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Morning Fix: Obama dishes; 2010 campaign in full swing

1. President Obama sat down with ABC White House correspondent Jake Tapper on Monday. The full transcript is here. The highlights: 1) On the abortion provision: "We're not looking to change what is the principle that has been in place for a very long time, which is federal dollars are not used to subsidize abortions." 2) On the 2009 results in Virginia and New Jersey: "The American people are looking at over 10 percent unemployment and they're nervous and they're worried and they're anxious." 3) If health care passes by the end of the year, the president said it will have marked the most successful session of Congress since 1965. 4) On political dangers of the economy and the deficit: "We were dealt a tough hand and I think everybody understands that. But ultimately, it's my job to dig us out of this hole." 5) On the key unanswered question in the Ft. Hood shooting: "Is this an individual who's acting in this way or is it some larger set of actors?"

2. A new poll conducted by Celinda Lake for Chicago Urban League president Cheryle Jackson's (D) campaign suggests the race for President Obama's old Senate seat is wide open. State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias leads the way with 31 percent followed by Jackson at 13 percent and former Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman with eight percent. Roughly half of the sample (45 percent) remains undecided on the contest. In a memo on the poll Lake suggests being the lone African American and only woman in the field "strongly position" Jackson to win since six in ten undecided Democrats are women. "With just three short months until the primary, Jackson is the only candidate poised to make significant gains once the campaigns start communicating with voters," added Lake. Giannoulias has been in the race for months and won the early support encouragement of Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.). But, Hoffman -- and now Jackson -- have released polls in recent weeks that show the race far more open than Giannoulias allies would like to see. Republicans have a primary fight of their own although Rep. Mark Kirk remains the solid favorite to be the GOP nominee.

3. Of the 20 House Democrats getting "thank you" ads from Health Care for America Now (HCAN) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees for their "yes" vote on President Obama's health care plan, just two represent districts carried by Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) in 2008. And, those two -- Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick and Harry Mitchell -- hail from McCain's home state, which may mean that the GOP performance numbers in the districts are a bit overstated. That's not to say the ads aren't worthwhile -- members love a little back-patting -- but rather that the commercials aren't running in some of the places where the sledding will be toughest for Democrats who voted yes. And that might be part of the strategy as people like Reps. Tom Perriello (D-Va.) and Zack Space (D-Ohio) may not want to remind voters too often of those votes at the moment.

4. Gov. Jodi Rell's (R) retirement won't change the Democratic field seeking that office much at all. Before Rell's widely-anticipated announcement on Monday, three Democrats -- Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy and 2006 Senate nominee Ned Lamont -- were expected to run. The field remains the same today. State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal won't run, according to savvy Connecticut Democratic operatives, as he is far more interested in a challenge to Sen. Joe Lieberman (D) in 2012. Speculation on the Republican side quickly turned to the three prominent GOPers running for Senate -- former representative Rob Simmons, former ambassador Tom Foley and former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon. Simmons said his "experience in national defense and foreign policy" made him a more natural fit for the Senate and insisted he was staying put. Ditto for Foley who said in a statement: "As a candidate for the U.S. Senate, I look forward to working with others to make sure a Republican governor is elected in 2010." McMahon, too, is staying in the Senate race, according to a spokesman.

5. The news that state Sen. Josh Penry (R) is bowing out of the Colorado governor's race in favor of former representative Scott McInnis (R) should help strengthen the GOP's hand against Gov. Bill Ritter (D) next fall. Penry had proven he could raise enough money to be competitive with McInnis and the state's late primary (next August) would have given the eventual nominee 60 days to re-raise the money needed to run a competitive race against Ritter. But, there is some consternation within Republican circles about the near-certain prospect of McInnis as the party's nominee in 2010? Why? First, McInnis spent twelve years in Congress, giving Ritter's team a long voting record to peruse and robbing the Republican of the "outsider" mantle. Second, McInnis became a lobbyist after he left Congress, not exactly the most popular profession with voters these days. Third, McInnis has been something of a political Hamlet for years now -- considering races and then dropping out. Will he make it to the gate?

6. Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin is stopping in Sioux City, Iowa -- the hotbed of Republicanism in the Hawkeye State -- as part of her book tour, reports O. Kay Henderson (a member of the Fix's list of best state-based political reporters). As we have written in this space before, Palin would be a clear favorite in the 2012 Iowa caucuses if she chooses to run for president due to the strong influence that social conservatives exert over the process in the state. It's far from certain that Palin is running, however, and other aspirants including Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who won the caucuses in 2008, have been in the state in recent days. Also, make sure to read J-Mart's stories on Palin, Tpaw and Huck from this weekend.

7. Andrea Saul, a veteran of Sen. John McCain's (Ariz.) presidential race in 2008, has signed on to serve as communications director for the Senate bid of Florida Gov. Charlie Crist in 2010. Saul headed up McCain's surrogate operation in 2008 and prior to that served as director of media affairs at the Republican National Committee in the 2006 election cycle. Saul is originally from Dalton, Georgia a.k.a. the Carpet Capital of the World.

8. In his column in Congress Daily today (subscription only -- booo!), political analyst (and former Fix boss) Charlie Cook argues that the Virginia governor's race was the lone race contested last Tuesday with national implications. And, those implications are bad for Democrats."It is very convenient for Democrats to blame Deeds and his campaign for a debacle that sets the party back years in the state, certainly easier than facing inconvenient truths," writes Cook. Those tough truths? The party badly underperformed among white and older voters, according to Cook. "In 2008, these older and whiter voters might have been some- what disillusioned with years of a GOP Congress and George W. Bush but were not specific about the change they were voting for," he writes. "This same group now seems to be growing increasingly concerned about the agenda of Obama and congressional Democrats." Cook's full column is worth the read as is the ever-insightful Ron Brownstein's piece that first laid out the Democrats struggled with white voters a week ago.

9. The national press corps has moved on from New York's 23rd but the repercussions continue. State Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava (R) -- she of the endorsement of Democrat Bill Owens -- was stripped of her leadership job (she was leader pro tempore) on Monday. As we wrote when the endorsement came down, it's hard to see how she remains in the Republican party. Assembly Democrats carry a huge 109-41 majority though so a Scozzafava switch -- if it came to pass -- wouldn't change much. (As a side note, The Post's Jason Horowitz spent the weekend with Scozzafava in upstate New York and provides a compelling account from NY-23, which includes a detailed account of how state and national Democrats pursued her endorsement of Democrat Bill Owens.)

10. Happy 40th birthday Sesame Street. Charlie Fix is particular to this ditty by Feist and the cast.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 10, 2009; 5:31 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Next: Dunn leaving White House, Pfeiffer takes over

Comments

Please keep reporting any glimmer of hope for Democrats that 2010 won't be a horrible year for them. We need them to be as overconfident and delusional as possible. Also, please continue to encourage left wing organizations to run ads against moderate Dems. and Republicans. That is like a free gift to Republicans.

Posted by: kenpasadena | November 10, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I know, the ideal 2010 Republican ticket: Palin/Cheney

Posted by: paulchouinard | November 10, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

For Democrats, Sarah Palin is the gift that keeps on giving. I hope she is the Republican nominee in 2010.

Posted by: paulchouinard | November 10, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Oops, sorry, wrong story.

Posted by: nodebris | November 10, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Independents include the bulk of folks who used to call themselves Republicans, and who are in no sense a swing vote.

Also in the poll:

55% of respondents thing reform would make things better or no different for the country, vs 40% who think it would make things worse.

57% think in would make their own situation better or no different, vs. 36% who think it would be worse.

Americans are split evenly on whether or not they would urge a vote for the bill (difference within the sampling error).

Attitudes are highly partisan, splitting sharply by party.

Remember, this after months of non-stop right-wing propaganda of the most extreme sort.

