part, as to this poll, I think Brad and you have nailed it.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 4, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

In the modern era, the massive accumulation of power around the Presidency seems to me to moot a lot of the Congressional races.

The thought of Democrats "losing" The House just does not bother me that much. Gridlock and pay-to-play have become the rule. But relatively speaking, the constructive work or damage the President can do, in particular, together with the Justice Department, the security services, Supreme and other judge selections etc. is enormous.

Speaking of conservative racism and the Eisenhower era, this document and what happened in its wake is an object lesson on ruling the American roost.

http://www.strom.clemson.edu/strom/manifesto.html

I have to believe the relentless attacks on Obama as a person are a sign, acknowledgement on the part of Republicans that electoral politics are all about the White House. I don't think the Democrats understand this as well as the Republicans do.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

bradcpa, if I'm reading those statistics correctly, they show that of the 47 percent of people who oppose the current health care reform proposal, 54 percent are opposed to reform in general, which calculates out to about 25 percent overall who are against reform. That means at least 64 percent -- and probably higher, as a lot of the 11 percent unsure about the current proposal would probably like to see reform but don't know if the current bill is the right way to do it -- want to see some degree of reform. So you've got a potential 64-75 percent (of those polled, anyway) who want to see some sort of reform, they just can't agree on what they want. And there's a sporting chance that of those 41 percent of people who support the current bill, there's a sizable chunk who think it's still got a lot of things wrong with it, but it's the best option we have right now.

I've brought this up before, but I really wonder what is the maximum approval level any health care reform proposal could get, since the umbrella of "health care reform" encompasses so many separate issues on which people can't agree. It's easy enough to point to the current plan and say, "Well, only 41 percent (or whatever) want it, so it sucks and let's not do it." But I'll wager dollars to doughnuts you will never, ever, ever see any plan that can score 51 percent or higher. And even if you could, someone from the 49 percent side would immediately be out on the podium explaining that only the opposing 49 percent count because those in the 51 percent group aren't real Americans. U-S-A! U-S-A!

Incidentally, I like that 10 percent of the people opposed to the current reform bill apparently don't know why they're opposed to it. Of course, I'd wager the vast majority of them only answered "Not Sure" because they didn't think either of the other answers fully explained their views, it's just amusing to see it presented that way.

Posted by: GJonahJameson | March 4, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

cillizza compares gingrich with pelosi. no comparison. gingrich had a brain.

Posted by: doof | March 4, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Health care reform? First, stop Homeland's "Directed Energy" Microwave Holocaust -- Targeting "Dissidents" and "Undesirables"

"THE USA IS COMMITTING HIGH-TECH GENOCIDE ON ITS OWN PEOPLE." -- Veteran Journalist Victor Livingston

A Silent American Gov't Genocide Exposed -- Where are the Hearings, the Outrage -- and Why Won't Mainstream Media Ask the Tough Questions?

SECRET HOMELAND MULTI-AGENCY PROGRAM SILENTLY TORTURES, IMPAIRS AMERICANS WITH NATIONWIDE CELL TOWER MICROWAVE WEAPON SYSTEM: VETERAN JOURNALIST

• Secret Bush-Cheney legacy multi-agency federal-local program uses cell tower/GPS satellite microwave/laser electromagnetic radiation attack system to silently torture, impair, subjugate "targeted" citizens -- and oversees local police-protected "community watch" vigilante harassment, vandalism, and financial sabotage campaigns.

• Why so many cell towers saturate the American landscape -- urban and rural.

• Weapon system patents reveal silent, powerful attack system in YOUR backyard.

• American human rights atrocities, ideological purge, under the cover of national security.

See: poynter.org/subject.asp?id=2 ("articles" list)

OR: http://www.nowpublic.com/world/u-s-silently-tortures-americans-cell-tower-microwaves
http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america
OR: NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA" ("stories" list).

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 4, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

StreetCorner, I do not know who is the "most qualified" but I do know from Bar publications that he was always the inside fave. In addition to the link's list, I know that he was the USA for Utah for several years. So he is no stranger to the Circuit.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 4, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

bradcpa


Yea we understand that there is a great deal of "group-speak" going on.


These people are delusional.

They will pick out anything to convince themselves that the numbers don't say what they say.

The public does NOT want the health care bill.


How difficlt is that to understand ?

