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Morning Fix: No-Go Joe in Massachusetts Special



Former Rep. Joe Kennedy II's decision not to run for Senate means a wide-open field. AP Photo by Stan Honda.

Former Rep. Joe Kennedy's decision not to seek the seat held by his uncle -- the late Sen. Ted Kennedy -- opens up the field significantly with a number of congressman expected to take a shot at the world's greatest deliberative body.

Joe Kennedy, who held a seat in Congress for more than a decade before retiring in 1998, was widely regarded as the frontrunner-in-waiting had he made the race, due to the power of his last name in Democratic circles and his highly visible work with Citizens Energy.

"After much consideration, I have decided that the best way for me to contribute to those causes is by continuing my work at Citizens Energy Corporation," Kennedy said in a statement released on Labor Day.

Without him on the ballot -- and presuming that Vicki Kennedy, the wife of the late senator truly has no interest in running -- state Attorney General Martha Coakley looks like the favorite in a potentially crowded field.

(Worth noting: Several sources told the Fix over the weekend that Vicki Kennedy should not be totally written off as a candidate despite her assertions she won't run. "Until she says she's out, I don't one hundred percent rule out Vicki changing her mind now that Joe has announced he is not running," said one well-connected Massachusetts Democrat. "I wouldn't bet on it, and she would have to act fast, but I don't totally rule it out.")

Assuming Vicki Kennedy stays on the sidelines, Coakley is almost certain to have two "onlys" going for her in the Dec. 8 Democratic special election primary: she will be the only statewide elected official running and she will be the only woman in the field. Both are huge advantages in a shortened race where name identification and some way to distinguish oneself in a crowded field carry considerable import.

Joe Kennedy's announcement makes it far more likely that Reps. Michael Capuano, John Tierney and Ed Markey will run, according to close watchers of Massachusetts politics.

"This should embolden others in the delegation to take a hard look," said one senior Democratic operative who has worked extensively in the state. "The intrigue should be fun."

Markey has more to lose by spending the next several months on the Senate campaign trail as he currently heads a select committee on energy policy and global warming. (The cap and trade legislation Markey co-authored passed the House this summer and could come up in the Senate after health care reform.) Still, the prospect of a giving up little other than a few months of House work for a shot at the Senate may prove too alluring for Markey. "I now must weigh where I can make the greatest impact on the issues facing the people of Massachusetts," Markey said in a statement released after Kennedy's announcement. One Democrat based in the Bay State called Markey the "wild card" in the race due to his cash on hand ($2.9 million in the bank at the end of June) and "stature" within the state.

If Markey, Capuano or Tierney (or all three) run, they would join not only Coakley but also their colleague Stephen Lynch, the South Boston congressman who took out nominating papers last week. Lynch has long coveted the Senate seat and is almost certain to try to use his geographic base in the city's blue-collar neighborhood and his strong union credentials to win a splintered primary vote. Lynch could, however, struggle to win over liberal primary voters due to his pro-life stance on abortion.

More broadly, the Joe Kennedy decision means that for only the second time since 1952 -- a Kennedy friend and placeholder held the seat between Jack's election in 1960 and Ted's election in 1962 -- someone without the name of "Kennedy" will hold the Massachusetts Senate seat. (Fix colleague Vince Bzdek has written eloquently about the possibility that the "Kennedy" name is at the end of its line politically.)

The Kennedy name has shown signs of losing its political luster in recent years -- particularly outside of the Bay State where people like Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and Mark Shriver have lost races while Chris Kennedy recently took a pass on a run for the Senate in Illinois.

Watch for all of the Democratic contenders to seek to lay claim to the title of rightful heir to the Kennedy legacy. Should the Kennedy family -- particularly Vicki or Joe -- decide to take sides it could provide the candidate they back with a major leg in proving their bona fides to Democratic primary voters.

Tuesday's Fix Picks: There's no better way to cap off a few weeks of vacation than to come down with a cold. Booooo!

1. Scott Wilson on how the fight over health care has tried the Obama administration.
2. Eight questions (and answers) on health care.
3. The N.J. governor's race is nasty and getting nastier.
4. "Jimbo" Traficant is back and better than ever.
5. How Michelle Obama got so jacked.

Cornyn Calls August a Democratic "Disaster": In a memo distributed to his colleagues this morning, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) declared that "momentum is on our side" after a difficult August recess for congressional Democrats. "The Democrats forgot that it's Congress who works for the American people, and not the other way around," wrote Cornyn who added that the last month amounted to a political "disaster" for the party in power. Cornyn highlighted races in Illinois, Arkansas, Nevada and Colorado as examples of where Democratic slippage is raising Republican prospects and noted that there is a "very real opportunity" for Republicans to pick up Senate seats next fall. One of Cornyn's biggest challenges in the push toward next year's midterms, however, will be wringing some of the millions of dollars that his safe colleagues have squirreled away for the last countless election cycles. The unwillingness of Senate Republicans to part with even some of their cash has not only been a source of frustration to past NRSC chairs but has also limited the committee's ability in recent years to fight at parity with the better-funded Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

DNC Ramps Up Health Care Sales Effort . . .: In coordination with President Obama's planned address to a joint session of Congress tomorrow night (The Fix will be live twittering the proceedings!), the Democratic National Committee via its Organizing for America arm is re-starting its nationwide bus tour to drum up support for the plan. The DNC is hosting a party to watch the president's speech tomorrow in Atlanta -- one of several hundred being organized in support of reform of the health care system around the country. David Plouffe, campaign manager for Obama in 2008, will host a nationwide strategy call with supporters after the town meetings tomorrow. The DNC bus tour will go from Georgia to Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Utah and Nevada over the next few weeks.

. . . As Liberals Protest on Public Option: The Progressive Change Campaign Committee is organizing a show of solidarity today in front of the White House for the the inclusion of the so-called "public option" in any health care reform legislation pushed by the president. "Last Thursday, we started a campaign to tell President Obama that a bill without a public option would not be 'change we can believe in,'" wrote PCCC head Adam Green. "We need to make sure the White House hears the message loud and clear." Liberals have grown increasingly frustrated with the Obama Administration's vacillation over whether legislation must include a government-run plan as have many who worked for the president's election last fall. (The PCCC claims that 400 former campaign staffers, 24,000 volunteers and 39,000 donors have signed the public option petition to date.)

Click It!: Remembrance of Things Past -- the late Michael Kelly on the late Ted Kennedy.

