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A critical month for House Democrats

1. December was a cruel month for House Democrats. On the first day of the month, Rep. John Tanner decided to call it quits, opening up a conservative-leaning seat in Tennessee. Eight days later Washington Rep. Brian Baird, also in a competitive district, followed suit and then on Dec. 14 Tennessee Rep. Bart Gordon announced he would step aside in a district that Arizona Sen. John McCain won with 62 percent in 2008. The month was capped off for Democrats with the news just days before Christmas that Alabama Rep. Parker Griffith (D) was switching parties. The cumulative effect of that series of political blows was that many Democratic members left for the holiday recess with a bit of a bad taste in their mouths -- despite the best efforts of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.) to convince them it's not all that bad. Given all that has happened over the past month, January is a critical period for House Democrats. Do a series of members -- fresh from conversations with their families and nervous about the political environment -- decide that discretion is the better part of valor and step aside this month? (Keep an eye on people like Iowa Rep. Leonard Boswell and Arkansas Rep. Vic Snyder.) And, if so, do they set off a wave of retirements that turns what looked like a traditional midterm cycle for Democrats -- with losses in the 20-25 seat range -- into one in which control of the House is up for grabs? Expect Republicans to push VERY hard on wavering Democratic members over the next month so that they know what they are in for if they decide to run for re-election. By the end of January, we should have a pretty good sense of whether December was just an isolated bad month for Democrats or a sign of a bad year to come. ALSO READ: Why do House Republicans have money problems?

2. Of the thousands of words spilled on Sunday over the Obama administration's handling of the unsuccessful bombing of a plane bound for Detroit on Christmas day, the ones with the most influence came from former New Jersey governor Tom Kean (R). Kean, the former co-chair of the 9/11 Commission, said in an interview on CNN's "State of the Union" program that the president had been "distracted" by other priorities like health care and the economy prior to the attack. "The president needs to supply the leadership," Kean added. "And no matter what else is going on, this has always got to be number one." Kean's rebuke -- while perhaps dismissed by some Democrats as simply a partisan play -- carries real weight as the former governor has achieved somewhat exalted status for his role on the 9/11 Commission and is not regarded as a partisan bomb-thrower. The idea express by Kean -- that Obama had taken his eye ever so slightly off the threat of terrorism to focus on other things -- is potentially dangerous for the president as he positions himself for his 2012 reelection. Democratic strategists believe that their successes in fighting back against Republican attacks on national security in recent elections is premised on making clear to the American public that keeping the country safe is and always will be the party's number one priority. Any sense that that baseline commitment isn't being met is problematic for Obama and Democrats more broadly.

3. Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.) continues to tease the possibility that he will take on Sen. John McCain in a primary later this year. Hayworth, who became a radio talk show host following the loss of his 5th district seat in 2006, said that he had moved into a "testing the waters" phase of a campaign, a legal term that allows the former congressman to travel the state to, well, test the waters without filing officially as a candidate with the Federal Election Commission. If he did run, Hayworth would join Chris Simcox, a founder of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, a prominent group opposed to illegal immigration, in the primary field. Simcox told the Arizona Republic that there was "no way in hell" he would drop out if Hayworth ran. It's not entirely clear whether McCain could be vulnerable to a primary challenge from either Hayworth or Simcox. While the 2008 presidential nominee has never been a favorite of conservatives, he has won reelection repeatedly in the state and his recent high-profile opposition to President Obama's health care bill may have bolstered his standing in the eyes of GOP primary voters. (It has certainly drawn him considerable press.) McCain also has the benefit of a $5 million head start over any challenger and the capacity to raise considerably more if needed. If Hayworth gets in, however, look for some movement conservatives to try and cast the race in the mold of similar ideological fights in Senate races in Florida, Illinois and California.

4. New York Rep. Peter King (R) re-opened the door to a challenge to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) just before the holidays, a time he spent almost entirely on television as a leading critic of the Obama administration in the wake of the failed terror attack on Christmas day. But, Republican Senate strategists insist there is no real chance that King will run, meaning that they will not have a "A" or even a "B"-list candidate against the appointed senator. Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani has ruled himself out and no one expects former governor George Pataki to run either. Gillibrand's numbers suggest real weakness -- particularly in a Democratic primary where her conservative stances on immigration and guns could make her a tough sell to New York City voters -- but the White House effectively cleared out the race for her when they talked Rep. Steve Israel out of the contest. Gillibrand should cruise and if, as expected, state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo runs for governor, it could be two resounding defeats for Empire State Republicans already clinging to political viability.

5. Rep. Steve King isn't a household name to everyone but anyone who is even considering running for president on the Republican side in 2012 almost certainly has the Iowa GOPer on speed dial. That's why King's comments in praise of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin are so interesting. King described Palin as "the one who has the charisma, she has the momentum" in the 2012 race during an interview with Iowa Public Television, adding that "there couldn't have been a better thing for her to do politically" than embark on her recent book tour in support of "Going Rogue" -- her memoir that gives an account of the 2008 presidential race among other things. King, who endorsed former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson (R) in the 2008 caucus and primary fight, said he had learned from that experience, reflecting that he should have endorsed a candidate earlier in the process -- a line sure to make ambitious GOP pols hearts go pitter-pat. King has represented 5th district since 2002; the seat spans much of western Iowa where large swaths of Republican voters call home. (The 5th went for Sen. John McCain by 10 points even as he was losing the state by an identical 10 points to President Obama in 2008.

6. For the seventh straight year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the most admired woman in the country although former Alaska governor Sarah Palin is coming on fast, according to a Gallup poll conducted late last year. Sixteen percent of respondents named Clinton as their first or second choice as most admired while 15 percent named the Republican vice presidential nominee. A year ago Clinton stood at 20 percent to Palin's 11 percent in the "most admired" category and two years ago the former governor didn't even break single digits -- a testament to the rapidity of her rise on the national stage. The big loser over the last few years is talk show host Oprah Winfrey, named by 16 percent in Gallup's 2007 survey and just eight percent in this year's poll. Winfrey's decision to play an active role in the campaign of President Obama almost certainly had something to do with the decline in her numbers as stepping into the partisan political sphere -- no matter where you step -- immediately alienates roughly half the country. The only other woman to score higher than two percent in the latest Gallup poll was first lady Michelle Obama at seven percent, more than double the three percent who admired her most just one year ago.

7. Speaking of women in politics, go buy Anne "AK-47" Kornblut's new book "Notes from the Cracked Ceiling," a terrific look at the past, present and future for female candidates. "Despite 'lipstick on a pig,' 'beat the bitch,' and 'iron my shirt,' the 2008 election wasn't just a collection of lowlights for female candidates," wrote Kornblut in a recent piece. "It was a chance for the country and for women running for high office to learn what it will take for a woman to someday assume the Oval Office." The 2010 election will be a proving ground to see if female politicians were paying attention as women are running for governor in California, Florida and Texas -- three of the most populous states in the union -- and for Senate in New Hampshire, California and Colorado. (Interestingly, five of those six women are running as Republicans.)

8. New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg (R) didn't wind up as the secretary of Commerce and he isn't running for reelection in 2010, but he has been named the "citizen of the year" by the conservative Manchester Union-Leader newspaper. "From his exclusive role as chief Senate Republican negotiator in the talks that shaped the Wall Street bailout to his dire warnings about the federal deficit and his active opposition to the Democratic health-care reform plan, Gregg last year had a major role in the national policy debate and became the leading voice of the GOP in the Senate," wrote the Union-Leader's legendary John DiStaso. Gregg will have a role to play in 2010 as he has made clear that former state attorney general Kelly Ayotte is his preferred replacement. Ayotte is being challenged by businessman Bill Binnie and 1996 gubernatorial nominee Ovide Lamontagne. Ayotte has to hope that Gregg's endorsement of her candidacy works out better than his choices in the last two New Hampshire presidential primaries. Gregg supported George W. Bush in 2000 only to see him get walloped by John McCain and went with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in 2008 who, again, was bested by McCain.

