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Morning Fix: The Top 10

Due to a long drive to and from southern New Jersey last night -- the Fix's devotion to politics is only eclipsed by his devotion to Mrs. Fix's Catholic University field hockey team -- we are offering an a different kind of Morning Fix today.

It's actually a sneak peek at what the Morning Fix will look like after the Nov. 3 election when, in recognition of the fact that we will be one year out (!) from the 2010 midterm elections, we are re-structuring our a.m. offering to ensure that you have the need-to-know information about the campaign in an easy to digest format (It is the Morning Fix, after all.)

What will the new and improved Morning Fix look like? More aggregation -- per the request of Fixistas -- and a shorter format but (hopefully) the same breaking political news and nuggets you have grown to expect from us.

Get a taste after the jump . . . we'll have the full new and improved Morning Fix for you on Nov. 4.

1. More Deeds Uncut: The Republican Governors Association is up with a new ad in the Virginia race that uses state Sen. Creigh Deeds's (D) words against him -- again. This time the issue is the inclusion of the public option in the health care bill Congress is currently addressing. The ad features Deeds saying in Tuesday's debate that a government run plan "isn't required" and then a clip of the candidate seeming to walk that back in a post-debate press scrum. The ad will run on cable stations in the costly D.C. media market and likely will be on broadcast television in Roanoke and Richmond, according to GOP sources.

2. President Barack Obama made his second campaign stop for embattled New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine on Wednesday, calling him "a leader who's fought for what matters most to the people of New Jersey." Former U.S. attorney Chris Christie (R) tried to counter the media maelstrom created by Obama's visit by running a Web video that sought to cast the Republican as the rightful heir to the president's change message. Also, the Daggett factor examined.

3. The case for why Sarah Palin stays out by Tom Schaller. Trying to predict Palin's next move is a fool's errand but people like Schaller (and the Fix) can't resist. Our sense is that Palin is divided on whether to seek the presidency. On the one hand, she clearly wants that sort of national platform for her issue agenda. On the other, she knows the bruising gauntlet she would have to run to get there.

4. Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter (D) is contemplating a primary challenge to Sen. Blanche Lincoln in 2010, according to Fix sources in the Razorback State. Halter, who was elected as Gov. Mike Beebe's (D) ticketmate in 2006, would try to capitalize on the left's discontent toward Lincoln on health care but is a somewhat odd liberal champion, said one Democratic who closely follows Arkansas politics. But, national Democrats caution that although Halter's ambition is well known in the state, he regularly considers races only to step aside. Polling suggests Lincoln is in for a serious general election race in 2010 with state Sen. Gilbert Baker seen as the strongest Republican candidate

5. Michelle Bachmann: Not a 2012 presidential candidate (for now). Remember that Bachmann is signed on to Gov. Tim Pawlenty's host committee for his first D.C. fundraiser but has also spoken very fondly of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Ah, the Bachmann primary!

6. As predicted in this space yesterday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has begun to turn its fire away from state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava (R) and onto Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in the special election in New York's 23rd district. "Times are tough and upstate New Yorkers can't afford Doug Hoffman's tax breaks for the wealthy that puts more of the tax burden on the middle class and more debt burden on our children and grandchildren," said a DCCC spokesman. That theme is likely to be coming to a television set near you.

7. Tweet of the day: "It's great, because at home i have my baby son, and at work I will have @chucktpolitical whose chin will soon be smooth as a baby's behind." -- ABC News' Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) revels in winning a bet with NBC's Chuck Todd on the National League Championship Series.

8. Number-ology: President Obama's job approval dropped from 62 percent in the second quarter (April 20-July 19) of the year to 53 percent in the third quarter (July 20-Oct. 19) in Gallup data released last night. That nine-point drop is the largest between the second and third quarters for any president since Gallup began tracking job approval in 1953.

9. 1,000 words

10. Jim Zorn weighed resigning, sez the Post.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 22, 2009; 6:45 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Fix Poll: The most underrated Governor in the country
Next: The Rise of Independents?


Cc other than mark and blade you have succesfully transitioned to an intelligence free blog.


This from the guy whose idea of an intelligent post is to refer to Rachel Maddow as "Retching Madcow."