Vander Plaats Is In: Despite popular former governor Terry Branstad looming over the race, 2006 lieutenant governor nominee Bob Vander Plaats entered the Iowa gubernatorial race on Monday -- seeking to establish himself as the true conservative in the field. In his announcement speech, Vander Plaats said he would issue an executive order on his first day in office that would suspend gay marriages in the state until Iowa voters had a chance to vote on the idea. "I will be a governor who stands up for true conservative principles," Vander Plaats pledged. The problem for Vander Plaats is that the establishment of the party seems intent on backing Branstad, a former four-term governor who has said he is considering the race. Republican polling suggests that a race between Branstad and Gov. Chet Culver (D) would be a barn-burner despite the state's clear Democratic lean in the last two elections. The state's importance in the 2012 Republican presidential nominating fight means that lots of wanna-be nominees will trek through the state on behalf of their party's nominee. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who won the 2008 Iowa caucuses, has already endorsed Vander Plaats.

The Best State Political Reporters: The Fix is re-doing our list of the best and brightest of state-based political reporters and we need your help. Send names/states to us via email, Twitter, Facebook, or leave them in the comments section below.

Bader to Wisconsin: Jill Bader, press secretary to the Senate Republican Conference, has signed on to serve as communications director for Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker's race for governor in 2010. Bader spent the 2008 cycle serving as press secretary to Sen. Lamar Alexander's (Tenn.) re-election race and worked for Sen. Bob Corker's (Tenn.) campaign in 2006. Walker faces former Rep. Mark Neumann in the Republican primary while Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton is the only announced Democrat. Gov. Jim Doyle (D) announced recently that, amid faltering poll numbers, he would not seek a third term next November.

Say What?: "I was eating grapes when I walked through the cabin, so I wasn't looking around." -- White House press secretary Robert Gibbs filling reporters in on his gustatory pursuits.

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 8, 2009; 5:45 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Comments

mikeinmidland:

Maybe you should try to actually, um, read the McDonnell thesis someday. Once you do that, we can debate the merits.

mtcooley:

I said "those like mikeinmidland and mtcooley" not you specifically, because I already know that you specifically can't be convinced. I (and McDonnell) also never said "the only purpose for a woman is to birth children". Nice strawman argument though.

margaretmeyers:

I am not offering to have sex with mikeinmidland. Neither am I saying that only white people should have more babies. Now, have YOU read McDonnell's thesis? While there is some "expansion" of government, most of it involved cutting back, especially the IRS.

douglaslbarber:

I don't necessarily disagree with anything you posted. Keep up the good work : )

Posted by: JakeD | September 9, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

douglaslbarber: You have explained your arguments well.

My arguments for legal abortion are:

1) Making it illegal will not stop it. Abortion rates are similar in countries where it is illegal. The lowest rates are in Scandinavian countries where it has long been legal and other contraception is most available.

2) My definition of "human being" does not include non-viable fetuses. Any definition describing the creation of a "soul" is a religious definition, not a medical or legal one.

3) Compelling people to have more children than they want is no more moral than China compelling people to have only one.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 9, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Love how I'm only looking for voters. Last I checked I'd never even volunteered for a campaign.

No it's good luck convincing me that we need to have a baby boom because obviously as a woman the only purpose I have is to birth children? No thanks. Hell the baby boom was one of the worst things to have happen. Lead to this whole entitlement culture we have.

Posted by: mtcooley | September 9, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Individual freedoms are only important to him when they are HIS individual freedoms. Everyone else's may be taken away at a whim in order to make the world the way he thinks it should be. Posted by: mikeinmidland

Thank you for putting that so simply. For a small government guy, McDonnell does seem quite willing to expand government in support of his fundie agenda. No one is going to follow him backwards to this fantasy pre-WWI vision of American Life.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | September 9, 2009 3:48 AM | Report abuse

I can't speak for JakeD but I also agree with him, I suspect, in believing that when you make self-indulgence your highest personal, social and political value, you are asking for a whuppin from anyone whose values include the good of the whole society, deferred gratification, and work as something to be valued in its own right as a character building exercise.

Now let me state where I respectfully differ with Jake.

I would like to see card-check enacted as a way to make it easier to unionize workplaces. This, to my mind, would increase the reward for working. We've got too many hard working people trading oil futures for banks and pension funds and too few hard working people making things - because we pay the traders too much and the workers too little.

I would like to see some form of universal health insurance for citizens because I don't think it's right that people who get rich by exploiting workers get great health care and people who work in the salt mines all too often get none.

And I really don't have the time of day for any Democrat who would surrender card check or universal health care in an effort to gain government control of what people are allowed to eat.

I am also pro-life, because I don't understand how I can claim any rights against the state as a human being if I am willing to let the state deny the right to exist to the most helpless human being.

To the extent that that offends feminists, unlike Ted Kennedy (whom I admire immenseley) and Al Gore, I refuse to apologize. I regard your political ascendancy on the wings of this issue as at least as alarming as the new arms of state power that we've witnessed during my lifetime.

"If you oppose slavery, don't own one". That's my view of the best "pro-choice" argument.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | September 8, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

douglaslbarber:

Good luck convincing those like mikeinmidland and mtcooley of that. All they see are potential votes for Democrats.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

mikeinmidland wrote, "I am not offering anything, except perhaps the consoling thought that the US population is increasing, not decreasing like Russia. And it is aging, but not nearly as quickly as that country. Thanks to young, healthy, fertile immigrants. (But I suppose those children don't come in your preferred shade.)"

That's mighty sanctimonious, and utterly beside the point.

The "replacement rate" political discussion is concerned with how we can fund government social welfare commitments to retirees and others as our nation's birth rate declines.

If our birth rate is being propped up by mass immigration of people statistically liable to place more burdens on our social services outlays than they contribute to our tax revenues, that's no help at all in terms of the "replacement rate" discussion. In fact it makes the "replacement rate" problem worse.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | September 8, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

From the THESIS Conclusion:

... A people that reject the importance of the family in its God-ordained covenantal form must assuredly reap the consequences, notwithstanding governmental programs to support the broken model. If Republicans at every level are committed unashamedly and zealously to promote and protect the traditional family as the American norm, and to resist family dissolution as an inevitable reality of progress and culture, then the vision of restoration will begin to bear fruit. As the family goes, so goes the nation.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

No need to apologize, mikeinmidland.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

While I could not find the specific phrase "replacement rate" in McDonnell's THESIS, there is this on page six:

The changing views of the utility of children, the economic burden of raising them, the self-centeredness of modern individualism, and the wide acceptance of birth control and abortion, have REDUCED BIRTHRATES BELOW THAT WHICH IS REQUIRED to replenish the current population (Emphasis Added). See also, fn. 20.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Another "factor" cited is that the (then) recently-created school-based health clinics which dispense birth control information and products without parental consent, and the new values-neutral [SIC] sex education programs in public schools, have contributed to increaed promiscuity, rather than reduced illegitimacy.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, douglaslbarber : )

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

"Replacement rate" of course refers to the rate at which a population must reproduce in order to avoid scenarios like "having 1 worker being taxed to provide benefits to 4 retirees" - something which is perhaps a more legitimate political concern than efforts to increase the lunch costs of Wal-Mart workers who eat at McDonalds.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | September 8, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

No, the factor discussed in the Thesis (and the Bible) is "sin".

