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Morning Fix: Specter vs. Sestak Heats Up

Sen. Arlen Specter (right) is ramping up the rhetoric against Rep. Joe Sestak (left) in their 2010 primary fight in Pennsylvania. Photos by Karen Bleier of AFP/Getty Images and George Widman of AP

Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter has ended his silence in his Democratic primary fight against Rep. Joe Sestak, repeatedly ripping the challenger for his spotty voting record as a private citizen and a series of missed votes in Congress.

The latest hit from Specter comes in the form of a Web video released by his campaign on Monday; "Who has the worst voting record in Pennsylvania?" asks the ad's narrator.

Prior to the release of the new Web ad, Specter spent the better part of the last week hammering Sestak on the fact that he did not vote much of the three decades before deciding to run for Congress.

"Senator Specter is running for reelection to the Senate but is still doing his day job," said Specter campaign manager Chris Nicholas. "Sestak is running for the Senate and not doing his day job."

Why has Specter raised the volume so high after months of silence on Sestak? "He's been attacking the Senator for nine or ten weeks," explained Nicholas, who added that the incumbent decided of late to make sure Sestak knows he is "not going to get a free ride."

Sestak sees Specter's increased willingness to attack him as evidence that the Republican-turned-Democratic senator still hasn't given up the "swift boat tactics" that "destroyed [former Georgia senator] Max Cleland and [Massachusetts Sen.] John Kerry."

Sestak is not, however, a bystander in the back and forth. His campaign issued a release Monday bashing Specter for the way he handled himself during the confirmation hearings of judge Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court.

"Arlen Specter has announced he will vote for Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination -- but only after giving the first Latina nominee to the Supreme Court a worse grilling than his Republican colleagues," reads the release.

Two things are clear from Specter's stepped-up criticism of his primary rival.

First, Specter, a savvy politician, knows that he cannot let Sestak tour the state taking shots at his Democratic bona fides at every stop. A party-switcher is always vulnerable to the charge that he is, in reality, a wolf in sheep's clothing, and Sestak is working hard to raise doubts in voters' minds about whether Specter is really a Democrat.

Second, Specter may have changed parties but his hard-edged approach to campaigns, which won him the nickname "Snarlin' Arlen" and has kept him in the Senate for five terms as a Republican in Democratic-leaning Pennsylvania, remains intact.

Unlike some of Specter's past opponents, however, Sestak seems more than willing to mix it up. "I can take a punch," he promised.

The next year (or so) will put that vow to the test.

Tuesday's Fix Picks: Vote today on the next inductee for Fix Political Hall of Fame.

1. Milbank on Steele.
2. Sheila Johnson endorses Bob McDonnell.
3. A budget deal is reached in California.
4. Slate's Jacob Weisberg on the future of journalism.
5. MCA has cancer.

Senate Committees Report Fundraising: The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee nearly doubled the fundraising numbers of its Republican counterpart in June, increasing its cash edge six months into the 2010 election cycle. The DSCC collected $6.2 million in June -- thanks to a major assist from President Obama -- and ended the month with $7.9 million in the bank. The National Republican Senatorial Committee raised $3.4 million in June and closed the month with $4.3 million on hand. The NRSC did not carry any debt, however, while the DSCC is still sitting on $3.7 million in arrears (although the committee has paid off more than $9 million since the 2008 election). With cost-prohibitive states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and Missouri all hosting competitive Senate races next fall, Senate Republicans must find a way to stay within shouting distance of their Democratic counterparts. In the 2008 election cycle, Republicans were badly outspent in nearly every race in the country, a significant factor in the eight-seat pickup for Democrats.

Click It!: The American Health Insurance Providers (AHIP) -- a.k.a. the health insurance industry -- is up with a seven-figure ad buy in the D.C. media market urging lawmakers to "fix" (a blatant ploy to curry favor with this blog) the broken health care system. The ad, which sources familiar with AHIP paint as the leading edge of a broader advertising effort on the legislation, calls for an incremental approach on health care; the narrator intones -- "We're America's health insurance companies . . . supporting bipartisan reforms that Congress can build on."