Posted by: 37thand0street | March 4, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to see some sort of analysis of Congressional retirements based on which party controls the legislative and executive branches. Historical precedent suggests the party that holds the presidency tends to lose seats in midterm elections, so you might think a legislator would realize he has a better chance of being replaced with a member of his own party if he steps down while the other guys have the presidency. But what we've seen lately is the opposite -- a lot of Republicans hung it up while President Bush was still in the White House, and now that President Obama is in power, the Democratic retirements are spiking. I know, I know, the Republicans still have more people not planning to seek re-election (right?) than do the Democrats, but I'm talking in terms of the increase of Democratic retirements.

Of course, politicians do seem to enjoy being the minority party more than they enjoy being the majority party, because that means they're not as likely to be held accountable for doing anything. But maybe I'm just being pessimistic.

One would really think by now that if conservatives' efforts to turn Nancy Pelosi into the boogeyman haven't worked by now, they'd stop hammering at it. I mean, they'd already made her the boogeyman in 2008, and we all saw how that election turned out for the Republicans.

Mike Cox has a terrible name.

Posted by: GJonahJameson | March 4, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Good digging, Brad. Did you see my rant on the Estate Tax and Andy's reply? I guess I am too apolitical to think it is a good idea not to reach a compromise [that would look a lot like the HB] and settle the Estate Tax matter. But Andy thinks it is politically wise to give up $30B of revenue now for a vindictive estate tax in the future. I think that too much of the middle class would actually be affected by the 2011 rates as they stand. The backlash might then become popular. And I do not think that is good politics for anyone. But I would like your opinion, because I have no crystal ball of my own and rely on the beneficence of others.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 4, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Good digging, Brad. Did you see my rant on the Estate Tax and Andy's reply? I guess I am too apolitical to think it is a good idea not to reach a compromise [that would look a lot like the HB] and settle the Estate Tax matter. But Andy thinks it is politically wise to give up $30B of revenue now for a vindictive estate tax in the future. I think that too much of the middle class would actually be affected by the 2011 rates as they stand. The backlash might then become popular. And I do not think that is good politics for anyone. But I would like your opinion, because I have no crystal ball of my own and rely on the beneficence of other.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 4, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

OBAMA IS OFFICIALLY A PART OF THE CESSPOOL !!!


Obama names Scott M. Matheson, Jr. of Utah to a Judgeship - and Obama is trying to get his brother's vote for health care.


Add this to the deal for Louisiana


Add this to the deal for Medicare payments for Florida.


Add this to the deal for Nebraska

Obama is officially now the leading part of moral filth and immorality in Washington


We have NO CHANGE, EXCEPT WASHINGTON HAS GOTTEN WORSE.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | March 4, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

God, Guns and gays. It's worked before, let's use it again.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | March 4, 2010 8:10 AM

add cranky old women to that

Posted by: doof | March 4, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

I think the Ds have a chance this year to pass the HB in the Senate.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 4, 2010 8:01 AM

You spend too much time talking with your boyfriend andyR3. That bill will never pass.

Posted by: doof | March 4, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

My guess is the Obama team has some internal polling and this is why they are moving forward with healthcare. Lets parse the Ipsos/McCatchy Poll conducted 2-26-28 after the televised event. First lets look at the much discussed Republican talking point about the bill.


"As of right now, do you favor or oppose the health care reform proposals presently being discussed?"


Favor Oppose Unsure

41% 47 % 11 %

Yes it is true that more people oppose this bill than support it, but that is not the whole story. You need to ask the people why they don't support it.


If oppose reform proposals (N=535):
"You said you are opposed to the health care reform proposals presently being discussed. Is that because you favor health care reform overall but think the current proposals don't go far enough to reform health care; OR you oppose health care reform overall and think the current proposals go too far in reforming health care?"

Don't Go Far Enough Oppose 37%

Goes too Too Far Unsure 54%

Not Sure 10%

This is something that you will not here on Fox News, that a number of people on the left are upset that public option is not in the bill. They felt they already compromised single payer away with the Public Option and do not want to give that up. This is born out in the numbers that a significant minority of those opposed are opposed because reform does not go far enough. I think come November that 14.4% (for a total of 58.4%) will come down with the Democrats. Which brings us to the most important question....

"Some people think that Republicans in Congress are working hard to try to find a compromise with the Democrats on the health care bill. Other people think that the Republicans are deliberately avoiding compromise in order to obstruct the bill in any form. Which of these comes closer to your view?"