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

As near as I can tell, Jake believes that McDonnell's stance on contraception within marriage is justified by the relatively low birth rate in this country. I do not believe that the birth rate was a factor discussed in "The Thesis."

Even if the birth rate in this country was a problem, I do not see how the ends would justify the means. Individual freedoms are only important to him when they are HIS individual freedoms. Everyone else's may be taken away at a whim in order to make the world the way he thinks it should be.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 8, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

This Joe Kennedy withdrawal is certainly eliciting interesting reactions.

Some fear that we may take control of each others' reproductive organs. I'm all for giving that a shot.

Others feel that the time is ripe for government to put an end to fast food. Last time I checked, that's become more a part of our diet roughly in synch with the need to have two full-time wage-earners in a household if it's to avoid poverty - real wages for real people having fallen since some time in the 1970's.

And finally, I would not want to ignore Scrivener50's 10:18 AM post which begins "URGENT TO PRESIDENT OBAMA/WH STAFF: "First, Do No Harm"". You know, if Joe Kennedy were to read that line as part of a speech, it would sound like this:

"First, do no ham"

and right-wing conspiracy nut jobs would conclude that the Kennedys are in cahoots with some Hebrew cabal somewhere...oh wait...they concluded that a long while back....

never mind.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | September 8, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

By "replacement rate," I guess Jake means white people having children within a marriage. I didn't have children to "replace" me or my husband -- it was a mad urge to raise little humans!

Every Sunday I sit in a pew surrounded by nice Catholic families with 2 and 3 children. Birth control is here to stay -- and the VERY BEST place for it is between two unmarried people having sex -- best for all of us.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | September 8, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

MikeinMidland, is Jake offering to have sex with you if you two are married? I don't thnk you guys will need birth control, though it was a thoughtful offer.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | September 8, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I was simply answering your question(s): "Outlawing abortions is not enough--we have to force married couples to have children?? Replacement rate? Seriously??"

Yes, I am serious.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

I welcome ANY child born on American soil ; )

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

I have no control over anyone's reproductive organs but my own. Nor would I want it, nor would I try to barter over it with a fool who wants all sorts of freedoms for himself but wishes to enslave anyone with a womb.

I am not offering anything, except perhaps the consoling thought that the US population is increasing, not decreasing like Russia. And it is aging, but not nearly as quickly as that country. Thanks to young, healthy, fertile immigrants. (But I suppose those children don't come in your preferred shade.)

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 8, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

mikeinmidland:

I would gladly trade all forms of abortion for non-abortifacient birth control within marriage. Is that what you are offering?

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I see. Outlawing abortions is not enough--we have to force married couples to have children?? Replacement rate? Seriously??

It is a common trend that as affluence increases, child bearing decreases. But don't worry--I'm sure recent immigrants will make up for the shortfall.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 8, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

mtcooley:

It may not be "normal" to you, but the U.S. replacement rate is dwindling fast. Look up those stats some time.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

>>I'm also looking forward to new polls on the Virginia Governor's race. I LOVE the anti-McDonnell ad running on the internet (Day Care? "Moral Harm." Birth Control? "Illogical." etc). McDonnell is done for, even with a lackluster campaign from Deeds.

Agreed. I think it was being against birth control for married couples that sold me against this guy. Honestly I don't think you could make this up if you tried. That one kind of boggled the mind. Even if he has changed that's just something you can't explain away that mindset as being normal to me.

Posted by: mtcooley | September 8, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

The only reason Christie had any traction early on was the beating the NJ economy has taken in the last year. The electorate was scared and angry and they blamed Corzine. Christie got the GOP and that easily scared section of swing voters to look at him with hope, but it wasn't to last.

As the economy has leveled (NJ is still hurting, people are learning more about Christie and he is not the man they wanted him to be. He's no moderate Republican; he's a Bush and Cheney guy. He's no Knight; he's an oportunist happy to squeeze a good guy out of a job or blame someone else for his bad driving. More stuff will come out. New Jersey is all about the last 8 weeks of campaigning and I see Corzine staying put.

I'm also looking forward to new polls on the Virginia Governor's race. I LOVE the anti-McDonnell ad running on the internet (Day Care? "Moral Harm." Birth Control? "Illogical." etc). McDonnell is done for, even with a lackluster campaign from Deeds.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | September 8, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

'DEATH PANELS'
GOPer Who Backed End-Of-Life Counseling To Deliver Response To Obama

hilarious.

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

howliss -- yes, it looks like maybe at least some of the MSM will get off their butts and cover Christie's criminal record. He's a real creep.

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

"The NJ governor's race is nasty and getting nastier"

??? Excuse me. The Republican candidate drove the wrong way down a one-way street, HIT SOMEONE WITH HIS CAR, then got the police to back off by telling them he was a US attorney. And when confronted last week not only lied about being sued, but had the unmitigated gall to say, "I didn't hit him; he hit me." Right; that's the most infuriating thing about breaking traffic laws, all those morons who HIT YOU when you do it.

Don't hand me this nonsense about how pulling the cover off of Christie's indefensible actions is somehow "getting nasty".

Posted by: howlless | September 8, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

A final word (for the moment): You remember Cindy Sheehan: big anti-war protester. Had lost a son, Casey, in Iraq. Dedicated herself to hounding President Bush. Attracted a lot of attention. Became a media star, vulgar as that term may seem. All the biggies put her front and center. One of them was Charlie Gibson of ABC News.

The other day, he was asked about Sheehan. She was going to Martha’s Vineyard, where President Obama was vacationing, to continue her protests. What did Gibson think? He said, “Enough already.”

And that, it seems to me, is the view of the “MSM” where anti-presidential protest in general is concerned: Enough already. Bush is out, Obama is in. End of protest.

Posted by: snowbama | September 8, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

One thing was sure during the 2008 presidential campaign: If Obama won, dissent would no longer be the highest form of patriotism. One wag suggested — this was a reader of mine — “No, dissent will be the highest form of racism.” And it is becoming true, as charges of racism fill the air. (See Congresswoman Diane Watson and others.)

They say that “hate” is rearing its head, and that President Obama and the Democrats are the victims of it. Let me make a couple of predictions: I predict that the chairman of the Republican National Committee will never say, “I hate the Democrats and everything they stand for. This [politics, basically] is a struggle of good and evil. And we’re the good.”

Howard Dean said that about the GOP: “I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for. . . .”

I predict that an editor of a conservative magazine will never write a piece called “The Case for Obama Hatred,” beginning, “I hate President Barack Obama.”

A New Republic editor did this, about Bush.

And there is increasing worry about assassination: that someone will take a shot, not just at the president, but at the first black president, which would be extra-catastrophic for the country. A few protesters have carried signs urging violence against Obama, or smacking of violence. Let me make some more predictions:

I predict that a network talk-show host will not show a video of President Obama giving a speech and put the following words on the screen: “SNIPERS WANTED.”