Posted by: nodebris | November 10, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

can just imagine what Chris Cillizza, the ahole Democrap Socialists commenters on here, and the Democrap Socialist Party--controlled Main Stream Media would have done to President George W. Bush had the Islamofacist terrorist attack at Fort Hood happened under his watch, rather than under Comrade Obama's. Obama's Islamofacists friends I'm sure, wouldn't be out on the stump trying to cover up for his "what--me--worry?" Homeland Security initiatives, and our militaries kow-towing sensitivity to all things Islamic, so as to not hurt their feelings--which is the reason this Islamofacist terrorist al Quaeda and Bin Laden--sympatizing US Major was in our military to begin with.
They'd have crucified President G.W. Bush. Comrade Obama though, as is the usual, get's a free pass.

===================================

Republican stream of conciousness....

LOL

Posted by: sr31 | November 10, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Learn to spell "Democratic" before you blast others about "facts," child

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 10, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

With any luck those ultraconservative Iowa primaries should seal the deal for an unelectable 2012 GOP ticket. Neither Palin nor Huckabee have the executive skills to win a national election even if they weren't running on such laughably extreme platforms.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 10, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

GoldAndTanZanite's responses are the typical Obama--worshipping ones comming from his ghetto--trash perspective, so I'm not surprised that he/she/it never responds to any facts with facts of his/her/it's own, but by attacking the messenger. No big deal.
Gotta back up the bro no matter what he does, or how this Stalin-clone screws up, right GoldAndTanzanite? Tribal membership and Solidarity is everything.

Posted by: armpeg | November 10, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to see them lead in chains to the gallows, but first strip them of citizenship for treason, destroy their names and record their infamies for posterity.

Posted by: mdk1960

==

what a pack of loonies

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 10, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Then there is this. Republicans are becoming grotesque. It is almost as if they are trying to outdo each other in the category of raging bigot. We must not forget the Republican Party's role in this cultural event, nurturing it and bringing it into play is a choice they made.

"Even bigger mouth-breathing commie slime, head and shoulders above Dunn slither like talking snakes in the "Brown Zone" of Washington DC. I'd love to see them lead in chains to the gallows, but first strip them of citizenship for treason, destroy their names and record their infamies for posterity.

Posted by: mdk1960 | November 10, 2009 2:06 PM"

Posted by: shrink2 | November 10, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I can just imagine what Chris Cillizza, the ahole Democrap Socialists commenters on here, and the Democrap Socialist Party--controlled Main Stream Media would have done to President George W. Bush had the Islamofacist...


==

To all you readers who don't post, take note, this is how a Republican writes

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 10, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I can just imagine what Chris Cillizza, the ahole Democrap Socialists commenters on here, and the Democrap Socialist Party--controlled Main Stream Media would have done to President George W. Bush had the Islamofacist terrorist attack at Fort Hood happened under his watch, rather than under Comrade Obama's. Obama's Islamofacists friends I'm sure, wouldn't be out on the stump trying to cover up for his "what--me--worry?" Homeland Security initiatives, and our militaries kow-towing sensitivity to all things Islamic, so as to not hurt their feelings--which is the reason this Islamofacist terrorist al Quaeda and Bin Laden--sympatizing US Major was in our military to begin with.
They'd have crucified President G.W. Bush. Comrade Obama though, as is the usual, get's a free pass.

Posted by: armpeg | November 10, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

The next breathless Fix post -- palin going to Iowa!

'The former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee's upcoming book tour will taker her to Sioux City, Iowa, on Sunday December 6, according to an announcement posted on the Barnes and Noble Web site.'

and stumble her club-footed way through another terrifying thicket of disassociated verbiage.

yawn.

Posted by: drindl | November 10, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Re: #4 - Please do NOT put a (D) after Joe Lieberman's name. He ran as an independent against the Democratic nominee and never was a real Democrat. At very most he's an (I) but really should be shown as (R_Lite).

==

His name should be followed by an A for AIPAC. And the I doesn't stand for Independent.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 10, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse


"Well, we have an answer to that timeless question, "How many Republicans does it take to express a single thought?"


All of them.

Posted by: drindl | November 10, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Well, we have an answer to that timeless question, "How many Republicans does it take to express a single thought?"

Although granted, it's unduly charitable calling the posts there "thought" -- more like the spasmodic twitching of a frog leg touched with an electric charge.