Trying to
Compromise Obstructing l Unsure

36% 57% 7%


I see a real danger here for Republicans because 62% of Scott Browns voters wanted him not to obstruct the bill but work with Obama to make it better. They did not say scrap the bill, they said work with him.

Posted by: bradcpa | March 4, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Ken Stickland of MSNBC just used the word "we" to describe the health care Jam Through

WE ???

OK - some reporter who is supposed to be detached from the story - using the word "WE" -


as in: "This is how WE are getting the health care bill through."


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | March 4, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin


Matheson has never been a Judge before - so he should jump from "no judicial experience" to the FEDERAL COURT OF APPEALS?

Are you trying to tell me that there is no one in the State Court System - or in the Federal District Court who is qualified for this position?

OR is his main qualification that his brother is a Congressman?

Your position is silly - of course, the guy has something on his resume - but he is by NO MEANS the most qualified candidate -

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | March 4, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

As a helpful reminder, today's topics:

1. The political import of yet another retirement by Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) and whether the Dems as a whole have passed the point of no return (out gracious host does not wish to dwell on the lurid allegations swirling around this individual retirement ; )

2. Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) finally giving up the ghost and whether the House races will be a referendum on Obama only, or Pelosi as well.

3. A new Quinnipiac poll in the Pennsylvania governor's race showing state Attorney General Tom Corbett (R) has emerged as a clear favorite over any of a trio of Democrats he might face in the fall.

4. Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway (D) moving quickly to take advantage of the national press attention Sen. Jim Bunning's (R) now-ended legislative blockade by launching television ads hammering the retiring Republican incumbent and the two GOPers trying to replace him. Conway accuses Bunning, a Hall of Fame pitcher, of "throwing high and wild" -- get it?

5. Former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee's (racist?) endorsement Michigan state Attorney General Mike Cox as opposed to Rep. Pete Hoekstra, Rick Snyder and Mike Bouchard.

Posted by: JakeD2 | March 4, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Wow.. the GOP post mortem is over already.. I thought they were already dead.

The great Democratic majority has a hitch in it's getalong.

This is fitting punishment for their arrogant, self centered 'leader'.

Posted by: newbeeboy | March 4, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

I find it amazing that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are willing to give up their careers to follow Obama off this cliff -


AND now Nancy and Harry are trying to convince other democrats to end their careers with these health care votes.

It really is like a mass suicide - it is a bunch of lemmings running to a cliff - only they have decided not to run, but to get in Toyotas to go off the cliff.

It is group-speak - there is a distinct sense in people looking at them that there is "delusional thinking" -

This is how a cult acts - not a national poltical party - WHAT IS GOING ON HERE - these people need help - They are certainly not fit to govern.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | March 4, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Jake, it is wrong to bribe Congressmen. The link you provided does not raise the inference of a bribed Congressman. The brother was the insider for the appointment for a long time. From your link:

Scott M. Matheson currently holds the Hugh B. Brown Presidential Endowed Chair at the S.J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1985. He served as Dean of the Law School from 1998 to 2006. He also taught First Amendment Law at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government from 1989 to 1990.

The interesting thing to me is the spin - rather than showing that BHO appointed his choice regardless of the brother's antipathy to a bill, the story suggests, from whole cloth, a qpq. I guess it was lagniappe for the WS, which would consider any Law School Dean a wild and crazy lib.

I remain, as indignant as someone who does not even know you could be, that you who took the Oath to support the Constitutions of the United States and the State of CA could propose to become an insurrectionist.

Are you inactive and still subject to the Oath or have you given up your bar card? If the latter, I will respect that your right of free speech is in no way tempered by your formerly applicable Oath, but only by the time, place, and manner restrictions that embrace the First Amendment in general.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 4, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

JakeD2


A solid 80% of the seats in the House are safe - so it matters WHICH seats open up.


If seats in safe districts open up, there is little chance they will switch parties.

The gerrymandering has gotten worse over the years due to use of computers which were not available in earlier decades.


It is bad - because 80% of the House feels they do not really have to be responsive to the voters as a whole - rather they are responsive to a majority of the party heirarchy in their districts - which usually means an extreme wing of their party.

That is why Nancy's Congress is so out of step with America - ideas like single payer and "cap and trade" which the general public would never entertain, have widespread support in the wacky democratic caucus.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | March 4, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Shrink2, 12barblues

In reference to a discussion yesterday, with some bozo giving Bill Clinton credit for the federal surplus, I have two comments.