Craig Kilborn of CBS did that to George W. Bush.

I predict that U.S. senators will not joke about killing Obama.

In 2006, Bill Maher had a conversation with John Kerry. He asked Kerry what he’d gotten his wife for her birthday. Kerry said he had treated her to a vacation in Vermont. Maher said, “You could have went to New Hampshire and killed two birds with one stone.” Kerry replied, “Or I could have gone to 1600 Pennsylvania and killed the real bird with one stone.”

This is the same Kerry who, in 1988, said, “Somebody told me the other day that the Secret Service has orders that if George Bush is shot, they’re to shoot Quayle.” Then he said, “There isn’t any press here, is there?”

I predict that a New York official will not tell a graduating class about assassinating President Obama.

Also in 2006, comptroller Alan Hevesi said to students at Queens College that Sen. Charles Schumer, his fellow Democrat, would “put a bullet between the president’s eyes if he could get away with it.”

I predict that no columnist for a leading European newspaper, and leading world newspaper, will write, “John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr. — where are you now that we need you?”

Charlie Brooker of the Guardian did that to George W. Bush.

Posted by: snowbama | September 8, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

snowbama:

Chavez has said that we need to help Obama!

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

O.K., so drindl remembers that there really wasn't much in the way of 'fast food' or prepackaged junk before the 1950s. So, that makes her (at least) in her 60's. I guess "LOL" is fine for under 70 ; )

Gotta go -- Gibsy's due up.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

>>I feel sorry for their children and for the damage they have done to this country. We're a laughingstock in the eyes of the world because of these idiots.

Well they'd probably be least responsive to the message anyway. They'd probably be the last to tell their children to take responsibility and would be the first to blame everything but their children when they fail to do so. It's why just saying it isn't a quick fix. We have generations of people that think the only people that matter are themselves and that everyone else is out to get them/make them fail/responsible for them. And that's really regardless of finacial or social standing. I've met successful but disturbing people with that attitude. Granted even with their wealth they lead a life I wouldn't wish on even my worst enemy. Nothing but paranoia and delusion.

Posted by: mtcooley | September 8, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

We're a laughingstock in the eyes of the world because of these idiots.

Posted by: drindl


It is very important that Chavez, Castro and AMajornutjob love and respect us. don't forget.

now for your post speech assignment:

What aspect of me do you admire so much you could wilt? What are you willing to do to help me turn this country socialist?

Posted by: snowbama | September 8, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Diet has changed a lot in this country, BB -- people buy much more 'convenience food' for one thing. Remember there really wasn't much in the way of 'fast food' or prepackaged junk before the 50s.

Also food portions [except in the most expensive restaurants' have just gotten grotestquely large. The last time I went out to a movie in North Carolina, for instance, I was saddened by the sight of so many obese people carrying these dumpster-sized buckets of popcorn and huge jugs of soda.

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

koolkat_1960:

How old is drindl allegedly?

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Although diet is a factor, I don't think that's changed so significantly in the last 10 - 20 years. Output (i.e. activity), not just input. [That and you'll take my cheese from my cold, dead hands.]

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | September 8, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Ddawd, the whole thing is preposterous.

A bunch of nutjobs looking for something to get angry about it.

I feel sorry for their children and for the damage they have done to this country. We're a laughingstock in the eyes of the world because of these idiots.

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Joked: The LOLs are immature only when coming from an allegedly-71-year-old man.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | September 8, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Pundits really get off the high horse about the speech being propaganda. It was a good speech telling kids they're responsible for their education. Which is the first time I've ever had a politician say that. It's true and very refreshing because all people do today is blame everyone else. I only succeeded because I took my education seriously even in elementary school. And in the end I was the one that succeeded while others failed despite having more advantages. So I really kind of like this speech since I read it.

It's a puff insperational speech unless telling kids to be responsible is partisan. Much better than the UN tripe I had to watch in high school which was clearly partisan and unacceptable. This is like guest speaker stuff and you really have to be off your rocker to get your panties in a knot over it. He's telling them they can do things! How terrible that is apparently to some.

It's a good take on a way to make education better. My education was the most important thing I had because we didn't have much at all. It was what I worked to achieve and what was important. You can't really change kids minds about it overnight but it's a good thought to put out there for them to mull over.

Posted by: mtcooley | September 8, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

"Some parents threatened to keep their children out of school to avoid hearing the speech. But after reading the advance text, the Florida GOP chairman, who last week accused the president of trying to "indoctrinate America's children to his socialist agenda," said he had no problem with letting his children watch.
"It's a good speech," the official, Jim Greer, said Monday. "It encourages kids to stay in school and the importance of education, and I think that's what a president should do."

I guess not ALL conservatives are idiots.

Posted by: mikeinmidland "

Yeah, what the hell is up with that? Did he ACTUALLY think Obama was trying to indoctrinate socialism and then genuinely change his mind? Was he just roundly ridiculed and then decide to go back on what he originally said?

This is just too weird.

Posted by: DDAWD | September 8, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

margaretmeyers:

That's just the microwave/laser radiation "directed energy weapons" that scrivener50 keeps posting about -- nothing to worry about -- resistence is futile.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

no questions please.

One plain fact should outweigh all the words of Barack Obama and all the impressive trappings of the setting in which he says them: He tried to rush Congress into passing a massive government takeover of the nation's medical care before the August recess-- for a program that would not take effect until 2013!

Whatever President Obama is, he is not stupid. If the urgency to pass the medical care legislation was to deal with a problem immediately, then why postpone the date when the legislation goes into effect for years-- more specifically, until the year after the next Presidential election?

If this is such an urgently needed program, why wait for years to put it into effect? And if the public is going to benefit from this, why not let them experience those benefits before the next Presidential election?

Posted by: snowbama | September 8, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I feel like half the east Coast has got one cold or another: there's the head ache and squeaky voice cold, the congested head and chest cough until your sides ache cold, and the head ache with a fever feeling exhausted cold. Yer pick. My house has had the 2nd one, we're enjoying the 1st one and figuring now that school has started we'll all get the 3rd one.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | September 8, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

After the President’s speech, Jr. High and High School students are encouraged to contemplate “What inspired you about President Obama’s speech?,” and “what lines or phrases from the President’s speech resonate with you?” Again, the line of questioning is not so much about the importance of education, as it is all about Barack.

The Obama Administration seems infatuated with the man, the person, the persona of Barack Obama. The central idea of the Obama Administration seems to be Barack Obama himself. And this obsession with one human individual is highly offensive to many of us.

me, me, me. I, I, I. stand by for more.

Posted by: snowbama | September 8, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

mikeinmidland:

Now, only if Obama were legally President.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse


Some parents threatened to keep their children out of school to avoid hearing the speech. But after reading the advance text, the Florida GOP chairman, who last week accused the president of trying to "indoctrinate America's children to his socialist agenda," said he had no problem with letting his children watch.
"It's a good speech," the official, Jim Greer, said Monday. "It encourages kids to stay in school and the importance of education, and I think that's what a president should do."