9. R.W. "Johnny" Apple, the famed politics and food writer for the New York Times who passed away in 2006, was a man who knew wine. And so, his wife's decision to auction off the bottles remaining in his cellars -- split between a weekend house in Gettysburg, Pa. and his primary residence in Georgetown -- should set off alarm bells for the oenophiles among us. "I can't sit down to drink bottles that cost enormous amounts of money without feeling very guilty," Betsey Apple told the Post's Josh DuLac. "And I can use the money to put a new roof on the farm in Gettysburg and get some storm windows and sexy things like that." Storm windows! ALSO READ: Apple's guide to the 40 best cities in America -- an invaluable travel companion.

10. Save this link! Political Wire has put the full year of primary dates into a handy-dandy document. The first two to watch: Illinois on Feb. 2(!) where Democrats have contested fights for governor and Senate and Texas on March 2 where Gov. Rick Perry (R) and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) are facing off in the best intraparty fight in the country.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 4, 2010; 6:21 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Next: Republican retirements mount in House

Comments

We aren't talking about ending the career of every law enforcement officer here (lots of people make mistakes on their taxes, too, but that revelation about Daschle ended his return to government work too ; )

Posted by: JakeD | January 5, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

jake@4:39.
1. 20 year-old mistake. he acknowledged it and has shown himself to be a better man since.

2. I work with a lot of law inforcement -- this particular mistake is as common as lawyers saying they never got that letter. That doesn't make it right, but if you ended the career of every LEO who checked out his daughter/ex-wife's new boy friend we would have a lot of vacanies in law enforcement.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | January 5, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

"It’s a cheap tactic"

Yes, maybe some day liberals will rise to the level of calling their foes communists, nazis, femi-nazis, anti-American, perverts, macacas, or some elevated level like that. Please, lecture us more on proper discourse. It's so educational.

Posted by: nodebris | January 5, 2010 1:52 AM | Report abuse

"Do you really mean to argue that letting these guys on the plane - as long as the devices are complicated - is effective security policy?"

Of course not. But neither should you just dismiss that the best effort they are able to mount against our current procedures, as inadequate as they are, is a woefully ineffective boy pathetically setting his own shorts on fire. They haven't moved an inch since the last lame loser tried to set his shoe on fire -- well, several inches up the leg I guess.

They are terrorists. They want to scare us. Yes, let's tighten our security procedures. Let's also laugh at them. You can't beat terrorists by being terrified.

Posted by: nodebris | January 5, 2010 12:48 AM | Report abuse

margaretmeyers:

The new talking points have quietly dropped any reference to TSA nominee Southers.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/31/AR2009123102257_pf.html

Posted by: JakeD | January 4, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know what would constitute an 'in-kind' donation in terms of all the free media that Hate Radio hosts lavish on radical right candidates? Why does the FCC not step in here? This sounds like a clear violation.


Posted by: drindl
-----------------------------------------
Probably because disagreeing with the neocom statist agenda is not officially a crime and is only a stale talking point. This has been a standard play for liberals. If you don’t like what someone is saying, then call them an antisemite, racist, antidentite, misogynist, or whatever else to try to intimidate them into shutting up. It’s a cheap tactic, but it’s been successful enough in the past to make it a favorite of some folks.


Posted by: leapin | January 4, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Chris calls Simcox loony militia group 'prominent.'

Really now? I suppose you know their credo is 'armed revolution'- the violent overthrow of the US government?

It's ludicrous that you even mention them.

Posted by: drindl | January 4, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

PASSENGER SAYS GOV'T LIES ABOUT FL. 253 BOTCHED BOMBING

• MI attorney Kurt Haskell says accomplice helped would-be bomber board flight -- and that a second suspect was taken into custody.

WHY IS MAINSTREAM MEDIA REFUSING TO COVER THIS ANGLE...

...perhaps to deflect attention from the need to expose America's horrific shame?

U.S. SILENTLY TORTURES AMERICANS WITH CELL TOWER MICROWAVES, SATELLITES, SAYS VETERAN JOURNALIST

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

See story at: Poynter.org ("Reporting" section)
OR http://www.nowpublic.com/world/u-s-silently-tortures-americans-cell-tower-microwaves
http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america OR NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "U.S. SILENTLY..." / "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | January 4, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Children, children, PLEASE! The very first comments column of 2010 and you're already squabbling amongst yourselves!

Chris, despite the distractions, I should like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and comment especially on the possible Hayworth/McCain race.

Since it's clear Sen. McCain is not the 'maverick' (dare I use that word w/o the TM-symbol next to it now that Sarah Palin has co-opted it?) of pre-2008--if indeed he ever were, it's very unlikely that he will be less favourably viewed than far right-wing ideologue Hayworth, and far right-wing, single-issue ideologue Simcox.

Would the R. primary voters REALLY like to hand their shading violet-if-not-purple state to one of a pair of candidates who couldn't be guaranteed to keep the state in R. hands? I think not.

Still, it will be interesting to see the 'Rubio/Crist' dynamic play out, although the two races are in reality hardly analogous.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | January 4, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

shrink2 asks
"In re #7, anyone who hangs out in the Democratic blogos know of a woman we should back now for 2012?"

I assume you mean 2016? MN Gov race this year could produce a candidate, though I'm hoping the Dems go with RT Ryback (a dude).

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 4, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

We didn't win this election to have the rules be applied equally. We need to stomp those eighties out of existence using any means necessary. So what if a few of our committee chairs are crooks. Everyone does it. So what if we have to buy off members votes. It is the way. So what if an Airplane or two gets blown up. As long as we are liked and no ones rights get trampled.

Posted by: Moonbat | January 4, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

AndyR3 asks
"Doesn't that mean that the security measures we had in place worked? I mean we created a system that made it so complicated to get a bomb on a plane that the passengers could subdue the bomber before he could complete the act."


Uh, no. Effective security measures would have kept him & his ordnance off the plane. That the device was so complicated & failed should not be scored as a success for airline security measures. Do you really mean to argue that letting these guys on the plane - as long as the devices are complicated - is effective security policy?

.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 4, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

1839 'Blackw. Mag.' XLV. 372 The conventional calendarian principles of the poem.
http://tinkys1941.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!DCD7544ECCB8065F!265.entry

Posted by: edtroyhampton | January 4, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

"As we start ramping up our 2010 election coverage, we're paying close attention to races where Republicans have an intra-party conflict pitting somewhat moderate GOPers against the Tea Party/Club for Growth right.

Virginia's 5th CD is shaping up as a really good example. There State Senator Robert Hurt (R-VA) just got religion and signed Grover Norquist's anti-tax pledge to shore up his right, despite the fact that Hurt was once one of Norquist's targeted 'moderates'.

As we've been reporting, this district could be the next NY-23, with the candidates attempting to out-conservative one another and even talk radio's Laura Ingraham getting involved."

Does anyone know what would constitute an 'in-kind' donation in terms of all the free media that Hate Radio hosts lavish on radical right candidates? Why does the FCC not step in here? This sounds like a clear violation.

Posted by: drindl | January 4, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

"You could make the argument that "For racists like you" is not an ad hominem personal attack either, but Mr. Cillizza has pointed out that it is. Please abide by the blog rules."

That's for pointing out the obvious.