Zap. "Commie!"
Zap. "Mao!"
Zap. "Lib!"

Posted by: nodebris | November 10, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

i will go back to respecting republican when they stop acting like jackas*ses.

Posted by: drindl | November 10, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

But, I thought we were supposed to respect republicans, to encourage dialog or something. Personally I find that laughable, a liberal conceit.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 10, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Same difference, shrink.

Behaviorly, it's interesting. It's like an insect mind with a million fingers. When they hive mob like that, it all sounds like it was written by the same sick person and stays on the same thread, on the same message all day. They don't seem to be smart enough, or independent enough to even go to other threads.

There is no attempt to have a discussion or to connect with others -- just spewing a single hatefilled message all day long. Fasctinating like the Borg, or robots, or bees -- only I think bees are much more intellligent.

Posted by: drindl | November 10, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

These people are not baboons, nor escaped mental patients, nor meth freaks, nor Jumanji creatures.

They are Republicans.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 10, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

no debris -- that's an insult to baboons.

it's more like the banshee howls from the lockdown ward.

Posted by: drindl | November 10, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Oh my god, I was just at that thread. It sounds like the entire 'conservative' movement has burned out whatever brain it had with meth.

Posted by: drindl | November 10, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to Chris for scooping Drudge on Anita Dunn's resignation this morning -- but the comments section, holy cow....

It's like the patients stole the day pass pad from the nurses station.

Posted by: Axisofstupidity1 | November 10, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Hoo boy! I just looked over at that thread. Over 80 comments in less than an hour. Evidently she and this guy named Mao used to have a thing.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | November 10, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

nodebris:

Reminds me of "Jumanji" ... I haven't seen that many people fixated on Mao and the Little Red Book since I was in China in 1977.

Posted by: mnteng | November 10, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

"Drudge linked to it."

Quite a spectacle! It's like watching a herd of baboons storm through your living room.

Posted by: nodebris | November 10, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

It was IAs that got me. I was wondering where TB (Terry Bransted) was or if it was a House race.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | November 10, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I suggest you guys skip the Anita Dunn post. Drudge linked to it. No discussion will be possible.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 10, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Actually the Veterans Health care system is quite good.

Best Care Anywhere: Why VA Health Care is Better Than Yours http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0977825302

Re: Scozzafava New York used to have plenty of Republicans like her aka: Rockefeller Republicans. She was selected by the 11 county chairs as candidate. If there was no Conservative party nominee and no outsiders like Armey showing up in the district along with the OZ like Palin sitting in her igloo weighing in on her Facebook page then the Republican's could have held the seat.

Posted by: MerrillFrank | November 10, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I think bsimon's right about the bubble -- there is a self-reinforcing and self-referencing feedback-loop culture there. Journos and politicos all hang together, all party together, read each other, they are very much all in the same social class -- the ACTUAL elites who create the national narrative.

But they have no idea what's going on outside the bubble--they are too insulated.

Posted by: drindl | November 10, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

"I get the impression that Charlie and a great many other media types are pandering to that angry base of the GOP."


I disagree. My pet theory is that they're trapped in their own inside the beltway media bubble. Given the inordinate attention the media and GOP leadership give to the vociferous extreme conservatives, people within the bubble are overestimating that subset's influence among voters.

Posted by: bsimon1 | November 10, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Okay ... I grasp the Campaign 2010. Now, who is running the country. Who is concerned about 10.2% (17.7%) unemployment, companies fleeing U.S.S.A. at an unprecendented rate, GDP lowest since 1936, Trillions upon trillions of dollars of debt. Who's minding the store?

Posted by: IQ168 | November 10, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

" I find it very hard to believe that the lowest turnout in forty years electing a Republican who did everything he could to act and sound like a moderate Democrat presages doom for the Democrats. Cook sounds like someone scrounging very hard for proof to support a pet theory."

Did you ever see such grasping at straws?

Posted by: drindl | November 10, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

"I get the impression that Charlie and a great many other media types are pandering to that angry base of the GOP."