A Good Monday For Senate Republicans: Senate Republicans started the week off on the right foot as Rep. Mark Kirk formalized his plans to run for the Senate in Illinois and New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte formally filed papers to run for the Senate in the Granite State. Kirk and Ayotte are two "A" level recruits for Senate Republicans, joining Florida Gov. Charlie Crist in that category. If Senate Republicans can land Rep. Mike Castle in Delaware, they will have the foundation for their best recruiting class since 2004.

Snyder Enters the Fray: Businessman Rick Snyder will enter the already crowded Republican primary race for governor of Michigan today, casting himself as an outsider to the politics that have brought the state's economy to its knees. Snyder, a former president of Gateway computers, will declare the Michigan economy a "disaster" and blame "career politicians in Lansing" for having failed the people, according to remarks obtained by the Fix. Snyder will cast himself as an entrepreneur who has spent much of his life building successful business. Snyder will make his formal announcement today in Dearborn and then embark on a five-day RV tour of the state. His messaging seems to be a combination of the populism of Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) and the business know-how of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R). It's not yet clear whether that message -- coupled with Snyder's personal wealth -- will be enough to distinguish him in a field crowded with well known pols including Attorney General Mike Cox, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard and Rep. Pete Hoekstra.

Chu Makes Energy Cool: Preparing for the battle to come over cap and trade legislation that has passed the House but remains a tough sell in the Senate, Energy Secretary Steven Chu is launching his own Facebook, You Tube and Flickr sites today to highlight the "Obama Administration's work to ensure America's leadership in building a clean energy economy," according to a release set to go out today. It's not exactly a squirrel on water skis or a guy dancing around to unveil a new t-shirt but it's not bad.

Say What?: "It was like saying n--r to a Puerto Rican." -- New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney, using the full racial slur and trying, unsuccessfully, to take a shot at appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 21, 2009; 5:05 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Next: Mouthpiece Theater: Pay to Play


Penn is going to be an interesting place in 2010. Best Senate primary of the year: Sestak vs. Specter. Then we either get a Specter/Toomey grudge match or a Sestake/Toomey barn burner.

Pass the popcorn!


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 21, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Either way, it is Democrats who will be deciding on the next Senator from PA, while the GOP wanders off by itself to decide who is most pure among the dwindling band of true believers.

Posted by: nodebris | July 21, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

"And of course Get well soon MCA!"

Amen. I read about it on the plane over someone's shoulder earlier today. It doesn't seem too bad, but we'll see. Hopefully the spread won't turn out to be bad and it can be cured.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 21, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse


As I indicated yesterday, that was a MEAN ad, but as people are fond of saying, 'politics ain't beanbag'.

Having a weakness for the underdog (one of my favourite books is 'The Nobility of Failure' by Ivan Morris), I'm rather rooting for Sestak--a David against the Philistines ranged against him, and I'm glad he can 'take a punch'.

After all, except for the novelty-value, wasn't President Obama in a similar position 18 months ago?

Posted by: sverigegrabb | July 21, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I hope Sestak wins and boots out this DINOsaur.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 21, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

PERSONAL TO: mascmen7 @ 1:13 p.m.

Your post, below, underscores why Specter may opt to retire and write that blockbuster political memoir.

Those who have observed Specter up close have perceived his inner torment.

Prediction: He'll come clean if only to bring peace to his tortured soul...

...and to restore faith in American democracy -- a faith which, for many of my generation, was shattered on Nov. 22, 1963. RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 21, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Specter is no more a Democrat than Mayor Bloomberg here in NYC is a Republican. Anyone who thinks he is going to support the Dems after the election is fooling themselves.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | July 21, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Arlen Specter is the creator of the magic bullet theory in the JFK assassination probe in which one bullet changed direction several times and hit several people. His frantic assertions were a successful attempt to ignore the two shots by Lucien Sarti, a Marseille hitman hired by CIA via Sam Giancana. Sarti was behind the picket fence with a .223 weapon with mercury bullets that explode when they hit body. Sarti escaped to Mexico City via bus but other 3 hitmen from Marseille were flown by David Ferrie to a Maryland safe house where an Israeli named Bauman killed, dissected them and put them in pots of crabs who ate the bodies. Specters magic bullet has covered up this gruesome story for 46 years. Time to stop the deception per Regicide by Gregory Douglas.

Posted by: mascmen7 | July 21, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Agree, but oddly, the territory isn't even unknown, certainly not like the unique (in scale anyway) in history Government Motors and the TARP mechanisms (Goldman Obama picking winners and losers).