Most 10th-graders would turn up their noses at humor as infantile as that.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 22, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

"But you like her, have loads of free time."

very humorous coming from the inmate who posts every two minutes.

Posted by: drindl | October 22, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

The kicker of the $250 is that we are borrowing it from the social security trust fund to begin with, so it is more an advance than a stimulus.

I say if you think you'll just waste it, give it to your local soup kitchen or another charity.

Posted by: AndyR3 | October 22, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Cc other than mark and blade you have succesfully transitioned to an intelligence free blog. You can thank drivl, loud and dumb and cf8. Although even he seems to have run off.

You can expect the same level of traffic as Claudia. But you like her, have loads of free time.

Posted by: snowbama | October 22, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Drivl, easily confused by aliases, now has a fulltime shrink on call. Only a matter of time before she has to move in.

Posted by: snowbama | October 22, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse


I'm assuming you meant that ONLY the Fix Picks and the Morning Fix will be folded into one entry. I think it's a good idea.

As for today:

The Deeds back and forth with Bob Lewis was not good. People prefer glib, nonsensical solutions over sincere, seemingly contradictory soundbytes. Not ready for prime time.

The Bachmann 'primary':

Chris, were you one of those kids who attended midnight showings of 'The Rock Horror Picture Show'? Bachmann is far worse--although less dangerous--than former Gov. Palin. Fortunately, I don't doubt that the men in the white coats will come for her in due time.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | October 22, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, shrink. I knew there had to be a name for it.

Why does CC keep bringing up Michele Bachman as if she had a chance in h*ll of running for president? She's even more incoherent than Palin:

"Today on her radio program, Laura Ingraham interviewed guest Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and asked her about the ideological direction of the Republican Party. The pair discussed recent statements made by retired GOP Senate Majority Leaders Bill Frist (TN) and Bob Dole (KS) in support of some type of comprehensive health reform.

Dole has called for Republicans to become engaged in the process, stating “we’ve got to do something” to solve the current crisis. Frist has endorsed the Senate Finance health reform bill, and has called out “people on the extreme” in his own party for falsely labeling President Obama’s health reform as “socialized medicine.” Clearly incensed by these comments, Ingraham and Bachmann traded barbs trashing the former Republican leaders for daring to veer away from a “pro-freedom agenda”:

INGRAHAM: Of course. God bless Bob Dole he just came on our show, I have great respect for the man. And also for Frist. But Frist presided over a pretty disastrous situation in the Senate.

BACHMANN: They lost.

INGRAHAM: They lost. And Bob Dole lost how many times on a national level? I guess I’ve lost count. [...] That Republican ideology and that Republican outlook has been a losing outlook. That’s why President Obama wants more of us to be like them.

BACHMANN: Because we want a pro-freedom agenda. And he’s trying to throw people around who he believes will increase a non-pro-freedom agenda."

That last sentence is a beaut. throwing people around who will increase a 'non-pro-freedom agenda.'

Did she make it past second grade?" And now Bill Frist is too liberal? And Bob Dole? These people are going to get trashed in the next election.

Posted by: drindl | October 22, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Answer: Loneliness is very painful.
Unstable people tend to retreat from it into hostile defensive postures (unabomber is an example) and or delusion systems in which they are admired, stalked or whatever in between, by powerful people, generally of higher social station than themselves. A subset of this condition is called erotomania, for example.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 22, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

"He actually thinks the voices in his head are two different people."

He has to talk to himself, since no one else will.

Posted by: nodebris | October 22, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse


As "ceflyline" says, admonitions to stay on topic in the "comments" section will be rendered moot with a "fractious" format. You've got the most commented-on blog at WaPo (no small credit to the trolls?). A Chinese restaurant menu approach, as opposed to the multiple threads technique, could leave readers hungry.



Where is the DOJ Civil Rights Division investigation into the covert use of silent, harmful microwave and laser directed energy weapons systems on unjustly targeted Americans and their families by a Bush-legacy federal-local "multi-agency coordinated action program" that continues to commit civil and human rights violations under Team Obama...

...including government-enabled, warrantless GPS-activated, covert "community stalking" harassment, surreptitious home entries, and terrorism in EVERY county in the U.S? OR RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 22, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Scary. kingofzouk/snowbama has had a complete break. He actually thinks the voices in his head are two different people.

What do you make of it, shrink?