I guess not ALL conservatives are idiots.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 8, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Considering that BIDEN is legally Acting President, I would pick Jill over Michelle.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I always thought Laura was the smartest Bush in the 43 White House.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 8, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Back on the topic re: Michelle Obama (which is "How she got so "jacked") why can't she get rid of that caboose?

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

yes, anyone who thinks giving taxpayer money as subsidies to agribusiness is certainly an elitist.

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

'The typically reserved former first lady defended Obama's decision to deliver a back-to-school speech to students, putting her at odds with many conservatives afraid that the president will use the opportunity to advance his political agenda.

"I think he is [doing a good job]," Bush said when asked to assess Obama's job performance. "I think he has got a lot on his plate, and he has tackled a lot to start with, and that has probably made it more difficult."

Michelle Obama is also "doing great," she said."

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Somehow I can't see a political platform whose main slogan is "End cheap food!" appealing to anyone but a few misbegotten elitists too clueless to be able to get ahead in the private marketplace.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | September 8, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

drindl:

Seriously, I think that something along the lines of DemocraticUnderground.com would be more your speed.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

LOL!!! All eight terrorists remain in jail -- 4 were convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, 1 was found not guilty of conspiracy to blow up the aircraft specifically but could face a retrial on the more general conspiracy to murder charge too -- the eighth defendant, Muslim convert Donald Stewart-Whyte, was found not guilty on the terrorism charges but ha s already pleaded guilty to a firearms offence -- but that means "released" (in liberal la-la land ; )

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article6824884.ece

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

mike-- yes that's right. becvause of cheney's fumbling, 8 terrorists were released.

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

drindl:

Thank you for joining the chorus denouncing such speeches to schoochildren [SIC].

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

"In November 1988, President Ronald Reagan delivered more politically charged remarks that were made available to students nationwide. Among other things, Reagan called taxes "such a penalty on people that there's no incentive for them to prosper ... because they have to give so much to the government."

Talk about politicizing a speech to schoolchildren. No president was ever more propagandist than Reagan, preaching his Mammon worship to children.

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

drindl: what was not stated in your clip was that several other conspirators (8 all together) were NOT convicted. I believe they were convicted earlier, along with these 3, of conspiracy to commit murder.

They didn't have enough evidence to convict the others of terrorism. If they'd had time for more surveillance....

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 8, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

New thread about the political fallout of Obamacare (no elongated tangents needed):

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/most-important-number/the-most-important-number-in-p-27.html

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

ModerateVoter:

Good points.

P.S. to drindl and mikeinmidland: careful with the "immature" LOLs.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, the "Kennedy" era in the Senate should end. Get some new blood in there. There is no way whoever follows Ted can compare and the media will make those comparisions. It will be much worse if your last name is Kennedy.

Posted by: ModerateVoter | September 8, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

That too, mike.

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

That's right, AndyR3, you (annd mikeinmidland, bourassa1, koolkat_1960, and DDAWD) are supposed to be FLEEING THE SEWAGE, not posting more of it. Just wait until GoldAndTanzanite (fka chrisfox8) shows up and takes a dump.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Nice little story just came out on how cheney 'kept us safe' --LOL.

"Yesterday, following “one of the most complex and costliest criminal investigations since the Second World War,” British police were finally able to convict three men of plotting to blow up a series of transatlantic airplanes in a planned terrorist attack that would have potentially been “three times more deadly than the 9/11 attacks.” Today, British intelligence officials are saying that former Vice President Dick Cheney “nearly destroyed” efforts to bring the bomb plotters to justice by ordering the arrest of a suspect before all the evidence was gathered:

Dick Cheney, the former US Vice President, nearly destroyed Britain’s efforts to bring the airline bomb plotters to justice, police and intelligence experts said today.

By ordering the early arrest of Rashid Rauf, the bombers’ link man in Pakistan, Washington forced British police to detain the suspects in the UK before all the evidence had been gathered, it was claimed.

Andy Hayman, who served as the Metropolitan Police’s Assistant Commissioner Specialist Operations while the terror attacks were being planned, writes today of the Cheney-ordered arrest of Rauf, “[It] hampered our evidence-gathering and placed us in Britain under intolerable pressure.”

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I believe "dining room table" is the inanimate object du jour.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 8, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

... or Terry Shiavo.

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

'Conservatives' would be hilarious if they lived somewhere else. Mars, perhaps.

Good post, bourassa.

I'm looking for another discussion board myself, koolkat. Know any good ones?

Andy, don't bother talking to the troll. You might as well try to converse with a doorknob, or cabbage.

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I'll co-sign the tangent. :)

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 8, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

AndyR3:

Indeed, that's quite a tangent.

drindl:

Are you similarly upset about chrisfox8 posting as "Cheopys" and "GoldAndTanzanite" after being banned too?

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

The initial lesson plan wasn't my only objection.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Blarg
"Laws that protect the rights of the animals and require factory farms to pay for their environmental damage would correct the artificially low price of fast-food meat far more than just cutting corn subsidies would."

Those stockyards can do what they do because corn is so cheap and used as a feed for those cattle. That is also true fo Alfalfa and other feed that is used to bulk up cattle.
If you eliminated the subsidies on corn and other feed then stockyards would not be economically viable since it would be cheaper to just let the cows graze like they are supposed to do. I just don't think that make new regulations to fix the problems created by old regulations is as efficient as just getting rid of the old regulations.

And Jake, this is tied to the post since the idea that cheaper food has made our country less healthy and therefore made our healthcare more expensive, and since the Mass legislature might change the law to have someone seated sooner than the special election to pass healthcare legislation. Tangent connected:)

Posted by: AndyR3 | September 8, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

mikeinmidland:

I'm not even going to get into "man date" (we'll have to see first if there are any reprisals against districts / students who opt out ; )

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse


Of course lots of schools all over the country are not showing the speech. After all, it was just an INVITATION from the Dept. of Education, and NOT a MANDATE.

No mandate? Oops!
No political verbage in the speech? Oops!

Let's remind everyone about one suggested activity in the first draft of a SUGGESTED lesson plan that teachers could use in conjunction with the OPTIONAL speech.

Conservatives are hilarious. ROTFLMAO!!!

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 8, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

"...expected to take a shot at the world's greatest deliberative body"

Why is it the world's greatest deliberative body? Is it because - let me guess - it's part of the Greatest Country on Earth (TM)? Arrogance comes so naturally to you people.

The US Congress is famously corrupt, its members are in the pockets of lobbyists and work for corporate masters, whom they even permit to write the actual legislation. Congress is mired in silly games, and has been stuck in neutral and for decades, unable to make decisions even when there's a supermajority. In fact the only time in recent years when it took decisive bipartisan action was when it made the idiotic decision to invade Iraq, rolling over for an executive that lied to it.