On the other hand, if you argued or implied that the president's race made him unfit for office, it would not be ad hominem to point our that your *argument* is racist.

Is your inability to grasp simple points intentional?

Posted by: nodebris | January 4, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Reporter Peter Baker has a New York Times Magazine piece out today about “Obama’s War on Terrorism.” Matt Yglesias flags an interesting passage from the article revealing the cowardice of former Bush administration officials:

A half-dozen former senior Bush officials involved in counterterrorism told me that for the most part, they were comfortable with Obama’s policies, although they were reluctant to say so on the record. Some worried they would draw the ire of Cheney’s circle if they did.

Yglesias adds, “It’s really staggering what this says about the ethical caliber of the people we’re talking about. … But some of them don’t want to say he’s [Obama's] doing the right thing because that might make Dick Cheney mad and they’re timid, gutless careerists."

Posted by: drindl | January 4, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

(cont.)

MR. GREGORY: Secretary Chertoff, you told NBC's Pete Williams, our justice correspondent, this past week you were concerned that there was a return in this government to a pre-9/11 mentality. Explain that.

MR. CHERTOFF: Well, I'm concerned that we don't use all the tools on the table, and I--here I have to say I agree with Mike and I agree with John. I think the president has repeatedly articulated his belief we're at war. Nevertheless, there are elements of the strategy we have to ask questions about. Is it sensible, for example, to bring Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to New York out of a foreign area in order to try him there? I, I think that's a fateful decision and one that I hope that, that the attorney general has carefully thought through. There are other elements, and some of which Mike Hayden's mentioned, which I think maybe send a little bit of a conflicting message. So this is a great opportunity for the administration to make sure that they are not leaving anything on the table that could be used to defend the American people.

Posted by: JakeD | January 4, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

drindl:

You are now BRAGGING about unemployment numbers rising?!

Posted by: JakeD | January 4, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

MR. GREGORY: Let me ask you about politics. I read the comments by the former Vice President, General Hayden. Do you think that it is responsible for the Vice President to criticize President Obama as letting America's guard down by failing to treat this fight as a war on terror?

GEN. HAYDEN: I'm not going to comment on the current President or the former Vice President, David. I do know that this is an important national issue. It does become part of the political debate. But I will offer you a professional's view on the current atmosphere, the highly-charged atmosphere in Washington. I would ask, on behalf of the community of which I used to be a part, for everyone to kind of calm down a little bit, stop hyperventilating, let John take this study, look at this in detail to learn what we can learn from it without a sense of retribution or accusation. I mean, these are tough challenges.

MR. GREGORY: But that would apply, that would apply to Bush administration officials as well. Because I seem to remember covering the White House when Bush administration officials thought it was counterproductive and, indeed, hurtful and harmful to the country to have Democrats questioning, whether it was the patriotism or, or the overall wisdom of some of these national security activities.

GEN. HAYDEN: David, there are broad policy issues here that deserve intense political debate. We should let the American system handle that. But the Secretary brought up an interesting one. What's the balance the American people want between their privacy and their security? You can't just keep coming back to the intel guys after bad things happen and expect them to perform miracles 100 percent of the time if we don't address these more serious fundamental questions as a nation. That's part of the political process. And the intel community needs to be a customer of those decisions.

MR. GREGORY: But your message is, left or right, Republican, Democrat, don't politicize this battle. Is that your point?

GEN. HAYDEN: There are policy questions that need to be resolved through our political process.

MR. GREGORY: Do you believe the President is adequately confronting this threat of terrorism?

GEN. HAYDEN: I am heartened by the fact that the President consistently says, "We are at war with al-Qaeda and its affiliates."

MR. GREGORY: So my question is do you believe he's adequately prosecuting this war against al-Qaeda and terrorists?

GEN. HAYDEN: There are honest differences. Clearly, this past summer with regard to some CIA activity, interrogation memos from the office of legal counsel, the CIIG report, the question of a special prosecutor, I actually think that's harmed our overall effort ...

Posted by: JakeD | January 4, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Parker Griffith is going to lose big time. And perhaps any other craven Ds who want to switch might find in him a cautionary tale:

Two weeks ago, Parker Griffith made headlines when he made public his decision to switch parties and to become a republican. But since then, Griffith is facing more problems.

First, RedState's Erik Erickson called Teabaggers to do not trust the dem turned republican. Right Wing Bloggers, unhappy with the GOP Leadership's decision, have been calling to primary Parker Griffith and to make sure that a "real conservative" represent the district held by Griffith since last year. Like all those problems weren't enough, this morning Parker Griffith is found himself to be "staffless".

In fact, nearly every staff member of Representant Parker Griffith's office quit Monday morning in response to his decision to switch parties. His chief of staff Sharon Wheeler resigned, along with his entire legislative and communications team, many of whom have worked for Griffith since before he arrived in Washington.

In a statement, Sharon Wheeler explains why she can no longer work for Parker Griffith :

(...) Alabama's Fifth District has deserved and has benefited from great Democratic conservative leadership since Reconstruction. And until now they had it.
(...)
I appreciate Congressman Griffith's being a very dedicated congressman. But we believe he made a mistake -- a well-intentioned but misguided mistake that is not in the interest of the great people of North Alabama who elected him a year ago as a Democrat.

As his staff, we wish him only the best, and we all remain committed to the citizens of the Tennessee Valley. But we cannot, in good conscience, continue working for him. It is with deep sadness that we leave our work for the Fifth District. But because we are unwavering in our own principles, we have no choice but to move on. We do not know what the future holds, but we are taking a leap of faith with the belief we will soon find ourselves in the employment of principled public officials.

Joining Wheeler were Legislative Director Megan Swearingen, Legislative Assistants Brian Greer and Will Crain, Press Secretary Sean Magers, Legislative Correspondents Arinze Ifekauche and Chase Chesser, Staff Assistant Mary Lou Hughston, Congressional Fellows Dr. Anjali Shah Kastorf and Leslee Oden and intern Andrew Menefee. They waited until the winter break was over so they could return to Washington to resign.

One early consequence of Rep. Parker Griffith’s party switch: He’s losing nearly his entire political consulting team:

Pollster Fred Yang (Garin-Hart-Yang), media consultant Jim Duffy (of Murphy Putnam Media) and fundraiser Lindsay Angerholzer (Sutters Mill) are all leaving the Griffith campaign.

Posted by: drindl | January 4, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

And we have our new Zouk. Nice touch using the epithet formerly applied to another contributor.I'll be ignoring moonbat from here on out, but I'll bet the IP is familiar. Ah, SNAFU.

Drindl - I meant to refer to Kean as well. Sorry for the typo. It was a critique, but a softly worded one.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 4, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Racial profiling isn't part of Obama's or Bush's approach, but that's irrelevant to the point I made:

Hayden did NOT defend Obama's overall approach to the threat of terrorism, on "Meet the Press" at least. In fact, he REPEATEDLY refused to say that Obama is "adequately prosecuting this war against al-Qaeda and terrorism" and specifically pointed out that OLC bashing CIA with calls for a special prosecutor "has harmed our overall effort." Panetta has said the same thing.

Both Chertoff and Hayden defended GWB's efforts, however, and urged Obama to not close GTMO.

(mark_in_austin: let me know if you need to see the full quotes "in context")

Posted by: JakeD | January 4, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

What Chertoff ACTUALLY said:

But when David Gregory asked former Bush CIA director Michael Hayden on Meet The Press today if we are “effectively ethnically profiling” potential terrorism suspects, Hayden pushed back against the idea of ethnic profiling as a solution:

HAYDEN: I’m not quite sure the context in which you’re asking the question David about ethnically profiling, but with regard to intelligence…

GREGORY: Isn’t there a profile of who we think the terrorists are?