Posted by: drindl | October 22, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I think the $250 is a straightforward political calculation. Seniors vote. In other circumstances, I'd work up a deficit hawk lather. It's hard to get hot and bothered about another $13B when the deficit's over $1T. As for what to do with your $250, might I suggest...


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 22, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse



Posted by: king-of-zouk | October 22, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

A little reality check re: Obama's popularity numbers from Pollster:

Posted by: nodebris | October 22, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Did you read that Bob Cesca piece, shrink? It's good. He points out that the R party is becoming irrelevant -- because they simply don't actually DO anything -- just screech. As he puts it:

"While I believe America only benefits from a robust two-party system, the Republicans aren't really filling their seats at the table. The insufferable centrist Democrats, for better or worse, are covering the power void in an unofficial interim capacity and it wouldn't shock me if there was eventually a replacement party built up around the conservative Democrats and some of the center-right moderate Republicans."
"Meanwhile, keep going, Republicans! And buck up, little troopers. There's at least one thing you have going for you. Contrary to nearly every poll, Chris Cillizza from the Washington Post says it's been a good year for the Republicans. And there's always TIME Magazine's Mark Halperin who seems to always believe that positive news for the president is, instead, negative news for the president. As Republicans, you should appreciate and cherish how insanely upside-down that is. Congratulations. Ass-backwards support is better than no support at all."

Read more at:

Posted by: drindl | October 22, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin:

Here is a question for you and some of your side of the discussion to try to consider:

Just what will the effect of moderate, long term DEFLATION be on the economy?

We won't get deflation from a balanced budget anytime soon, but we seem to be getting some from the current economic depression. What little I remember from Econ 102, (Macro Economics) is that some inflation is a necessary good in the monetary supply to cover the normal inflation of the population. (Inflation, according to that theory is simply the increase in the money supply)

Whenever we have a budget surpluss, since we are not paying out as much money as we are taking in, we get deflation in that definition. Because of that, whether COLA calculates inflation or not, as long as we have a deficit we have some amount of inflation. (Let that be a reason for the $250 payment should you want one). Under that definition we only get deflation when the money supply shrinks, not when average prices go down temporarily. The drop in average prices might just be an artifact of the timing of the measurement of average prices, after all, and there might still be overall inflation that wouldn't show up until after inflation was calculated.

But, again, those of you who believe they understand Micro and Macro Economics need to have the discussion. Every time I try to understand it I bump up against the regrettable lack of scale in Economics concept diagrams. (you know, like the curved line with what look like two axes drawn on one side explaining price elasticity)

Posted by: ceflynline | October 22, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Wow! Palin and Bachman and Tapper too! We must be in Wingnut Hillbilly Heaven.

Posted by: drindl | October 22, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Mark, everyone, really everyone agrees with the general critique of the Bush/Obama solution to the liquidity crisis. I don't know how many times I have called this the Goldman Obama presidency. Obama's mistakes are manifold, they will have far reaching consequences.

But the Republicans inability to do or say anything constructive, nor even meaningful at his time is astonishing. They are falling apart. Last night Hannity raved on and on about the 'bias' of the poll we discussed here two days ago, the one in which over 70% of the respondents identified as "conservative" to "moderate" and in which 20% identified themselves as Republican.

The Republican Rising! will not happen soon, an amazing failure in the context of all of Obama's problems. To me, this is the story of the the next few months.

Republicans will have to start over, winning at the local levels and moving up from there by getting good things done.
They will not get handed any important offices absent demonstrated capacity.

This leaves Democrats in an interesting predicament as well, but that is another story.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 22, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

"Why? Why now? take the $15B and use it for direct lending to small biz and it would stimulate jobs, and probably be repaid. Posted by: mark_in_austin "

The why and why now are easy. SS normally has some COLA raise coming because inflation has always been with us. It therefore became something of a built in longevity raise. Now we actually had just a little DEFLATION, and nothing in SS considers that state. the Federal Employees got 2% raise because their pay raises are tied to the Military's pay raise, and with deflation that provides just a bit of catch up on all the years when Congress held pay raises to significantly less than inflation. SS also got that squeeze, although not as badly due to its COLA considerations. This year Seniors, axpecting some "Get Ahead" in their payments got nothing, still a bit of "Get ahead" if COLA really decreased. A $250 payment theoretically makes up the benefits increase theoretically built into SS.