In health care, adversely selected cohorts are already carved out and the slicing and dicing of the risk pools in the profitable realms could not get more complicated than things are already. I mean, who are the people happy with their current programs? As far as I can tell, it is unionized workers and the wealthy and their health care will remain the standard no matter what happens in the reform theaters.

Anyway, I sure hope there is a real battle within the Democratic factions coming up. I want people to have to lay their cards down (vote), something that never happened during the Clintons' effort.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 21, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Then he said, "I shall penalize employers who ship jobs overseas."
And the people said, "Where's my rebate check?"
Then "The One" said, "I shall bankrupt the coal industry and electricity rates will skyrocket!"
And the people said, "Coal is dirty, coal is evil, no more coal! But we don't care for that part about higher electric rates."
So "The One" said, "Not to worry.. If your rebate isn't enough to cover your expenses, we shall bail you out. Just sign up with Acorn and your troubles are over!"
Then He said, "Illegal immigrants feel scorned and slighted. Let's grant them amnesty, Social Security, free education, free lunches, free medical care, bilingual signs and guaranteed housing..."
And the people said, "Hallelujah!!" And they made him King!
And so it came to pass that employers, facing spiraling costs and ever-higher taxes, raised their prices and laid off workers. Others simply gave up and went out of business and the economy sank like unto a rock dropped from a cliff. The banking industry was destroyed. Manufacturing slowed to a crawl. And more of the people were without a means of support.
Then "The One" said, "I am the "The One" - The Messiah - and I'm here to save you! We shall just print more money so everyone will have enough!"
But our foreign trading partners said unto Him, "Wait a minute. Your dollar is not worth a pile of camel dung! You will have to pay more..."
And the people said, "Wait a minute. That is unfair!!"
And the world said, "Neither are these other idiotic programs you have embraced. Lo, you have become a Socialist state and a second-rate power. Now you shall play by our rules!"
And the people cried out, "Alas, alas!! What have we done?"
But yea verily, it was too late. The people set upon "The One" and spat upon him and stoned him, and his name was dung. And the once mighty nation was no more; and the once proud people were without sustenance or shelter or hope. And the Change "The One" had given them was as like unto a poison that had destroyed them and like a whirlwind that consumed all that they had built.
And the people beat their chests in despair and cried out in anguish, "Give us back our nation and our pride and our hope!!" But it was too late, and their homeland was no more.
You may think this is a fairy tale, but it's not.
It's happening RIGHT NOW !

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 21, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

And it came to pass in the Age of Insanity that the people of the land called America , having lost their morals, their initiative, and their will to defend their liberties, chose as their Supreme Leader that person known as "The One".
He emerged from the vapors with a message that had no meaning; but He hypnotized the people telling them, "I am sent to save you. My lack of experience, my questionable ethics, my monstrous ego, and my association with evil doers are of no consequence. For I shall save you with Hope and Change.
Go, therefore, and proclaim throughout the land that he who preceded me is evil, that he has defiled the nation, and that all he has built must be destroyed." And the people rejoiced, for even though they knew not what "The One" would do, he had promised that it was good; and they believed.
And "The One" said "We live in the greatest country in the world. Help me change everything about it!" And the people said, "Hallelujah! Change is good!"
Then He said, "We are going to tax the rich fat-cats."
And the people said "Sock it to them!"
"And redistribute their wealth."
And the people said, "Show us the money!"
And then He said, "Redistribution of wealth is good for everybody"
And Joe the plumber asked, "Are you kidding me? You're going to steal my money and give it to the deadbeats??" And "The One" ridiculed and taunted him, and Joe's personal records were hacked and publicized.
One lone reporter asked, "Isn't that Marxist policy?" And she was banished from the kingdom!
Then a citizen asked, "With no foreign relations experience and having zero military experience or knowledge, how will you deal with radical terrorists?"
And "The One" said, "Simple. I shall sit with them and talk with them and show them how nice we really are; and they will forget that they ever wanted to kill us all!"
And the people said, "Hallelujah!! We are safe at last, and we can beat our weapons into free cars for the people!"
Then "The One" said, "I shall give 95% of you lower taxes."
And one, lone voice said, "But 40% of us don't pay any taxes."
So "The One" said, "Then I shall give you some of the taxes the fat-cats pay!"
And the people said, "Hallelujah!! Show us the money!"
Then "The One" said, "I shall tax your capital gains when you sell your homes!"
And the people yawned and the slumping housing market collapsed.
And He said, "I shall mandate employer- funded health care for every worker and raise the minimum wage.. And I shall give every person unlimited healthcare and medicine and transportation to the clinics."
And the people said, "Give me some of that!"