1) the Republicans took over control of Congress in early 1995 - with the Contract with America - and immediately started a budget crusade to cut spending -

2) The government was shut down a few times until the Republicans were about to get Clinton and the democrats to agree to vast spending cuts.

3) THE INTERNET BUBBLE brought in large amounts of tax revenues. - this boom and bust led to ANOTHER boom and bust - the mortgage crisis - not a wise fiscal policy.

So, you characters on here can claim all you want that "Clinton gave us a surplus"


But the Republicans in Congress deserve more credit than Clinton


AND the federal government SHOULD have put the brakes on the internet boom excesses in the 90s - and that started the nightmare we have now.

So, Clinton really doesn't deserve any credit at all - only blame.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | March 4, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

AndyR3:

Thanks for your comment, however, I quote from The Fix Poll thread here:

"The higher the number goes, the more likely it is to negatively impact Democrats simply because they a) have more members to lose and b) have had remarkably few retirements over the past several cycles."

Who are we to argue with (former Fix boss) Charlie Cook?

Posted by: JakeD2 | March 4, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Mark, why shouldn't the Democrats let the estate tax stand. It only hurts people who vote for republicans anyway. And since the GOP wouldn't deal on the issue to make sure that this year didn't go uncapped they are going to have to deal with the fact that rich people are going to have to pay 55% of what they leave to their descendants. This isn't going to change now since by reinstating the 55% on everything over 1 million dollars will make a nice dent in our deficit so it is a win-win for Obama. He gets to lower the deficit and never has to actually sign a law that raises taxes since this was put into place by the Bush administration, whom by the way used reconcilliation to pass it. The irony of that is comical to me.

Posted by: AndyR3 | March 4, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

shrink - thanks for the link. I quote from it here:

Eisenhower implemented the integration of the U.S. military forces. Although President Truman issued Executive Order 9981 (1948) to desegregate the military services, his administration had limited success in realizing it. As a life-long soldier, Dwight Eisenhower knew intimately the reality of racial intolerance in the military. As president, he commanded compliance from subordinates and was able to overcome the deeply rooted racial institutions in the military establishment. By October 30, 1954, the last racially segregated unit in the armed forces had been abolished, and all federally controlled schools for military dependent children had been desegregated.
-------------------
I remember that Korea was fought with integrated units from the beginning so I think the Army achieved good compliance early. However, I do remember that the Navy fought to maintain an "orderly" class well into the KW. This may be the unit Ike finally got disbanded.

Takes more research than memory here, so I am glad to give Ike all the credit he deserved, which was plenty.


Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 4, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Back on topic:

The previous Fix Poll seems to indicate how high the House retirements could go. HIGHWAY TO THE DANGER ZONE!

Posted by: JakeD2 | March 4, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

OBAMA IS OFFICIALLY A PART OF THE CESSPOOL !!!


Obama names Scott M. Matheson, Jr. of Utah to a Judgeship - and Obama is trying to get his brother's vote for health care.


Add this to the deal for Louisiana

Add this to the deal for Medicare payments for Florida.

Add this to the deal for Nebraska


Obama is officially now the leading part of moral filth and immorality in Washington

We have NO CHANGE, EXCEPT WASHINGTON HAS GOTTEN WORSE.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | March 4, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

All last year, all we heard from 'The Fix' was about how KY Atty General Conway was the darling of the Washington establishment ... the chosen one by DC's political insiders. Now, he tells us Conway's a "populist." What's up with that? Chris may have received new talking points, but seriously doubt KY voters will be as gullible.

Posted by: DCInsider3 | March 4, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD2 | March 4, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

*effectively*

There is integration for show and there is the real thing. I may be wrong, but I seem to remember Ike making it real to the country, sending the 101st to Little Rock, for example. I admire him because it was a very difficult thing for him to do, to overcome himself in the process (shrink candy).

http://www.eisenhowermemorial.org/Civil-Rights.htm

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

"DDAWD,

As an Iowa transplant, I will have to Amen your Treps announcement (thanks…I get no Maryland or Florida sports news here).

Posted by: sliowa1"

Yup, yup. Terps were my team growing up. I had to switch loyalties when I started attending UNC, but they are always near and dear to my heart. I was able to convert my college friends to Terps fans for a day when they won it all in 2002.

Sucks that New Orleans is kind of a college basketball wasteland. People kind of like LSU here, but a lot more for football. Also, it was fun when Memphis would come here and play Tulane. Pretty one-sided, but nice to see Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans in person before they became NBA stars. Of course, now Calipari has left Memphis, so those days are over.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 4, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

On a prior thread, shrink2 urged that "Republicans should just relax and let the health care bill pass."