Congress is the home of childish hyperbole (ie "death panels"), of showboating (ie Terry Schiavo), and of ignorance (ie the intelligence committee chairman who said Al Qaeda was Shiite). In fact Congressional Quarterly magazine has quizzed these people and found them routinely lacking the most basic general knowledge essential to their jobs.

The US congress is based partly on Britain's parliament, with the exception that in Congress, you can inherit seats in both the upper and lower houses. In fact, this very article is about congressional nepotism. Will Kennedy take Kennedy's seat? No, he doesn't want it, so now other people can think about taking it. So that's the world's greatest deliberative body?

Posted by: bourassa1 | September 8, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

"LOL"? "Have a cow"?

For an alleged 71-year-old cum laude graduate of Stanford Law School, joked is the most immature creature I have ever seen in my life.

Thanks to him and zook, I mean snowbama, this board is basically ruined. Hope you're happy, Chris.

BTW, the speech will be made available to teachers in Loudoun County. The powers that be came to their senses and rightwingnuts lose!

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | September 8, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

"If Big Macs were taxed like cigarettes, and that money used to pay for health care we'd be a much healthier country for it.

Posted by: drindl"

I like the soda idea even more. In aggregate, it's probably more harmful than big macs.

Posted by: DDAWD | September 8, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Welcome back, CC. Notice that your blog has been taken over by 'kingofzouk', whom you banned, who is now back as 'snobama' and JakeD?

As you can see, everyone else has fled the sewage.

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

What is funny is that some CHICAGO schools are not carrying Obama's speech:

http://cbs2chicago.com/local/obama.education.speech.2.1169625.html

LOL!!!

Keep in mind that the controversy also involved the initial lesson plan created by the Education Department to accompany the address. The plan recommended that students draft letters discussing "what they can do to help" Obama -- very general and not tied into schooling at all -- the letters "would be collected and redistributed at an appropriate later date by the teacher to make students accountable to their goals," the plan stated. Can you imagine what the libs would have said if GWB had done the same thing?

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

the proletariat must lead the way for the rest of you. Once everything is set, we may consider giving it back and living by the rules. Until then, you pay the taxes.

Posted by: snowbama | September 8, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

snowbama:

Classic case of "Do as I say, not as I Do".

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

No lobbyists, Obama thundered during the campaign — not one! — would serve in his administration. Impending legislation would appear on government web sites for the people’s perusal. White House logs would be available from Day One to enlighten the voters about who did and did not enter the people’s house.

Cabinet nominees and officials would be beyond ethical reproach. Speaker Pelosi would “drain the swamp,” end the “culture of corruption,” and ensure the “the most ethical Congress ever.” There would be no more plants at news conference; no staged questions from administration hacks; no serial presidential addresses hogging the airways at prime time; no constant press conferences of a media-hungry president; no direct talks to school kids on state television screens.

Barack Obama, you see, had felt the pulse of the people. He was an old-pro community organizer, a street-savvy politician who had encouraged dissent and vocal protest.

But then President Obama appointed lobbyists. For months he forgot all about the White House logs and websites. His cabinet nominees had strange habits, such as not paying their taxes despite advocating higher rates for everyone else. Obama’s face was everywhere; he held more press conferences in eight months than did Bush in eight years. Questions and questioners were on occasion planted or staged.

The community organizing and protests of others now became regrettable, even unpatriotic. Criticism of the establishment was the work of brownshirts, mobs, Nazis, and the selfish, who had no moral or religious concern about the health of others and were envious of the success of their president. Insurance companies wanted even more astronomical profits. Doctors were greedy and took out tonsils needlessly for profit. Surgeons rushed to lop off diabetics’ limbs for princely sums of $50,000 and more.

The new town-hallers and tea-partiers who went to meetings and press conferences and protested their government were not Chicago-style hoi polloi, but counterrevolutionaries or insurance toadies who feared real reformers. The dissidents were, of course, also racists. These inauthentic Astroturfers simply could not tolerate a black president and so, like the doomed dinosaurs, they mindlessly bellowed out at the new landscape that they could not live within.

Once upon a time the people deluded themselves into thinking a suave extremist was to be their nuts-and-bolts centrist. Now they don’t know whether to be mad at him or themselves — or both.


No do-overs.

Posted by: snowbama | September 8, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

But soon the people got the attorney general of the United States calling them racial cowards and dismissing voter-intimidation suits against club-wielding Black Panthers who had swarmed voting booths. Cambridge police were relegated to Neanderthal profilers who stereotyped the innocent, such as Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates. Environment czar Van Jones warned of white conspiracies to pollute the ghetto and bragged that blacks, unlike whites, did not go on public-school shooting sprees. The nation’s most powerful politicians, like House Ways and Means chairman Charlie Rangel and New York governor David Paterson, for some strange reason, were suddenly victims of racial bias, which alone explained their travails. All this was not supposed to happen in the age of Obama.

Bush trampled on the Constitution, Candidate Obama alleged. Without a major terrorist attack against the homeland in seven years, the voters had the luxury to consider those charges. They seemed to agree that Bush and Cheney were nearly as much a threat to our freedoms as was Osama bin Laden.

But soon President Obama read the classified intelligence briefings. Suddenly military tribunals, renditions, the PATRIOT Act, Predator assassinations, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were not just Bush conspiracies after all, but serious, necessary tools of American overseas contingency operations to thwart real man-caused disasters. The media, Hollywood, and the intelligentsia agreed, and thus Code Pink, Michael Moore, and a screaming Al Gore either quieted down or dropped out the news.


find the facts on fox. go to the MSM if you want my side.

Posted by: snowbama | September 8, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

"Laws that protect the rights of the animals and require factory farms to pay for their environmental damage would correct the artificially low price of fast-food meat far more than just cutting corn subsidies would."

Excellent idea, blarg. A combo of the 3 would work wonders.

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I must have missed where fast-food and crop subsidies are part of today's topics. Must be too difficult to accept that Van Jones resigned, Glen Beck remains, and "momentum" is on the side of Republicans right now. LOL!!!

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

AndyR3: I agree that government policy makes fast food cheap, but I don't think you should put all the blame on crop subsidies.

Fast-food meat comes from factory farms, huge feedlots designed to output animal protein as quickly and cheaply as possible. These factory farms are horrible for the environment, for the animals, and for people who eat the antibiotic-filled and unhealthy meat products. Laws that protect the rights of the animals and require factory farms to pay for their environmental damage would correct the artificially low price of fast-food meat far more than just cutting corn subsidies would.

Posted by: Blarg | September 8, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I agree, drindl, no child should be FORCED to listen to anything this awful. Did you see that the DEMOCRATS held hearings when Bush did it?

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

The Post, with deadpan delivery, explains: “Clearly, the recess did not go as scripted for House Democrats.” That’s one way of putting it.