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 21, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

This primary is truly fascinating. Sestek vs. Specter: The White House vs. Big Labor! Then, you got Toomey as the Republican. Arlen Specter, when he announced he was running for reelection, said he expected challenges from both the right & left. Well, he has it. And oddly enough, the White House is supporting Specter (the center). Sestek will be formidable here & give Specter a great run. I still don't think Toomey has much of a shot to win. He is well funded and will fight hard, as will Sestek, but I give the edge to Specter once again.

Posted by: reason5 | July 21, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

In another example of Barack Obama's appeal diminishing with the public, the White House was forced to reschedule Wednesday's press conference to 8PM from 9PM as NBC didn't want its summer hit "America's Got Talent" to be pre-empted. Appearing on Wednesday's program will be an interview with "Britain's Got Talent's" Susan Boyle (Snip) Makes one wonder how the folks on the far-left will blame this on former President Bush.

We see the pecking order now. the dude who promised 8% is on the outs.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 21, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Well, shrink, yes, to a large extent. I think we can't give up though, but must continue to fight for real campaign finance reform, and to talk about it what really goes on.

We won a big one by blocking privatization of SS -- and I'm sure that was because seniors got scared [as they should have] and called their reps en masse.

If we could achieve the same level of involvement with healthcare, our voices as a group would be loud enough to scare legislators into doing the right thing.

The problem is, people want change but they are afraid of it at the same time. It's much easier to win a fight that involves no change [SS] than one that requires entering unknown territory.

It's easy for the rightwingers to demogogue this now -- people are scared about everything to begin with.

Posted by: drindl | July 21, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

"Rahm Emmanuel is the guy to watch should that battle happen."

For sure true. The battle better happen.
Democracy requires partisanship.

If drindl is correct (she may be, obviously), then there is no point in caring about politics, just like there is no point in individual citizens caring in any other one party, crony capitalist state, like China, Iran, Vietnam, Russia, former Soviet Xstan countries, all Arab countries, most African countries and etc.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 21, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse


Well, I spoke too soon, re: Team Obama's "outing" of the (public's dime?) trolls.

The revolution has been postponed.

cc: Roslyn Mazer, IG, Office of DNI

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 21, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

The Blue Dogs are going to kill it in the end, bsimon. the corporations know who is buyable and they are busy buying them right now.

In the end, the american people will get nothing.

Obama will try gallantly I'm sure, but as always, money will win.

And It isn't even partisan, it is simply the result of this out of control campaign system, money strangling democracy.

Here's who's bought in the Senate:

Senator Wyden - $1.2 million

Senator Nelson - $1 million

Senator Landrieu - $1.3 million

Senator Specter - $4 million

Senator Feinstein - $1.4 million

Senator Baucus - $3 million

Now watch how they vote.

Posted by: drindl | July 21, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

shrink2 writes
"It looks to me as if Barak Obama and Nancy Pelosi are due for a fight. He has a good rope a dope going with her. She thinks she is the boss; he has "lost" to her in some areas that do not matter...too much anyway.
But now, with the health care thing, he can not let Congress embarrass him. It is too big, it is 20% of the economy and growing."

Rahm Emmanuel is the guy to watch should that battle happen.

The WH challenge will partly be with calling the shots in the House, and partly with avoiding a filibuster in the Senate. Yes, they have 60 votes, but a number of those are blue dog votes; the Dems have never shown the kind of party discipline the GOP exercises, so the WH has some politicking to do in both chambers.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 21, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Meantime, here's who owns and runs this country and who will guarantee that you get lower and less quality healthcare and pay more for it. The american people don't even have a chance -- nor do they have a voice. Not any more. We are just pawns.

"Drugmakers, hospitals and insurers continued to pour millions of dollars into lobbying during the second quarter of this year, hoping to limit the damage to their bottom line as lawmakers and the Obama administration wrangle over landmark health-care legislation.