HAYDEN: Of course there is, but it’s based more on behavior. I mean, for example, the individual in question here, Abdulmutallab, I mean he would not have automatically fit a profile if you were standing next to him in the visa line at Dulles, for example. So it’s the behavior that we’re attempting to profile. And it’s the behavior, these little bits and pieces of information that were in the databases that we didn’t quite stitch together at this point in time. But it wasn’t a question of ethnicity or religion. Those are contributing factors, but it’s what people do that we should be paying attention to.

Unsatisfied, Gregory pressed his point to former Bush Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff, saying that counterterrorism officials have told him that religion and ethnicity are more than “contributing factors” because “90 percent” of “these terrorists” are “Islamic males between the ages of 20 and 30.”

But Chertoff pushed back, arguing that “relying on preconceptions or stereotypes is actually kind of misleading and arguably dangerous.” Chertoff noted that al Qaeda has intentionally recruited people “who don’t fit the stereotype.”

Earlier this week, Chertoff told NPR that Abdulmutallab’s case “illustrates the danger and the foolishness of profiling because people’s conception of what a potential terrorist looks like often doesn’t match reality.” “I think it’s not only problematic from civil rights’ standpoint, but frankly,” Chertoff said, “I think it winds up not being terribly effective.”

Posted by: drindl | January 4, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I apologize. I am a newcomer. I did not understand that all posts must be approved by this drindl person.

I did not understand that chris cilizza would be busy writing and researching and that someone would need to monitor the blog and approve all posts, while interjecting every other time.

This is different from other blogs I've seen.

But cilizza, you seem like a radical right person. Why would you let a reasonable, intelligent and non partisan citizan patrol your blog for you? Is it the free time issue? Let Obama.

Posted by: Moonbat | January 4, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Never mind, fable104 is the latest incarnation of Seattle Top / Gold and Tanzanite / Chris Fox.

Posted by: JakeD | January 4, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

fable104, I bow in awe!

Today's column was so uninquiring, so narrow, so simplistic in approach. The choice of what to say and what not to say (well, I'll print a link to the GOP fund raising problem -- that's enough) was laughable when you went to the links and read the source. Cillizza's skill in cherry-picking is NOT limited to polls.

I had to laugh at the lame shout-out to Rep King of Iowa. He backed *Fred Thompson* in 2008, so he must be great spotter of talent and a HUGE plus to have behind any candidate. The only thing lamer was the shout-out to Gregg, a man who maneuvered himself out of power so prettily and now gets a pat from the house organ. oooo-kay.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | January 4, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

No, fable104 (assuming you are not Chirs Fox for the moment), Gen. Hayden did NOT defend Obama's approach to the threat of terrorism, on "Meet the Press" at least. In fact, he REPEATEDLY refused to say that Obama is "adequately prosecuting this war against al-Qaeda and terrorism" and specifically pointed out that the OLC bashing CIA with calls for a special prosecutor "has harmed our overall effort." Both Chertoff and Hayden defended GWB's efforts and urged Obama to not close GTMO.

And, there's a new thread on GOP retirements.

Posted by: JakeD | January 4, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

But if you think Sara Palin picked that quote and its (yes, hilarious) mis-attribution you probably think she wrote that Gooey Rouge book too.

Yes, can't wait for the elections, I hope lots of corrupt incumbents from both parties get replaced. Keep those resignations coming boys. By 2016, maybe a GOP candidate will have been able to moderate the party platform and make it believable to boot. Then there could be a contest.


Posted by: shrink2 | January 4, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Welcome, fable! A sensible voice -- hang around!

Bernanke says something sensible:

"Regulatory failure, not low interest rates, was responsible for the housing bubble and subsequent financial crisis of the last decade, Ben S. Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, said in a speech on Sunday.

Mr. Bernanke’s remarks, perhaps his strongest language yet assessing the roots of the financial crisis, came as he awaited confirmation for a second term as Fed chairman and as he sought greater regulatory authority from Congress.

“Stronger regulation and supervision aimed at problems with underwriting practices and lenders’ risk management would have been a more effective and surgical approach to constraining the housing bubble than a general increase in interest rates,” Mr. Bernanke said in remarks to the American Economic Association."

Exactly. And let's see -- who was responsible for the total collapse of the regulatory system? Let's start with Phill Gramm.

Posted by: drindl | January 4, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

This blog is really a good home for me. I am so happy to have found it. I can while away the hours, posting my brilliant democrat ideas, put down any notions from the right, alter the course of world history and demonstrate my political acumen by cutting and pasting from my other loves- firedog, huff, kos and the most well spoken man on tv- olbermann.

I aspire to compete with the philosophical titans I have ready encountered here. I hope I can grow to be just as smart as drindl, koolkat, jaxass and the others. If obama can get his agenda through, I can quit my job and post here full time. How do you other guys do it?

I will need some practice on ignoring perfectly sound arguments but I am a liberal so I know I can do it.

And closing an embassy and running and hiding is a sign of victory, not weakness. I think we should just close all our embassies. It is important everyone like us, especially jihadists.

Posted by: Moonbat | January 4, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

CC, all five about Republicans? Must be true that everything is good news for conservatives.

Posted by: PoliticalPragmatist | January 4, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Hey Chris,
1. Have you noticed that another Republican congressman announced his retirement today? I know that Congressman Henry E. Brown represents a Republican leaning district but a Democrat almost beat him last year.

2. Former governor Tom Kean's comments may have been important. But you neglected to mention Michael Hayden, the Bush administration's C.I.A. director's argument. Hayden defended Obama's approach to the threat of terrorism. Former Director of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff also stated his support and confidence in Janet Napolitano. These vital comments are things you have often neglected in your criticism of the Obama administration.

4. Congressman Peter King will be destroyed if he challenges Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in 2010. Gillibrand may be unpopular and lack name recognition in New York City. She deserves a primary challenger and I'm still angry that Obama and Rham Emanuel pressured Steve Israel to end his campaign. But King's main appeal is to working class blue-collar voters, many who reside in his district. This won't resonate nearly as much in New York City. His incendiary comments won't help him either. Furthermore, until Gillibrand became a Senator, she and King shared many issue positions. I wish he would run only so he can lose and Democrats win his district.

8. Everyone knows that the Manchester Union-Leader is a Republican front. So its choice of Judd Gregg as "citizen of the year" is hardly surprising and not news.

Posted by: fable104 | January 4, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse


. . NEWS FLASH .


Obama wants to RELEASE UP TO 45 MORE TERRORISTS FROM GITMO TO YEMEN.


How many soldiers died capturing these terrorists?


Obama should RESIGN IMMEDIATELY. THIS IS A COMPLETE DISGRACE TO THIS NATION.

There should be a great deal of people in this country who are going to be EXTREMELY UPSET once they learn that Obama is releasing TERRORISTS simply because Obama's people are about to lose motions in Court.


THE SECURITY OF OUR COUNTRY is more important than these silly exercises in court.


It is not worth it - to RISK ONE AMERICAN LIFE - just to prove some silly academic points as Obama is doing.

This, along with giving a lawyer to the Detroit bomber, and advising the bomber to "remain silent" INSTEAD OF TELLING US ABOUT ANY OTHER ATTACKS WHICH COULD BE PLANNED AGAINST AIRPLANES.

Obama should resign. He has proven that he is simply not up to the task of providing proper security for this nation.


If Obama did not want to deal with the security issues, he should have never run for President.

Obama should resign immediately.

Our soldiers should not be burdened while they are being shot at on the side of a mountain - burdened with whether the evidence against the terrorists complies with some "rules of evidence."

OH, sorry, could we do that firefight over again > We didn't get the paperwork right.