That $250 almost totally shows up in consumer spending, and does so almost immediately, so it shows up as stimulus funds.

The how and the why are easy. The advisability is a whole lot harder, and requires someone claiming to be an economist to make the arguments one way or the other. Since I could never quite wrap my mind around the pseudo math used to explain Econ 101, and only comprehended some of the Money and banking aspects of Econ 102, I am NOT the person to argue that half of your question.

Should the $250 be a useful economic stimulus it is probably justified. That said, that is still just my guess.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 22, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I appreciate what you're trying to do here, but I kind of liked the old Morning Fix format. I've been reading the Fix for years and never commented, but the longer post gave room for analysis, which I always enjoyed, and you still had room to post the shorter stories underneath with links. I will continue reading regardless, as the Fix is an essential part of my morning routine, but please reconsider the change. Thank you! Go Catholic!

Posted by: fdr_newdeal | October 22, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse


Just don't spend your $250 on "h & b" ... not that it would go very far if you did choose that route.

Posted by: mnteng | October 22, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Andy, ceflyline, BB - do you think the $250 handout to me and the other geezers is somehow smarter, less wasteful, and more inclined to "stimulate'' than the previous tax rebates and previous $250 handout?

I think it is wasteful, stupid and not fiscally justifiable. I will probably spend mine unwisely. It will not buy my vote, so the political consequence is likely nil.

Why? Why now? take the $15B and use it for direct lending to small biz and it would stimulate jobs, and probably be repaid.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 22, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I have no idea what you are talking about, but I do think that 10 things may be a bit too much. In general when you have a multi-topic post, those of us who have real comments to make will pick up on the one or two of the topics we find interesting and then run with it.

I will add CC that I too wish we the readers could choose a way to hide certain posters so I don't have to wade through the back and forth from the name callers that post here.

Posted by: AndyR3 | October 22, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Going to multi subject blogs will make an already cluttered thread nearly impossible to post to, because it will not only have the usual log cloggers, but with too many threads running trying to stay focussed on a particular thread becomes harder. It really doesn't help those of us who track several threads, because, at least for my locus on the net, I really don't get a running real time update without bouncing from Chrome to Firefox and back.

Going to a single multi thread column will put Fix in the situation that Froomkin was in.

If there were to be provisions to mark your last position in a thread it would help, and the ability to mark posters for skipping would help immensely. They again a pop up composition area for composing comments would help even more. Some kind of One Note popup that held posts in progress so it would be easy to bail from a comment to check facts on the web and return to the point in your post where you left. Those of us who value actual facts over made up facts might appreciate that feature. Harder to do would be a thread tracker, so that we could call out all the comments on a given thread to work one thread at a time, while following the development of several other threads as well.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 22, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Millions more out of work


got to be one

Posted by: snowbama | October 22, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Kinda interesting results from Gallup, though there are more details if you read the full story. It's only the fact that it was a Q2 to Q3 drop that makes it big. Obama barely cracks the top 5 if you factor in all quarters.

Also, note the headline number: 53%. Pretty much fits the meme that the ship has steadied and Obama's early numbers were unrealistically high.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 22, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Deciding to decide is so hard to decide. Maybe a decision to decide first.

Posted by: snowbama | October 22, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Obama dropping like a stone. The truth hurts. But that is finally an accomplishment he can call his own.

Posted by: snowbama | October 22, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Whomever wins the Michelle Bachmann primary should automatically be disqualified for running for president.

Also I don't know what Halter is thinking in Arkansas. Blanche Lincoln is one of the few Dems who can hold that seat this year. And I would have never guessed that Deeds would implode the way he has and that Corzine would pull out a victory. I hope he sends Daggett a fruit basket after he wins.

Posted by: AndyR3 | October 22, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

A free and questioning press has always been the enemy of tyrants and despots.

Posted by: snowbama | October 22, 2009 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday I tried to explain from my own experiences and from relevant news stories how the refusal of local banks to lend to small business was crippling the recovery of Main Street, creating widespread anxiety, and causing BHO's popularity to drop, although not as rapidly as Congress' popularity. The Prez may have started too late for many, but better late than never:

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 22, 2009 7:25 AM | Report abuse

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