New disclosure reports that began arriving Monday in Congress showed familiar players at the top of the health-care influence heap, including $6.2 million in lobbying by the dominant Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and $4 million by the American Medical Association.

Many health companies and associations increased their first-quarter lobbying expenditures, sometimes dramatically. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association upped its lobbying expenditures by a full million, to 2.8 million dollars in the second quarter; GlaxoSmithKline's spending jumped from $1.8 million to $2.3 million; Novartis grew from $1.4 million to $1.8 million; and Metlife Group reported $1.7 million, up nearly 50 percent. Allstate, which spent less than $900,000 on lobbying through March, boosted its spending to more than $1.5 million from April to June."

Posted by: drindl | July 21, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

For those that didn't see it -- as I commented yesterday, but Mr. Cilizza didn't mention in his piece -- Steele's speech was pure puppetry:

"We need to bring new language to this debate," Republican message man Alex Castellanos wrote in a memo to fellow GOP strategists this month. "If we paint the house the same color, no one will notice anything has changed: We will still be the same, outdated Republicans who have no new ideas and oppose everything."

Castellanos, a consultant to the Republican National Committee, offered poll-tested language that the party could use to kill President Obama's health-care legislation in Congress. "If we slow this sausage-making process down, we can defeat it," he reasoned.

RNC Chairman Michael Steele must have liked what he read. When he gave a speech at the National Press Club on Monday, he all but read aloud from Castellanos's memo.

"Slow down, Mr. President: We can't afford to get health care wrong," said the memo.

"Slow down, Mr. President: We can't afford to get health care wrong," said the chairman.

Memo: "The old, top-down Washington-centered system the Democrats propose will empower Washington to restrict the cures and treatments your doctor can prescribe for you."

Steele: "The old top-down Washington-centered system the Democrats propose is designed to grow Washington's power to restrict the cures and treatments your doctor can prescribe for you."

Posted by: drindl | July 21, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Now, this is where the action is.

Democratic battles are what matter, not what the ding dong remnants of the Republican Party are up to.

Get some pop corn, sit back and watch the future of American politics play out - between Democratic factions.

It looks to me as if Barak Obama and Nancy Pelosi are due for a fight. He has a good rope a dope going with her. She thinks she is the boss; he has "lost" to her in some areas that do not matter...too much anyway.
But now, with the health care thing, he can not let Congress embarrass him. It is too big, it is 20% of the economy and growing.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 21, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Specter a "traitor?" His "crimes?"

I think we have a teabagger in the house.

I bet you just loved Jeffords

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 21, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse


• Are they trying to silence "Fix" habitue "scrivener50"?

p.s. Where are all the (paid?) trolling regulars today here at "The Fix"? Or has Team Obama wised up to "public's dime agit-prop"?

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 21, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Thank you and good bye to Specter. The majority of his career was spent voting for the republicans and now that he was in danger of loosing he flip flops back to the Dem's. This would make a total ass out of the Dem's to vote him in. Not only that but its time for him to go. Time for new blood that we can be sure will put American interest first every time with no conflict of religion or foreign holly land. Exactly what is his position? Do we have an eyeball right in the middle of our government?

Posted by: kimkimminni1 | July 21, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Benedict Arlen deserves to lose in the primary. He only switched because he would have lost the Republican Primary.

Arlen is not only a traitor but a dishonest slug who should be in prison for his lies and crimes.

Posted by: StarsAndStripesForever | July 21, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse


Give me a break.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | July 21, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

CC says that the dems outspending the GOP last year was a significant reason why the Dems picked up 8 seats. Had nothing to do with the horrible eight years of hell the country went through, no , it was the money spent. That's fine Chris, you just keep thinking that way, it's like all those commentor on wapo pages that say everyone is sick of Obama already, he's failed, let's impeach, etc...they insult our intelligence to think we will forget what Bush did, and turn on Obama. Just like Chuck Todd said, the media is driving the crap about "Obama's agenda teetering", to quote the headline the wapo managing editors had at the top of their chat yesterday. Quit insulting us, putting a story as the headline without mentioning he was talking to 20 people, and fudged during the q&A. Where's the wonderful wapo that actually reported news instead of suggesting there "may" be news, not that any commentors about the article thought it was news.

Posted by: katem1 | July 21, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

PREDICTION: Specter won't run, will throw his support to Sestak, and will accept a multi- million-dollar offer to write his political memoir, possibly to include revelations about historical events in which Specter was intimately involved...