.

.

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

Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush were "laugable idiots" to you too (yet they got elected TWICE). We'll see who gets the last laugh.

Posted by: JakeD | January 4, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

koolkat_1960:

I live in California, and he kept us safe out here (nonetheless, I was referring to the timeframe SINCE 2001).

Posted by: JakeD | January 4, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I can't stop laughing about Sarah Palin and John Wooden/John Wooden Legs.

She is truly a laughable idiot.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | January 4, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Chris, you DO know this is snobama/zouk, don't you? I mean look at the wording and structure.

Defying your ban the same morning you instituted it? Do you really want to look this weak? I'm just sayin'.

I am so proud of president Obama taking over the housing industry last week. Writing a blank check to Fannie and Freddie is exactly the right thing to do. How can poor people own houses if others don't pay. Same thing goes for health care and energy. I don't like working too hard so Obama is exactly what we need to get the people with money to pay for stuff I want but can't afford.

Posted by: Moonbat |

Posted by: drindl | January 4, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"It's "understandable" to forget that GWB kept us safe for 8 years ; )"

Except that he did not. Which is probably why it's forgotten.

Seems like the person forgetting something is you.

"Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?"

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | January 4, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Aye, fellow thorn, Jaxas!

' It is the mainstream media that I reserve my contempt for in that they never seem to wise up to how deftly the right uses them.'

Exactly. They really allow themselves to get played. I like CC, too, he's very young and perhaps he will eventually see beyond the Narrative. But it's become increasingly rare for the MSM to be much but a megaphone for the gop. Even Ann Coulter admits the right owns the media. But they made a concerted effort to do so for decades and democrats are only just now figuring out what hit them. This media manipulation is the one single area where the gop is very good.

BB -- I was talking about Kean. You seem to be talking about King.

Posted by: drindl | January 4, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

2016, obviously, but was that a Freudian slip? }:-)

Posted by: shrink2 | January 4, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

"Many millions more Americans than everyone you could possibly include in "the elites" will never be ready for a female president as insipid, shallow, whiny, weak, and moronic as Sarah Palin."

True that. Further, many of us on the left did not want The Clintons back in the White House. They were far too compromised, shall we say, to be able to move the health care agenda, for example, through congress.

Point is, this country is entirely ready for women in any elected office. It is just a matter of who the person is and her politics and here political baggage (staying married to Bill was a deal breaker for many of us, viz., I greatly admire Elin Nordigen and Jenny Sanford, standing up for yourself and your children is really important). I can't wait to cast a ballot for a woman POTUS.

Who will the Ds pick for 2012? Looks like it could be Hillary again, a mistake perhaps only in my view, who can argue with the durability of her popularity? Still I wonder if there are any other D women in the line-up. The Republican Rising! blog tells us all about the Republican star search.

In re #7, anyone who hangs out in the Democratic blogos know of a woman we should back now for 2012?


Posted by: shrink2 | January 4, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I am so proud of president Obama taking over the housing industry last week. Writing a blank check to Fannie and Freddie is exactly the right thing to do. How can poor people own houses if others don't pay. Same thing goes for health care and energy. I don't like working too hard so Obama is exactly what we need to get the people with money to pay for stuff I want but can't afford.

Posted by: Moonbat | January 4, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

jaxas70:

Bring it on!!!

nodebris:

You could make the argument that "For racists like you" is not an ad hominem personal attack either, but Mr. Cillizza has pointed out that it is. Please abide by the blog rules.

Posted by: JakeD | January 4, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Yes, drindl, this is a REBUKE: "We had an administration which was not focused, as it should be, on terrorism ..." instead they were focused on Obamacare and global warming instead of the gathering threat in Yemen spilling over here. It's "understandable" to forget that GWB kept us safe for 8 years ; )

Posted by: JakeD | January 4, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

oh look -- snowbama/zouk is back already:

The alleged bomber got a bad rap. He didn't even blow anything up. The TSA acted stupidly. He deserves the benefit of the doubt and to be presumed innocent. He should have bail. Who was that yahoo putting him in a headlock. How many have been put to death while innocent by the US justice system. Terror is simply a GOP campaign device. My shower is more dangerous.

Posted by: Moonbat

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

sorry for double posting -- don't know how that happened. hiccup..

Wave of Republican retirements coming?

Rep. Henry Brown (R-SC) will reportedly announce today that he is retiring from Congress. The Palmetto Scoop reports that he did not want to continue serving as a member of the minority party.

A Democratic source, looking to the infighting between the state GOP's moderates and hard-line conservatives. "Oh yeah, it definitely could be winnable," the source said. "It's clear that the fight within the Republican party has taken a toll on South Carolina's GOP members of Congress, and that's gonna matter straight through election day."

Posted by: drindl | January 4, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

"your puerile partisan view" is not ad hominem. It addresses the quality of the thought expressed (accurately, in my opinion) and precedes an argument that details precisely why the view is puerile and partisan.

You could make an argument that "For infants like you" is ad hominem, but when you allow accusations of pederasty it's hard to consider that a balanced judgment.

Posted by: nodebris | January 4, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

The alleged bomber got a bad rap. He didn't even blow anything up. The TSA acted stupidly. He deserves the benefit of the doubt and to be presumed innocent. He should have bail. Who was that yahoo putting him in a headlock. How many have been put to death while innocent by the US justice system. Terror is simply a GOP campaign device. My shower is more dangerous.

Posted by: Moonbat | January 4, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

mteng -- thanks for the Kean context. I couldn't open the piece, and thought it was a 'rebuke ' as CC referred to it.

"A couple of quotes from the Kean interview for context:

"'We had an administration which was not focused, as it should be, on terrorism and that’s understandable,' Kean said. 'They were focused on health care and global warming and the economy. That’s very understandable. Secondly, we weren’t really focused on Yemen and the terrible things that are happening there. Now we are and that’s a good thing. And, thirdly, there were holes obviously and the [intelligence gathering] system wasn’t working well. We found out it wasn’t working well and the president understands it’s not working well and now we’re focused on fixing it.'

This is a rebuke?

Posted by: drindl | January 4, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Actually drindl, I have no intention of leaving. I was simply letting Chris know of a tried and true tactic that the right has used so successfully, particularly with the mainstream media. And that tactic has to do with trying to gain the sympathy of certain types of personalities in the media who want to overcompensate for the perception that they have a liberal bias.

In a perverse way I applaud the right for the success of this tactic. It is the mainstream media that I reserve my contempt for in that they never seem to wise up to how deftly the right uses them.

Limbaugh and Beck are perfect examples. Most rational people who have listened to them on occasion know that they are rank, dishonest performers who do not believe a word they are saying. But the media love the notion of a poor, harried underdog attempting to get their message out. Limbaugh and Beck appeal to this weakness in the media. So, what would ordinarily be looked upon as kooky and crackpot, actually gets a serious, sympathetic hearing form the media.

I like Chris. I just happen to think he is pretty gullible when it comes to the reality as opposed to the narrative that often bubbles to the surface. Just like the polls they are relying on as I said in a previous post. They simply do not reflect the underlying reality that only becomes clear the closer you actually get to an election.

But as I said. I intend to be here if for no other reason than to be just as big a thorn to the right as is Limbaugh to the left.

Posted by: jaxas70 | January 4, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

The extended comments soften King's first sentence, but "was not focused, as it should be, on terrorism" cannot be seen as anything but a rebuke. I didn't hear the source interview (was dozing), but did hear it on CNN's round up. As such things go, it's pretty mild.