Something like that, I agree. I find it very hard to believe that the lowest turnout in forty years electing a Republican who did everything he could to act and sound like a moderate Democrat presages doom for the Democrats. Cook sounds like someone scrounging very hard for proof to support a pet theory.

Posted by: nodebris | November 10, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I also distinctly remember last year on the weekend before the election Charlie Cook was falling in line behind the narrative being peddled by the McCain-Palin campaign that there was dramatic movement toward McCain even though it was not showing up in the tracking polls. Cook mused to Chris Matthews that there might be something to all of that energy at those McCain-Palin rallies. I am not sure Charlie or Stu Rothenberg are all that reliable.

Posted by: jaxas | November 10, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I am a bit surprised by Charlie Cook's sweeping pronuncement that the Virginia race was the only one with national implications. Cook made no mention that quite regularly in these off year elections, the base that supported the President in the previous year, tend to go to sleep so to speak.

I think Cook is trying like so many other media and polling types to bolster the fortunes of the GOP. But he should not ignore those anti-tax initiatives that went down to defeat. Those also have national implications. And the democrats perfromance in California and New York.

I get the impression that Charlie and a great many other media types are pandering to that angry base of the GOP.

Posted by: jaxas | November 10, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

'political analyst (and former Fix boss) Charlie Cook argues that the Virginia governor's race was the lone race contested last Tuesday with national implications. And, those implications are bad for Democrats.'

As Dionne pointed out yesterday, this is absolute tripe.

" It's far easier to replay footage from a few tea-party rallies over and over, and discuss some vague "mood" in the electorate."

Deeds ran a terrible campaign. Try to get over your wishful thinking, and passing it off as 'analysis.'

Posted by: drindl | November 10, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

We need real Health Care Reform in this country,if they want to call a public option socialism let them. I want to see them give up there social security checks and their medicare when they retire. They are so against a public option something that would help compete against the insurance companies these congressmen and senators are being bought and paid for by the insurance companies. . They love what they have but won't let the people they are suppose to serve have the same. Remember when the gave themselves three raises in one year during the Bush administration. Yet they would not raise the minium wage. Its the same old song with these lawmakers.Its time to get rid of the do nothings. They are only there for their own self interest not the peoples.

Posted by: jnjkelly48 | November 10, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I have been very disturbed what I have been hearing on another news network about C Street in Washington D.C. I was wondering why journalist has not picked up on this story . The C street residence is a secretive religious group which houses members of our Congressman and Senators. Jeff Sharlet has done extensive research on this group and wrote a book called" The Family" Senator Ensign from Nevada just left the organization for drawing attention to it. This is a good investigative story that we the people need to be informed about. These lawmakers need to be accountable for the laws they cast upon us.Especially when they believe they are above the law. They are Democrats and Republicians that belong to this organization. We need a good journalist to do an extensive investigation on these members.Please don't ignor this story. We also need to know ,they list this house as a church do they receive tax benefits also which is important. What happened to seperation of church and state.

Posted by: jnjkelly48 | November 10, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how many of the undecided Ds in IL will remember the last African-American woman to represent them in the Senate and ask for a higher bar for Jackson because of it.

Posted by: mnteng | November 10, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Charlie Cook and (The Fix) are race baiting this morning. To say Deeds had problems with white voters is obvious (he lost), but he had problems with AA voters too, remember?. The truth is Deeds had problems with all voters and that turns the argument back to...Deeds and the campaign, not some inconvenient, racially charged retro to the Clintons' campaign message to the Carolinas and Virginias.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 10, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Mark,
I agree the VA could be a good option as a direct public option, but the care at VA hospitals is sometimes viewed as substandard (unfairly in a lot of cases). Because of this and because in politics messing with anything that has to do with Vets is like kissing the third rail, I don't think we will see this bill go that direction, although you make an interesting point.