And now many House members, already burned by the unpopular cap-and-trade vote, aren’t anxious to vote before the Senate does. The Senate can’t decide whether to include the public option. The liberals are threatening not to vote for a bill without the public option, but no one believes them.

And the solution to this is another prime-time address by Obama? Hmm. I suppose it beats the alternative, which for Obama is to finally govern — tell his side what they can’t have, talk to the opposition and find out what they need, and maybe take the advice of the vast majority of conservatives and many moderates who are suggesting he downsize his ambitions. Nah. Another speech. That’ll do the trick.

but this is the most important speech of my entire life. Really, I mean it this time.

Posted by: snowbama | September 8, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I used to be beat by Palin on facebook. Now glenn beck on fox is beating me too. I am beginning to feel like Catie Couric.

I will be taking an extended leave soon to run for my next position somewhere. when all those pundits said I had no experience and would be tested, they were right.

Posted by: snowbama | September 8, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I don't want to make fast food cheaper, andy, but more expensive. But I certainly agree with you that farm subsidies should be abandoned altogether. Horrible idea, since they goes almost entirely to megaproducers, rather than family farms. Direct transfer of wealth from middle-class taxpayers to corporations.

The biggest culprit is corn which is used overwhelmingly to produce corn sweetener, one of the worst contributers to obesity.

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Remember my peeps, the rules are not for US:

But when President George H.W. Bush delivered a similar speech on October 1, 1991, from Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington DC, the controversy was just beginning. Democrats, then the majority party in Congress, not only denounced Bush's speech -- they also ordered the General Accounting Office to investigate its production and later summoned top Bush administration officials to Capitol Hill for an extensive hearing on the issue.

Unlike the Obama speech, in 1991 most of the controversy came after, not before, the president's school appearance. The day after Bush spoke, the Washington Post published a front-page story suggesting the speech was carefully staged for the president's political benefit. "The White House turned a Northwest Washington junior high classroom into a television studio and its students into props," the Post reported.

With the Post article in hand, Democrats pounced. "The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the president, it should be helping us to produce smarter students," said Richard Gephardt, then the House Majority Leader. "And the president should be doing more about education than saying, 'Lights, camera, action.'"

Democrats did not stop with words. Rep. William Ford, then chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, ordered the General Accounting Office to investigate the cost and legality of Bush's appearance. On October 17, 1991, Ford summoned then-Education Secretary Lamar Alexander and other top Bush administration officials to testify at a hearing devoted to the speech. "The hearing this morning is to really examine the expenditure of $26,750 of the Department of Education funds to produce and televise an appearance by President Bush at Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington, DC," Ford began. "As the chairman of the committee charged with the authorization and implementation of education programs, I am very much interested in the justification, rationale for giving the White House scarce education funds to produce a media event."

Posted by: snowbama | September 8, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Drindl,
If you want fast-food to be cheaper then you don't need to tax it like ciggarettes we need to cut farm subsidies that make food artificially cheap. Milk should be 6-7 dollars a gallon, which would make cheese more expensive. Ground beef shouldn't cost 4 bucks a pound it should be 6-7 dollars a pound. Chicken should be 10 dollars a pound not 5. Wheat is heavily subsidized, as are tomatoes and potatoes.
However, you don't see the same level of subsidies for things like green beans, or radishes, or kale etc since they are not usually grown on Megafarms.

Now ask yourself what do they serve at McDs?

Not to mention the fact that corn oil probably costs 1/4 of what it should due to subsidies to iowan farmers, or the fact that we SUBSIDIZE tobacco farmers to then turn around and tax ciggarettes.

Also if you ask small farmers they will say the biggest expense and worry that they have is, you guessed it, Healthcare. We could take away farm subsidies and give farmers free healthcare and fix two birds with one stone.

Posted by: AndyR3 | September 8, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Here's the terrifying presidential speech rightwingers fear will damage their children -- horrors!

http://www.whitehouse.gov/MediaResources/PreparedSchoolRemarks/

"So I know some of you are still adjusting to being back at school. But I’m here today because I have something important to discuss with you. I’m here because I want to talk with you about your education and what’s expected of all of you in this new school year.

Now I’ve given a lot of speeches about education. And I’ve talked a lot about responsibility.

I’ve talked about your teachers’ responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.

I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.
I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t working where students aren’t getting the opportunities they deserve.

But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.
And that’s what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself. "

No child should be forced to listen to anything this awful.

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

yeswiican:

I have no problem with that excerpt (assuming that Obama was a "natural born" citizen ; )

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

yeswiican states:

The guy keeps touting his Massachusetts health care--let's see him go to the Senate and vote down health care for the rest of us. Or vote with Obama. That would be a fun choice for ol' Mitt!

It would be fun to watch Mitt's head spin. Actually when Mitt was running for Prez he not only ran away from the state of MA. and openly mocked it's residents but he ran away from his health care plan that he now embraces. Talk about flip flops!

BTW Mass. now has the the lowest rate of uninsured, 2.3% in the U.S. It also has the lowest divorce rate, lowest child poverty stats, lowest crime rates, best educational outcomes. Sucessionist nutjobs like Perry and Palin ought to be envious.

Posted by: MerrillFrank | September 8, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

"This fits the notion of Austin as a healthy city in a fat state, but I saw enough avoirdupois at the water park to make me think health care reform is a mountain to climb for the American people."

I see the same thing everytime I go to a rural area. Part of the problem is the way food prices are structured. Fatty fast food is cheap -- healthy fresh food is expensive.

If Big Macs were taxed like cigarettes, and that money used to pay for health care we'd be a much healthier country for it.

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

URGENT TO PRESIDENT OBAMA/WH STAFF: "First, Do No Harm"

COVERT USE OF MICROWAVE/LASER RADIATION 'DIRECTED ENERGY WEAPONS' ON U.S. CITIZENS MAKES HEALTH CARE REFORM A CRUEL JOKE

Access to health care doesn't help untold thousands of unjustly targeted Americans recover from the devastating physiological effects of being silently irradiated by microwave and laser radiation "directed energy weapons"...

...the weaponization of the electromagnetic spectrum, a silent "final solution" that may have the nation's political leadership in its ideological cross-hairs.

This technology is capable of altering moods, emotions, inducing fatigue, weakness, exhaustion, confusion, life-altering injury, disease and a slow-kill death.

And key elements of the Obama administration -- chief among them the defense/security/intel establishment -- are proliferating these technologies by various modalities -- from hand-held weaponry to satellite and terrestrial cell tower based delivery systems.

American citizens and families targeted by this covert torture matrix also are subject to financial sabotage that decimates their livelihoods and financial resources...

...and relentless "community stalking" -- harassment, surreptitious home entries and vandalism by government-enabled vigilantes affiliated with federally funded community policing and anti-terrorism organizations.