I heard Kornblutte being interviewed sometime this week. I think it might have been on C-SPAN's book show. She had a very interesting perspective. I must note, however, that lipstick on a pig had nothing to do with Palin. That's a case of fake outrage.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 4, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

jaxas70 (and mnteng):

Maybe this blog isn't for you.

Posted by: JakeD | January 4, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

UNDERPANTS BOMBER PROBE TO REVEAL DOMESTIC 'ANTI-TERRORISM' ATROCITIES?

It appears that John Brennan is aware of more than some secretive agencies would like him to fully know. Obama got his "back" yesterday on "Meet the Press," and Brennan's obviously got the full support of POTUS and VPOTUS. Could that be why the masters behind a certain domestic multi-agency coordinated action "anti-terrorism" program that employs invisible hi-tech disabling weaponry and low-tech local community vigilantes are starting to sweat?

WARNING: YOUR CELL PHONE COULD BE USED TO TARGET YOU FOR COVERT GOVERNMENT MICROWAVE ATTACK:

http://nowpublic.com/world/u-s-silently-tortures-americans-cell-tower-microwaves
OR http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "U.S. Silently..."

Posted by: scrivener50 | January 4, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

mteng -- thanks for the Kean context. I couldn't open the piece, and thought it was a 'rebuke ' as CC referred to it.

"A couple of quotes from the Kean interview for context:

"'We had an administration which was not focused, as it should be, on terrorism and that’s understandable,' Kean said. 'They were focused on health care and global warming and the economy. That’s very understandable. Secondly, we weren’t really focused on Yemen and the terrible things that are happening there. Now we are and that’s a good thing. And, thirdly, there were holes obviously and the [intelligence gathering] system wasn’t working well. We found out it wasn’t working well and the president understands it’s not working well and now we’re focused on fixing it.'

This is a rebuke? It sounds more like praise to me. The Doors of Perception in DC only open to hearing things the way they want.

Posted by: drindl | January 4, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

"Unfortunately, the behavior of the media and Democratic establishment during the 2008 election show us that the elites in this nation are not ready for a female president."

Many millions more Americans than everyone you could possibly include in "the elites" will never be ready for a female president as insipid, shallow, whiny, weak, and moronic as Sarah Palin.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | January 4, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

jaxas -- I hope you don't leave... you are one of the most informative posters on here. I come here for a conversation -- or perhaps a genteel confrontation. But every day, the most intelligent posters just give up on this blog. I expect that eventually snowbama/zouk will be back, jake will still be here and 37, and that will be it, because everyone else will just get fed up with their sheer persistance and the astonishing amount of time they have on their hands.

Posted by: drindl | January 4, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

It's more then one poster, mteng. JakeD also frequently calls the same individual a pedophile, and as you have seen, he's still on here. I honestly can't think of a more offensive insult, but for some reason management allows it.

Posted by: drindl | January 4, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

drindl


What are you talking about in your posting at 10:11 ???


I'm sure you were soooo concerned about certain segments of the population blaming President Bush for whatever they could ???


So what are you talking about??


I think you should take a look at some of the pictures of effigy and other signs of protesters when President Bush was in office - did you ever complain about any of those images?

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 4, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I will leave you all with this final sentiment.

Obama is not a Nazi. Obama is not a socialist. Obama is not a communist. Obama is not a terrorist. Obama is not a coward, a liar, a racist or a criminal. Obama is not a Muslim. And he was not the focus of a preposterously conceived plot hatched almost 50 years ago in Kenya by his father to conceive a child who would grow up to become President of the United States and turn it into a Muslim Caliphate.

Obama is the legally, duly, legitimately elected President of the United States and he earned that position in the same Constitutionally approved way that all of our other Presidents have done.

This is who he isn't. And who he is. And if you cannot respect that, I suggest that maybe you should look for another country to live in.

Posted by: jaxas70 | January 4, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

One very interesting exchange on the Sunday shows occurred on This Week. Terry Moran (George was on vacation) cornered Pete Hoekstra, a Michigan rep who's been critical of the administration's response. Seems that Hoekstra sent out a fund raising letter capitalizing on the Undiebomber. Here's the question:

"Once upon a time, there was a tradition of solidarity and refraining from criticizing the president at the time the nation was under attack," ABC's Terry Moran told Hoekstra. "Three days after this attempt to kill 300 people over the skies of Detroit, you sent out a fundraising letter," said Moran. "Given that tradition that once was part of this country are you proud of that -- of fund-raising off a national crisis like that?" he asked.

Hoesktra dodged a bit and refused to address the question. Moran gave up after a bit, but the point had been made.

Welcome back, everyone.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 4, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

CC,

You allow one poster to call another a pedophile for months, then admonish jaxas70 for using "puerile" once? That doesn't seem very fair to me.

But, then again, it's your blog ...

Posted by: mnteng | January 4, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I couldn't figure out why a jihadi getting an underwear bomb in Yemen a few months after the Yemeni rectum bomber failed to kill the Saudi prince/minister would lead to embassy closures.

Now I know. Wow six truck loads of arms and explosives...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8439892.stm

Posted by: shrink2 | January 4, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

CC, happy new year to you too, and we all hope you got a nice recharge over the holidays.

The article that CC linked to on the money raising wows of the RNCC is pretty enlightening, and I think you should all read it if you want to glimpse into why the Democrats won't lose a ton of seats next fall.

Posted by: AndyR3 | January 4, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Chris, I fully recognize that you are trying to maintain a degree of civility on this blog. But look. You simply cannot go about reacting to every single mournful whine you get from the conservatives about what they perceive as "ad hominem" attacks.

Look. This is where the center and the left always end up losing the argument. They always capitulate to this sniveling that takes place on the right. But, have you noticed that none of them ever reduces the animous of their own rhetoric?

If you cannot use a word like "puerile"--a gentlemanly, intellectual way of calling an argument childish, then let's just forget even having such a blog. It isn't weorth it. It all ends up just being another conservative crutch where they get all of the toys to play with and the rest of us just have to bend over and take it.

Well, not this blogger! I am not going to just sit idly by and listen to a band of hate filled marauders set the terms and conditions of debate. And we get enough of that listening to you mainstream media types coddle the likes of Limbaugh and Beck! Did you know Chris that Limbaugh will not appear on any of the cable opinion channels unless his strict rules of engagement are applied? He is to have no one there to challenge him.

Well, that is what you are being led into here by your more conservative bloggers. They want to have tight rules of civility applied to anyone who disagrees with them, yet they want to be free to call the President all manner of insulting names.

If that seems "puerile" to you, then maybe this blog isn't for me.

Posted by: jaxas70 | January 4, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin:

A couple of quotes from the Kean interview for context:

"'We had an administration which was not focused, as it should be, on terrorism and that’s understandable,' Kean said. 'They were focused on health care and global warming and the economy. That’s very understandable. Secondly, we weren’t really focused on Yemen and the terrible things that are happening there. Now we are and that’s a good thing. And, thirdly, there were holes obviously and the [intelligence gathering] system wasn’t working well. We found out it wasn’t working well and the president understands it’s not working well and now we’re focused on fixing it.'

[snip]

"After pointing out that the 9/11 Commission concluded the U.S. intelligence community failed to piece together various bits of information it already possessed in the weeks and months prior to the 2001 terror attacks, Kean said '[AbdulMutallab’s foiled Christmas Day attack] is the same thing – a lot of pieces of information. If they had been shared by the intelligence agencies the way they should be . . . then this guy would’ve never have gotten on a plane.' "

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/01/04/kean-unsuccessful-bomber-probably-did-us-a-favor-2/#more-83850

Posted by: mnteng | January 4, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

It is interesting that the right wing comments on this blog are so similar to one another. Several different bloggers seem to be using the same phraseology and terminology that it prompts one to wonder if they are sharing a script.