...i.e., the Warren Commission probe of JFK's assassination, and the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill countretemps.

Retirement also will allow Specter the time to advance a human rights agenda, capping a distinguished and intriguing political career.

Bottom line: Why should Specter risk a humiliating defeat when book publishers are willing to reward him for a tell-all tome that surely would be a best-seller? Book sales likely would suffer if he ends his political career as a loser.


"CIA Foreign Assassination Ring" a Cover Story to Shield a Domestic American Gestapo?


• Bush-legacy extrajudicial targeting/punishment network makes a mockery of the rule of law at the grassroots -- violating civil and human rights.

President Obama has been co-opted into becoming the enabler of a federally-funded and overseen "multi-agency coordinated action" program of nationwide extrajudicial targeting and punishment...

...a vigilante Gestapo "torture matrix" that is misusing federally-funded volunteer programs to subvert the rule of law -- deploying a civilian vigilante army that covertly implants GPS tracking devices to stalk, persecute, vandalize and harass unjustly targeted citizens and their families.

This secretive multi-agency "program" also misuses government surveillance operations to censor, and maliciously tamper with, the telecommunications of many thousands of the unjustly targeted -- and funnels surveillance data to citizen "gang stalker" harassers.

An array of "programs of personal financial destruction" decimates the finances of "target" families -- contributing to economic distress. And microwave "directed energy weapons" are being used to degrade their very lives -- a gross violation of human rights, government-enabled crimes against humanity.

And no authorities will investigate -- invoking the "Gulag" tactic of dismissing those who seek justice as "delusional."

Please, Team Obama: Wake up and smell the police state that is co-opting your administration and making POTUS a pitchman and enabler for an American Gestapo.

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 21, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

yesterday wapo had Steele's remarks in the top headline. No mention was made about how there were only 20 people, and there was no mention about the Q&A. Good thing Milbank set us straight. Careful Dana, you might be let go. According to the managing editors answering my question in a chat yesterday, using the word "MAY" in a headline isn't gossip and is based on facts." May" is assuming, "may" is guessing, it certainly is not fact. The surgeon general nominee "may" have a clash because she's Catholic? Does anyone really think that the Prez would nominate someone who "may" have a religious personal clash with her duties? How insulting to the Administration and to us for defending the use of the word. An op-ed fine, but a news article?

Posted by: katem1 | July 21, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

CC writes:

"The American Health Insurance Providers (AHIP) -- a.k.a. the health insurance industry -- is up with a seven-figure ad buy in the D.C. media market urging lawmakers to "fix" (a blatant ploy to curry favor with this blog) the broken health care system..."

If one assumes a societal obligation to provide health care at some level [I do; and the Founding Fathers did], at that level, whatever it is, a for profit insurance market is a flaw, not a strength. That is because a seller of insurance will seek to limit its buyers to the young and the healthy. That exaggerates the cost of insuring the lame and the halt. Our current system allows the private insurers to cherry pick their buyers while providing Medicare through the public coffers - and Medicare will cripple the nation if Medicaid does not do it first.

I have suggested solutions elsewhere, but here I am pointing out the absurdity of the insurance problem.

Looked at another way, by caring for the Medicare/Medicaid "pool" in the public domain and serving the indigent through the [incredibly expensive to local taxpayers] emergency rooms WE ARE HEAVILY SUBSIDIZING THE MEDICAL INSURANCE INDUSTRY.

Regulating that industry comes to mind as a rational response.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 21, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

MilBank's article on Steele's speech should make any republican cringe. This is the man that is running your party and he basically repeats word for word a memo sent around the RNC. Then, as Milbank points out, when reporters start answering questions Steele has absolutely nothing to add. The GOP should drop this guy fast, he just doesn't have the smarts to play with the big boys and girls.

And of course Get well soon MCA!

Posted by: AndyR3 | July 21, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Steele and his masters can crow all they want about subterfuge and taking back the political dialogue. But this finding that looks at voter turnout exemplifies the mess the GOP is in..

Obviously this level of voting turnout will be difficult to maintain for the 2010 elections, but it's still pretty impressive and shows the uphill fight the GOP have

Posted by: RickJ | July 21, 2009 6:37 AM | Report abuse

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