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 10, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Today on Squawk Box a hospital association executive says 70% of Americans admitted to hospitals in this country have some form of government medical coverage. The rest have employer based coverage, none and self-insured in that order. All of the arguing is over that 30%, a number that will continue to fall, no matter what.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 10, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link to the Scozzafava interview

'She sees herself as a champion of local expertise over ideological purity. "How can Sarah Palin come out and endorse someone who can't answer some basic questions," Scozzafava asked. "Do these people even know who they are endorsing?" '

Posted by: margaretmeyers | November 10, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse


FORT HOOD...D.E.W...TARGET...COVERT...ACTION...QUESTIONMARK

Until an investigation independent of the military determines what happened and why, Hasan must be regarded as a suspect, and possibly, a victim who could have been under external influences -- pharmacological, technological, psychological, or any combination of same.

Think "Manchurian Candidate."

That's assuming credible witnesses have definitively identified Hasan as the gunman and haven't confused him with another person, or persons, in similar attire.

On Friday, it appeared that the FBI has been designated by POTUS as the lead agency in the investigation and that the Army's own Criminal Investigation Division would assist. Hopefully, Obama won't reverse course on that prudent presidential directive.

GOV'T TORTURES ME WITH SILENT MICROWAVE WEAPONS, SAYS OUSTED HONDURAS PREZ

• Deposed Honduras President Manuel Zelaya confirms the essence what unjustly targeted citizens worldwide -- including this journalist -- have been reporting for years...

...MILITARY, SECRET SERVICES, AND INTEL AGENCIES of many nations, including the U.S., silently assault and torture "targeted individuals," including those regarded as "dissenters" or slandered as undesirables, with debilitating, health-degrading, "slow-kill" electromagnetic microwave and laser radiation weapons systems -- reported to include a nationwide installation camouflaged as cell towers, along with satellites and portable weaponry.

http://nowpublic.com/world/govt-tortures-me-silent-microwave-weapons-ousted-s-prez

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

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled): http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | November 10, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I listened to the 89 year old Helen Thomas interviewed on Potus yesterday. She is a liberal journalist, by her own account. She opined that anything less than national medicare was a giveaway to the insurance industry and unforgiveable.

Thus I return to my pet peeve of the moment against some self proclaimed liberals. The nation has one enormous federal medical insurance program of long standing: Medicare. It has one enormous federal/state medical insurance program: Medicaid. It has one enormous federal direct delivery model: VA.

Medicare was funded by payroll tax contributions in advance of need. Nevertheless, it is rapidly going broke and will provide a black hole so big that all of our financial concerns of the moment will be as nothing. No one who has been reporting on DC since 1948 should be so blind as to suggest that there is evidence that by adding to Medicare a current- premium-for-current-illness insurance scheme it will be affordable to the nation.

On the other hand, seemingly no liberals have the sense to take the hard line that because VA works and is not in a financial hole that VA could be a model for a public option. And none are willing to concede that a public option is irrelevant.

I have said that I would vote for a bad UHC option over the current dysfunction. But that does not preclude me from calling it a bad option and the liberal obsession with expanding Medicare a fool's errand.

Watch "Frontline" tonight for T.R. Reed reporting on how the other wealthy nations do UHC. Many of them have private docs and private insurance and still deliver good quality care at half the USA cost.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 10, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

BB - fyi:

MDH = Huckabee
SHP = Palin
UHC = universal health care
Rs = Republicans
Ds = Democrats
IAs/undocs = illegal immigrants and/or undocumented workers
CC = Cillizza
TX = Texas
SS = Social Security
UT = The University of Texas
McC = McCain
McCh = McChrystal
BHO = Obama
TJP or TP = Pawlenty
WMR = Romney
IA also equals Iowa, so I will now call illegal immigrants "I.A.s"

Please copy and save. :-)


Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 10, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

mikeinmidland: McDonnell has already said he'll govern to the center, so there's still hope he'll not be another Gilmore-esque clown. He ran as far from the rightwingnuttery as possible, knowing full well the Virginia electorate no longer wants that crap.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | November 10, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

"Up until the day of the election, the R candidates in nj and va were called dangerous wingnuts."

This is a complete lie. A strawman invention of the mindless idiot troll. Any six-year-old knows that both candidates ran to the center. Of course, the troll is probably five, so it's no wonder he's so ignorant on the subject.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | November 10, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

An interesting point about the thank you ads. I presume coordination by "independent" groups is forbidden, but I wonder how certain Representatives let it be known that they needn't be thanked. Perhaps someone has a wide stance in the Capitol Hill bathrooms. Wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more, say no more.