This morning's "script" has the consistent theme that Obama should resign. What if Obama were to actually oblige them? Would they be happy? Most assuredly not. Joe Biden would then ascend to the exalted title of scourge of the universe, resident socialist, communist, terrorist, appeaser, coward, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. And Cris would be breathlessly on had to repeat adnauseaum every single insult as though somehow there was credibility amidst the vomit.

But Obama is not going to resign and he is not going to be impeached. And it is more than likely that he will be re-elected. It is possible that he could be dealing with a GOP Congress since American voters seem to prefer divided government. But that is by no means assured unless republicans start acting like grownups and wean themselves away from this tendency to indulge the snotty brats on their extreme right flank.

Posted by: jaxas70 | January 4, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

This is both predictable and typical of a certain segment of the population:

'Over the weekend, an effigy of President Obama was found hanging off a building in Plains, GA, the hometown of former President Jimmy Carter. Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan told the AP that the agency is investigating the hanging of the doll. A witness told WALB-TV that the doll had a sign with Obama’s name on it. '

Some in the media might think about how Irresponsibly blaming this President for everything that is wrong in the world has consequences -- real consequences. You play with fire in a country with the racist history of this one.

Posted by: drindl | January 4, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

"It's an election year!"

Politics attracted lots of people (and their money) starting in '06, but '09 appears to have turned off a lot of those people. Sure we're excited, but is the electorate? Not so much...the Republicans, the minority, have picked their poison. But can the Democrats can figure out how to excite the center (again)?

Meanwhile, I wonder what Zouk and Chris Fox will call themselves next?

Posted by: shrink2 | January 4, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

How soon we forget the mess that is the republican party. If you like the economy the way it is, more war, fewer rights vote republican.

Posted by: blarsen1 | January 4, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Chertoff and Hayden DETAILED on "Meet the Press" yesterday: closing GTMO, giving foreign terrorists the "right to remain silent", moving them to NYC for trial, OLC memo on CIA interrogations, questions of a special prosecutor, etc. have actually weakened the overall war effort. So much for the reality-based crowd.

Posted by: JakeD | January 4, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

jaxas, you are correct in all that. I think if you are in the DC bubble, you simply can't see or hear beyond -- you are entirely surrounded by 'center-right'-noise. If your respected tribal elders -- Fatherr Broder, for instance -- beleive it, why it must be true.

Posted by: drindl | January 4, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Would it be ad hominish of me to say that this morning's column makes it sound like the Fix spent his winter break with a GOP wet nurse, being gently fed a warm, simplified and easily digestable diet of GOP talking points?

I thought so.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | January 4, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Kean is a republican. I once even had some respect for him. But unfortunately now, he has become like every other republican and is doing nothing but irresponsibily criticizing the president over things that never actually happened.

Do any of them, including Kean detail what obama did or did not do? NO. All he said was that he was 'distracted.'

Utter predictable nonsense. Since Democrats have learned that Republicans have simply stopped making sense, we no longer listen.

Posted by: drindl | January 4, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

A few notes:

1. Seattle Top and Snowbama have been banned due to ad hominem attacks.

2. Jaxas -- please avoid attacking anyone personally; "puerile" counts. Feel free to disagree on the merits but avoid slamming people personally. Don't want to ban anyone else.

3. Welcome to 2010! It's an election year!

Chris

Posted by: Chris_Cillizza | January 4, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

One thing I have learned about Chris Cillizza is that he is a loyal, devoted, dues paying member of the "herd". I use the term "herd" in a perjorative way to describe those memebers of any elite group that deems themselves the overseers and gatekeepers of whatever mission or narrative that prevails in their particular organization.

Chris is presently devoted to the mainstream media narrative that Obama and the democrats are in big trouble; that the GOP and especially Sarah Palin are in the ascendancy; that the GOP stands to retake both the House and Senate in Novemeber, and that Sarah Palin will be the GOP nominee in 2012.

Notwithstanding certain developments that point to democratic losses in the House and Senate, there is scant evidence for the sweeping narrative that Chris and other media elites are busily and gleefully reporting. Why? Because for one thing, they are relying on notoriously flawed polling that always gives off unreliable results in that political ether between elections. Most Americans are not even responding to polling in that ether. And the ones that do are the ones most energized by the outcome of the previous election--the losers.

Another reason Cillizza and the rest of the media are probably in for another round of conventional wisdom busting revelations this year is their own track record. Two years ago on this date, Barack Obama was treated as a joke by the media and Cillizza was calmly assuring us of 8 years of President Hillary. Indeed throughout Obama's campaign, the media confidently chortled on any number of occasions that Obama was toast, was a mere flash-in-the-pan, and could not survive all of the scandalous revelation concerning his past relationships--scandals that turned out to have been nothing more than inventions by conservative talk radio--a sister institution the media relies far too heavily on.

It is not my intention to mock Chris. It is just that herds often move in directions prompted by passions having little to do with reality and truth. And the herd mentality in the media has been so consistently wrong, it is beyond belief that even they themselves can still rely on it.

Posted by: jaxas70 | January 4, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

. . NEWS FLASH .


Obama wants to RELEASE UP TO 45 MORE TERRORISTS FROM GITMO TO YEMEN.

How many soldiers died capturing these terrorists?

Obama should RESIGN IMMEDIATELY. THIS IS A COMPLETE DISGRACE TO THIS NATION.

This, along with giving a lawyer to the Detroit bomber, and advising the bomber to "remain silent" INSTEAD OF TELLING US ABOUT ANY OTHER ATTACKS WHICH COULD BE PLANNED AGAINST AIRPLANES.

Jeeshh, just resign and get it over with.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 4, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Now which side is playing politics when simply pointing out national security has always got to be the number one priority is dismissed out of hand by some Democrats as partisanship?!

Posted by: JakeD | January 4, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Chris:

jaxas70 at 9:33 am has another "ad hominem" attack.


Please list along with the other 8 "ad hominem" attacks previously listed.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 4, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

100% Regurgitated Republican Talking Points...this is what the Washington Post has sunk to.

Posted by: drindl | January 4, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Fortunately jaked, the majority of Americans do not share your puerile partisan view that the President should resign or be impeached.

Look. For infants like you, it is enough that President Obama has a "d" after his name to warrant impeachment. But, you cannot impeach a President unless he has committed "high crimes and misdemeanors". And as we saw with Bush, even when a President actually does commit a high crime--such as revealing secret information uncovering the identity of one of his own CIA operatives--it is not all that easy to get enough votes together to commence an impeachment.

Barack Obama is the legitimately elected President of the United States. Get used to it. Deal with it. Don't like his policies? Fine. Use the political system to unseat him in 2012 if you can come up with a candidate who can get more votes in a sufficient number of states to tally up an electoral majority. That's how you unseat a President who has not committed a hing crime or misdemeanor.

If you really believe or have evidence that the President has committed such, then submit it to your Senator or congressman and see just how far that gets you.

Posted by: jaxas70 | January 4, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Just the mention of Hillary and Sarah reminds me how glad I am to be back in an election year. 2009 was a bit of a snooze, lots of predictions and just a handful of over determined contests. When a year's politics are dominated by legislative battles rather than elections, sure, its important, but it isn't nearly as much fun for the popcorn munching spectator.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 4, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

With regard to Kornblut's book,

The success of Hillary (winning the popular vote in the Democratic primary) and Palin (energizing the Republican base and putting McCain up in the polls before Lehman's collapse) show us that the voters are ready for a female president. Unfortunately, the behavior of the media and Democratic establishment during the 2008 election show us that the elites in this nation are not ready for a female president.