Just like rape victims should relax and let it happen, who knows they might enjoy it? Reminds me of Bill Clinton saying "You'd better put some ice on that".


Posted by: JakeD2 | March 4, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

God, Guns and gays. It's worked before, let's use it again.

This is the sum total of Republican ideas for the US of A. They rally their base just fine, they just don't happen to solve any of our problems -- problems created by 8 years of Republican leadership.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | March 4, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Shrink, Truman signed the EO that integrated the services, but Ike certainly followed through on it. You knew that, so I think there is some reason that might be interesting to me why you attributed that to Ike.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 4, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

I just can't figure out whether to feel sorry for Michael Steele or laugh at him, at what he has done with his career. He gets up in the morning, looks in the mirror and stares down the African American spokesflak for today's Republican Party, hilarious!

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

DDAWD,

As an Iowa transplant, I will have to Amen your Treps announcement (thanks…I get no Maryland or Florida sports news here).

Posted by: sliowa1 | March 4, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Year 2009 ---Estate tax exemption $3.5M --top rate 45%


Year 2010 --- Estate tax repealed ---- 0%


Year 2011--- Estate tax exemption $1M--- top rate 55%

Because of the spousal rules, a married couple can pass twice the exemption amount to the next generation without tax, so it did not hit 1% of decedents in 2009, but will hit none this year, and then significantly more [maybe 4%?] in 2011.

This weird table is the result of a Congressional bargain in 2001 that kicked the can down the road to 2009 for the parties to come to an agreement on estate taxes. They did not. Dysfunction is defined by this failure as clearly as any.

The Admin pushed, but not very hard, IMHO, to extend the 2009 exemption. Some Rs agreed, but wanted the top rate reduced to 35%. Some D's wanted a lower exemption. Some Rs wanted repeal [of yet another TR idea - TR is repudiated by modern anti-tax "conservatives"]. The House passed a bill and the Senate could not.

I think the Ds have a chance this year to pass the HB in the Senate. Failing that, after an R surge in November this stays in deadlock until the end of the BHO Admin.

Lady Bird Johnson, during her last week of life, jokingly apologized to Lucy for not being able to hold out 'til 2010.

No one in the ABA sections or AICPA groups dedicated to this area ever would have thought this "joke" would have been allowed to play out upon us.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 4, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD2 | March 4, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

shrink2:

You seriously think that being "pro-life, pro-family and pro-second amendment" is RACIST now?! A disproportionate number of abortions in this country are by African-American mothers. Wouldn't the RACIST position be to provide federal funding and increase that even more?

Posted by: JakeD2 | March 4, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

The latest GOP fundraising effort is a scream.

The population dynamics of this country (and the world) may matter to them, but win or lose, Republicans are only after white peoples' votes.

"Mike Cox is pro-life, pro-family and pro-second amendment," says Huckabee, speaking in the thinly veiled code of Right Wing Kooks.

Again, it sure is a good thing Eisenhower effectively integrated the armed services.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2010/03/03/DI2010030301148.html

John Yoo: National security, executive power and the war on terrorism

A live chat with one of the guys widely considered to be the legal architect of the Bush administration torture policy.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 4, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

On point #1 there are still signinifcantly more Republicans retiring than Democrats. Open seats in general are risky for any party no matter where they are, just ask congressman Bill Owens from NY-23.

#3-Corbett may be up 42-31 or so on all three people but if you look at the numbers of the past six months Corbett's support has shrunk while all three Democrats numbers have gone up. Looking at one poll is foolish the key is to look at the trend of multiple polls over a period of time and those say that the democrats are heading in the right direction.

#4-Bunning is trying his best to burn every bridge he can anc screw the entire Bluegrass State GOP in the process. I would be ammused if I didn't think his actions were detrimental to the progress of our nation.

#5-Huckabee most go home at night and throw darts at pictures of Sarah Palin for stealing all his thunder.

Posted by: AndyR3 | March 4, 2010 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, Chris, but your stories are #2-#6 today. The true #1 story...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/03/AR2010030304793.html?hpid=artslot

Maryland upsets No. 4 Duke on senior night for Terps

Posted by: DDAWD | March 4, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Would someone hand Chris a towel? The sheer quantity of Democratic doom this morning has him salivating enough to short-out the whole internet.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | March 4, 2010 6:24 AM | Report abuse

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