Warrantless, covert placement of GPS tracking devices and misuse of cell phone technology to hunt down the unjustly targeted enables this grassroots terrorism.

But the Obama administration continues to allow these warrantless intrusions into the lives of unjustly targeted American families.

By its naivete -- its unquestioning rubber-stamp approval of the deployment of these destructive technologies and programs -- the Obama administration is presiding over the destruction of democracy, the rule of law, and personal liberty.

The bureaucratic saboteurs and Dr. Strangeloves behind these multi-agency crimes against humanity and the Constitution must be removed from power, immediately, before this silent genocide claims more victims -- endangering the Obama presidency while making a mockery of the rule of law.

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america
http://nowpublic.com/world/domestic-torture-radiation-weaponry-americas-horrific-shame

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | September 8, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Here's the "indoctrination" speech.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/MediaResources/PreparedSchoolRemarks/

I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don’t let us down – don’t let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.
--------
It's at 12 eastern. Too bad you can't tell time.

Posted by: yeswiican | September 8, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Romney would be an ironic pick, given that they changed the law when Kerry ran for President in order to PREVENT Romney from naming an interim Senator. Too bad you can't tell the difference between State and federal powers.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

T-minus 1 hour until Obama public schoochildren [SIC] indoctrination -- I'm surprised that our gracious host didn't comment -- I wonder how many school districts decided not to carry it live / will face retribution? Maybe they should have had "opt out" as the default.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

No more about who Patrick might appoint for the interim position? The leg. is going to meet tomorrow and it looks like they'll modify the law pretty quickly.

If no Kennedys are going to run, I'd be very surprised if any of them would accept the temporary seat. I've heard Dukakis mentioned, but what about a more-recent ex-guv??

Patrick should appoint Romney. Seriously. The guy keeps touting his Massachusetts health care--let's see him go to the Senate and vote down health care for the rest of us. Or vote with Obama. That would be a fun choice for ol' Mitt!

Posted by: yeswiican | September 8, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

mark-in-austin: I skipped over the health-care q&a as I read the article, since I figured I knew it. Based on your rec I went and looked it over. Thanks.

I didn't learn anything, but I agree it is a well-written and even-handed piece. I wish WaPo and everyone else with a voice had been doing more of this and less sensationalism all along.

and welcome back, cc!

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 8, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Interesting story on Michele Obama getting "jacked". As for Best State votes, here in Caliifornia, Jon Fleischman at www.flashreport.com and Chris Reed from the San Diego Union-Tribune are the top two.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

It would be a shame if a raging cannabis hater (alcohol supremacist) like Coakley got to represent Massachusetts.

Posted by: newageblues | September 8, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Oh no, drindl is going to have a cow re: GOP momentum. Here come the fireworks.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I'm relieved that Joe Kennedy is out of the race. I hoped that MA voters would see past his name and vote for a more deserving candidate, but now I don't have to worry about it.

I disagree that Coakley's position as Attorney General gives her an advantage. It's technically a statewide office, but it's a low-profile one. I doubt that her one term as Attorney General gives her more name recognition than long-time Representatives like Lynch and Capuano. Being the only woman in the race is an advantage, though.

Posted by: Blarg | September 8, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

More talk about health care reform, even though an expansion of our Standard Model is all that is on the table (a re-hash of public funding for high risk carve outs and profiteering available to companies willing to "compete" to service the low risk pools).

As long as people don't mind paying firefighters to deliver in-home primary care services to indigent citizens, we won't have reform. Its the economy, again, its about who gets paid to do what. The incentives are backwards so we will pay and pay. The Health Care economy will replace the Service Economy. I hope my little boys get into medical school.

Posted by: shrink2 | September 8, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Even with Joe out, I'd be surprised if more than two of these congressmen enter the race. They've got to know that diluting the field will make Coakley stand out more. Sounds like Lynch is serious but seriously flawed. Room for one more, but not 3.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 8, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Lynch isn't likely to beat Coakley for the Senate seat. His base base of support is too narrow. Markey could take her, though.

It's also time to update the Governors Line. It's two months old, now.

In case you missed it, the Republican governor of Vermont, Jim Douglas, has announced he's not running for re-election in 2010. Not that it matters much to the rest of the country, but this makes the governorship an almost certain pickup for the Democrats. It's likely Douglas would have lost anyway, given that the Dems finally have some credible candidates running, so he may be retiring from the field so he can run for the Senate later without Vermonters remembering his last campaign as a losing one.

Posted by: Gallenod | September 8, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Mark, That is why when Perry secedes Texas we still would like to keep Austin in the Union. Kind of like Berlin after the fall of the iron curtain.

Welcome back CC,

I don't think that anyone should count out Micheal Capuano in the Mass special election. If he can tap into the Obama grassroots orginization (and he is the best positioned to do it) then he could make a race out of it. Lynch doesn't stand a chance, I mean heck the Republicans in Mass are pro-choice (just ask Romney). Also Capuano is relatively young and is considered to be a very good congressman by the people who live in his district, which is a mix of the Harvard Academic community and the very blue collar Somerville folks.

Posted by: AndyR3 | September 8, 2009 8:15 AM | Report abuse

concerning the GOPer who is going to run for gov of Iowa, saying he will cancel the samesex marriage bill till the voters get a chance. What a waste of money!! the court will uphold the samesex marriage law, cause it's discrimination against gays not to, and a majority of voters can not vote to discriminate against a minority. How many times does this have to be said, taken to court, etc... before conservatives quit trotting this old chesnut out for elections? Get with the 21st century, GOP, or risk being left behind.

Posted by: katem1 | September 8, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

concerning the GOPer who is going to run for gov of Iowa, saying he will cancel the samesex marriage bill till the voters get a chance. What a waste of money!! the court will uphold the samesex marriage law, cause it's discrimination against gays not to, and a majority of voters can not vote to discriminate against a minority. How many times does this have to be said, taken to court, etc... before conservatives quit trotting this old chesnut out for elections? Get with the 21st century, GOP, or risk being left behind.

Posted by: katem1 | September 8, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Welcome back, CC.

The second "Fix Pick", The link to 8 Q&As about health care reform, is good of its kind, and in order to call more attention to it for the many who have questions I am re-posting it here.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/8-questions/index.html

Thanks.

I hope all of you have had a safe and friendly weekend.
I took out of town family to Schlitterbahn, a water park
25 mi north of San Antonio. I had never been. When I was in my 20s and early 30s I tubed on the Comal R. This giant crowded water park that is very popular ruins the river for an old timer like me. I was stunned by the number of obese people in swim suits. I do not remember so many fat thirty-somethings. I even saw young men of South Asian [Pakistani or Muslim Indian] extraction who were fat. That night we were back in Austin at a big HEB shopping for food and noticed only one overly rotund man. This fits the notion of Austin as a healthy city in a fat state, but I saw enough avoirdupois at the water park to make me think health care reform is a mountain to climb for the American people.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | September 8, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

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