11. Newt Gingrich is criticizing Obama for not attending festivities celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Of course, he'd be criticized for apologizing for America if he attended. And Snowy would be looking for teleprompters.

P.S. Too many acronyms, Mark!

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | November 10, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Isn't it funny that everything liberals know about any particular subject fits on a postage stamp. Life in the olbermann world. It needs to be to fit in their puny brains.

Up until the day of the election, the R candidates in nj and va were called dangerous wingnuts. Now that they won, it is only because they are basically democrats disguised as Rs.

Same with McCain. The darling of the press and left (but I repeat myself) right up until he won the nomination. Then a dangerous loon.

But all liberal ideas must either fit on a bumper sticker, rhyme or br able to be chanted en masse.

Posted by: snowbama | November 10, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

yellowsnow: "consider that the current Medicare is replete with fraud and abuse and needs to have 500 billion cut from it."

Just thought I'd point out that the idiot mindless troll, in his haste to make some "Loud and Dumb" posts, completely misread my post.

Let me try again, ace: Lindsay Graham was complaining ABOUT the cuts to Medicare, not that it needs cuts.

Sounds like the idiot mindless troll SUPPORTS the proposed Medicare cuts and disagrees with his rightwingnut brethren. Interesting.

I'm sure that my one response to yellowsnow will now provoke a flurry of responses from him. Have at it, numbnuts. I'm sure your responses to this will be as effective as your McNutty posts regarding NY-23.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | November 10, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Spin Doctors on Sesame Street
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AVuvbFD3gU&feature=PlayList&p=84FA727183679223&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=51

Los Lobos (!) on Sesame Street
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhzh2LHPzOo

But you would not believe the Opera singers they've had on Sesame Street, and the productions they do for them are fabulous.


Posted by: margaretmeyers | November 10, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Republican and conservative are not interchangeable words. The Republican who won in NJ is very moderate in every respect. The Republican who won in VA ran away from his conservative thesis for months, emphasizing bread-and-butter issues like jobs and roads.

I would argue that Christie may have fooled his conservative supporters, and McDonnell fooled the independents.

Posted by: mikenmidland | November 10, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Turns out there WILL be cameras and teleprompters at the ft hood memorial. So Obama will show after all.

Posted by: snowbama | November 10, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

The half-trillion dollars is to be cut specifically from Medicare Advantage. That's the giant subsidy to the insurance companies to *administer* Medicare for its subscribers. No improvement in health outcomes. No value for the taxpayer. Typical Bush-era giveaway to the insurance industry.

That Lindsay Graham and company are against this is pure political posturing. They know (or should know) that this will not cut benefits, but pretend it will, so as to rile up seniors.

Sure, seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage will have to go back to regular Medicare, but their discomfort will be limited to insurance/billing hassles, not health care itself.

Posted by: mikenmidland | November 10, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

I guess you didn't hear that a majority chose the republican in nj and va.

Liberals will continue to proclaim principled conservatism a losing position. Right up until and even past their own losing efforts with leftists and pastel squishes.

Posted by: snowbama | November 10, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

If I really was a Democratic Liberal I would be so happy that the Limbaugh wing of the Republican Party just does not get it. I want the Republican Party to be competitive for my vote. The party of Ronald Reagan has left him in the dust. The truth is their are very few true Liberals left in the Democratic Party. Most are moderates. Until the Republican party runs some moderates they will not get my vote nor will they get the votes of the majority of the American people.

Posted by: bradcpa | November 10, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Loud and dumb- mindless as usual

consider that the current Medicare is replete with fraud and abuse and needs to have 500 billion cut from it.

But don't worry. It's big brother, the public option, will have none of these problems.

Liberals are so clueless. Or liars. Which is it?

Posted by: snowbama | November 10, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

This abortion issue could get even uglier and seriously delay reform unless the president gets directly involved. No time for him to revert to his hands-off strategy (that failed).