Posted by: Susannah1 | January 4, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Look. Kean is like a great many has been, limited name recognition politicians who have learned that if you want to get media attention, criticizing President Obama is the way to do it.

The reason I don't take Kean any more seriously that I do say, Rush Limbaugh or any of the other anal probing conservatives in the country, is that they really do not matter. How many times have we heard the croakings of doom from people like this only to learn later that all they were doing was giving the 24-hour media beast something to feed on.

Don't take my word for it that these people really are clueless. Just go back over the past two years and read all of the breathless predictions that Obama's critics have made and the media have echoed and match them to the eventual outcomes. I think you will be surprised at how wrong they have been.

Posted by: jaxas70 | January 4, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Mwhoke wrote "It will be interesting to see how the Democrats intend on cutting the deficit and the national debt while still funding their prioities."

It won't take accoutning tricks they will let the Bush administration tax cuts run out, thereby putting the tax rate at the same levels of the Clinton era. They have also cut every department by 3% or so already. In addition, the changes in the medicare payment schedule to hospitals just passed in the healthcare bill will decrease the deficit by 130 billion or so. On top of that as the economy recovers and banks pay back their loans, and revenue increases the deficit will be cut in half in two to three years, just in time for Obama's relection, by 7% points.

Posted by: AndyR3 | January 4, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Obama still wants to send more terrorists from GITMO TO YEMEN.

This according to John Brennen, Obama's security man who I actually feel sorry for because he has to go on TV and explain this silly policy.

How many US servicemen died capturing the terrorists we have at GITMO?


Not only is Obama disrespecting those soldiers and their families - Obama is risking the lives of Americans once the terrorists are freed.

Obama has in his head a silly idea for these trials - which appeals to him because he can feel superior to Bush, and say to himself that Bush was wrong.


However, these trials are NOT making America safter - in fact Obama is releasing the terrorists before Obama loses the motions at trial.

Obama is actually REFUSING to live up to his responsibilities concerning the security of this country.

Obama should resign immediately - once Americans realize what Obama is doing, they will agree.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 4, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

What gets me about Kean's criticism of the response to the planned plane attack is that the plan FAILED. Doesn't that mean that the security measures we had in place worked? I mean we created a system that made it so complicated to get a bomb on a plane that the passengers could subdue the bomber before he could complete the act.

We keep getting told by the Dep of Homeland Security that we all have to be vigilant, then when we do as we are told its a failure of the nations security set-up. That doesn't make sense to me, especially since the bomber was on a Foreign flight.

Posted by: AndyR3 | January 4, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

It will be interesting to see how the Democrats intend on cutting the deficit and the national debt while still funding their prioities.

I would guess that will utilize accounting tricks to accomplish this that in the real world, outside the beltway, would be considered criminal in nature.

Posted by: mwhoke | January 4, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

37thand0street:

If Obama refuses to resign, he should be impeached.

Posted by: JakeD | January 4, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

should have been - "bounced back...in 2011". Sorry.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 4, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

I see that # 2 Tom Kean is the security issue - so we can continue on that.


1) INSTEAD OF PROPERLY INTERROGATING the Detroit bomber, Obama is giving him a tax-payer funded LAWYER who is probably telling the TERRORIST TO REMAIN SILENT.


This is HURING THE INTELLIGENCE GATHERING OF THE US.


2) Apparently there has been an ADMISSION that instead of using the "SECURITY THREAT" as the SOLE CRITERIA for releasing terrorists from Gitmo, Obama has released 12 terrorists because Obama MIGHT LOSE A MOTION IN COURT.


That is a quote from the New York Times 1/1.

These two actions have DIMINISHED THE SECURITY OF AMERICA AND PLACED AMERICAN LIVES AT RISK.

OBAMA SHOULD RESIGN.

AMERICA SHOULD NOT HAVE A PRESIDENT WHO IS WILLING TO RISK AMERICAN LIVES WITH THESE KINDS OF POLICIES.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 4, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

One area that connects both of CC's two posts is the failure to extend the estate tax. There, the House DID act. The Prez was apparently silent.

Background: the estate tax was lowered annually by legislation in 2001 until it reached zero in 2010 and bounced back to the high levels of 2000 in 2010. The notion was that in 2009 Congress would readjust rather than allow the 2010-2011 radical changes back and forth.

The Senate failed to act, knowing 2009 was "the year".
As a result, large estates will pass untaxed but everyone who inherits, including the 99% of persons who had been exempt from the estate tax will lose the benefit of stepped-up basis. That means that if your folks leave you their house they bought in 1950 for $9000 and it is now worth $180k you will pay capital gains tax on $172k if you sell it. The effect on the Treasury? Might be neutral! The effect on taxpayers? A shift of taxation from the very wealthy [on an estate worth more $7M for a married couple] to taxation on everyone, who inherits, especially the middle class.

A failure of the legislature, to be sure. But a failure of presidential attention, I think, as well.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 4, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

margaretmeyers:

Was Obama's similar rise "vapid" as well?

Posted by: JakeD | January 4, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Gov. Kean is being polite in his criticism of Obama. Closing GTMO, giving foreign terrorists the "right to remain silent", moving them to NYC for trial, OLC memo on CIA interrogations, questions of a special prosecutor, etc. have actually weakened the overall war. That's what Chertoff and Hayden said on "Meet the Press" yesterday.

Posted by: JakeD | January 4, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

A year ago Clinton stood at 20 percent to Palin's 11 percent in the "most admired" category and two years ago the former governor didn't even break single digits -- a testament to the v a p i d i t y of her rise on the national stage.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | January 4, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

It's not just about politics for 8-9 pro-life House Democrats -- although it doesn't hurt they are in districts that went for McCain -- will they hold true to principle and vote AGAINST Obamacare if the Stupak Amendment language is not in the final bill?

Posted by: JakeD | January 4, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

As to number one, I remember bemoaning the irresponsibility of the D minority a few years ago. Ds were quick to say the Ds were given no opportunity to make responsible contributions, particularly in the House.

Now I would criticize the Rs as irresponsible, even though they have been included in important processes in the Senate [think of the 3 Rs on Baucus' working group].

Would R control of the House force both parties to own their conduct? I do not know but I have seen so little evidence of constructive opposition since 1994
that it discourages my belief in the rational legislative process, a belief I held dear for most of my life. That process is obviously breaking down even more so at the state level. CA and NY make the US Congress look like statesmen. Amazing.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 4, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Wonder if the GOP resurgence holds up as long as they continue to politicize terrorism and keeping this county safe?

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

Posted by: parkerfl1 | January 4, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Let me add that I clicked the blue link in the Kean story but when it opened a MS Outlook website I closed it. I do not trust that software. If my question were answered by simply following the Outlook instructions I will be grateful to the intrepid soul who will do so and reports here.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 4, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

I have a high regard for Tom Kean and take his remarks as reported by CC seriously. I did not see or hear the interview and would like to know the context and totality of the statements. On balance, I think David Brooks was correct on New Year's Eve:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/01/opinion/01brooks.html?em

Explaining that we did not demand perfection from our government within the memory of some still alive, Brooks writes:

"Resilient societies have a level-headed understanding of the risks inherent in this kind of warfare."

We will not be able to eliminate all risk. Did Tom Kean say that during his interview, as well?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 4, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

how many people have lost their homes...
how many have lost their jobs...
how many enjoy seeing obama on vacation in hawaii...
while many of you suffer...
well...

Posted by: DwightCollins | January 4, 2010 7:21 AM | Report abuse

at least Republicans challenge other republicans unlike the dems who are told what to do by pelosi...

Posted by: DwightCollins | January 4, 2010 7:02 AM | Report abuse

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