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

Posted by: parkerfl1 | November 10, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Re: #4 - Please do NOT put a (D) after Joe Lieberman's name. He ran as an independent against the Democratic nominee and never was a real Democrat. At very most he's an (I) but really should be shown as (R_Lite).

Posted by: J-Man50 | November 10, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

I don't neccesairily have a problem with a national ID, but the thing is we already have one, its called a passport (or a passport card which you can get as well). All we have to do is require that employers make employees get a passport (which BTW, only 20% of americans have which is crazy to me). Then if they have workers on their jobsite who dont' have a passport then they have to pay a fine which goes to social security as a fee for not paying payroll taxes. BUT, we still have to have comprehensive immigration reform before that can happen. I just don't want to have to carry my driver's liscense, my ID card, and a passport.

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 10, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

CC, the Post's story on Scozzafava is a good one. My favorite line is

"Those conservative forces now descend on Florida, where former House speaker Marco Rubio, who on Monday received the endorsement of the Club for Growth, might shove aside centrist Gov. Charlie Crist, who was once on John McCain's short list for running mate. And Scozzafava has a warning.

"There is a lot of us who consider ourselves Republicans, of the Party of Lincoln," she said, her face now flush. "If they don't want us with them, we're going to work against them."

And that is why Scozzafava is welcome in the Democratic Party, anytime. We'll take the members of the Party of Lincoln, and let Michael Steele have the members who want to be the Party of Reagan.

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 10, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Here's some classic rightwingnut irony. Yesterday I heard Lindsey Graham listing the GOP complaints with the House-passed health care bill. Among them was the $500 billion cut to Medicare, which is by far the biggest government-run health care operation in the US.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | November 10, 2009 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Andy, I did not make myself clear - I was looking to the employment reforms to handle IAs/undocs, not UHC. I agree with you in general on this - I do not think that UHC can successfully be used as an IA restriction.

I suggest the ID card because of the practical problem employers in TX have of the IA using a legit ID of someone else to get work on a construction site. I see it all the time. An employer cks the SS card and it is valid. But it does not belong to the carrier of it. Impossible situation to deal with without biometric ID.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 10, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

I agree with you Mark that Huckabee may be in a better place in Iowa, since by now he knows most evangelicals there by name. The problem is if one of the other major candidates (I'm looking at you Romney) skips the caucus and focuses on NH and SC.
This is also assuming that the primary schedule is the same as it was last year. There is no telling who may try to jump ahead of NH or SC like last year. The states have realized that these elections are a HUGE financial boom for the local economies in NH and Iowa, and they want a piece of the action. I wouldn't be suprised to see a national primary schedule arise as an issue in 2010-2011.

On UHC, the problem of undocumented immigrants will always be a problem but the solution to that isn't just requiring an ID since Doctors have to treat whomever walks in no matter what. The solution to that problem is real immigration reform. I wouldn't be suprised to see the McCain plan come back up next year sometime. It probably won't pass but it will be an issue in the next election behind the economy as a whole, and the deficit.

Now if I were the Democrats I would try and make the argument that by documenting these workers and tightening border control we will make more money because that will force them to pay taxes including payroll taxes, which would increase the nation's revenue.

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 10, 2009 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Based on information CC has provided recently, MDH. and not SHP, should be favored among IA Rs.

The Prez gives direct answers to Tapper. Considering the long time support of Catholic Bishops for UHC - provided that abortion is not a taxpayer funded procedure - it should be clear that UHC has a better chance of passing without taxpayer funded abortions.

I would bet against passage of UHC if taxpayer funding of abortion is allowed.

The funding of health care for undocs and IAs is trickier. Suppose the mandate to have insurance does not apply to them. Some will pay for insurance or have it provided by an employer who has no idea they are IAs. Others will still flood the ERs. Others will be inoculated which protects all of us. It might be more discouraging to IAs to force them to have coverage with the rest of us.

My conclusion is that the IA/undoc problem is best attacked through a national ID card with thumbprint or other biometric, and an employment verification regime that we do not have now.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 10, 2009 6:55 AM | Report abuse

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