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Friday House Line: The Inaugural 2010 Edition!



The U.S. House. Photo by Nikki Kahn of the Washington Post

Nearly six months into the 2010 election cycle, it's time to unveil our first House Line of the season!

House races typically develop slower than do Senate and governor's contests, making handicapping who's in the hot seat more difficult in the early days of an election.

But, the tipping point has now been reached and away we go.

Friday Line

A first glance at the initial House playing field suggests that Republicans will almost certainly make some gains due to the fact that, in picking up 50+ seats in 2006 and 2008 combined, Democrats have come close to maximizing their opportunities.

A look around the country shows a dearth of Republican-held seats that are obvious Democratic pickup opportunities based on their underlying demographics -- with the New Orleans area seat currently held by Rep. Joseph Cao (R) being the obvious exception.

Democrats, on the other hand, hold a significant number of seats in places like Idaho, southern Alabama and western Maryland that by the numbers should be in Republican hands.

The two most respected House handicappers -- Stu Rothenberg and Charlie Cook -- reflect this disparity in their current ratings. Rothenberg carries 23 Democratic seats and 10 GOP-held seats on his competitive race list while Cook has a 58 Democratic seats and 43 Republican districts listed as competitive.

Republicans also have history on their side. In all but one midterm election held in the first term of a president since 1970, the party out of the White House has picked up seats. (The lone exception was in 2002 when House Republicans netted eight seats -- an election shrouded by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.) In those other five elections, the average seat loss for the president's party has been 23 seats -- although that average is skewed somewhat by Republicans' massive 54-seat pickup in 1994.

While Republicans are almost certain to pick up seats next November, it's hard to see today how they could re-take the majority in the House. Forty seats, which is currently what it would take to restore Republicans to majority status, is a high bar -- particularly with a popular president and what almost certainly will be a well-funded Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee under Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.)

A caveat: It's a very long time between now and election day 2010. President Obama is riding high right now but there's much ground to be covered between now and next November that could trip up not just him but also congressional Democrats.

Below you'll find the ten seats most likely to switch parties in 2010, a list derived from conversations with savvy operatives in both parties as well as a combination of historical trends, demographic changes and fundraising numbers.

The number one race in the Line is the most likely to switch parties. Agree or disagree with our picks? The comments section awaits.

10. California's 44th district (R-controlled) (Obama won 50 percent)/California's 45th district (R) (Obama won 52 percent): These neighboring California seats -- held by Reps. Ken Calvert and Mary Bono Mack, respectively, are major Democratic targets in 2010. Calvert narrowly beat unknown Bill Hedrick (D) in 2008 and Hedrick quickly announced he would seek a rematch. There is also talk of a serious Republican primary challenge to Calvert brewing, which would further complicate his reelection chances. Bono Mack cruised to reelection in 2008 but has already drawn a top-tier opponent in Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet who Democrats believe has the name identification and fundraising base to take advantage of the changing demographics in this Inland Empire seat.

9. Pennsylvania's 6th district(R) (58 percent): Rep. Jim Gerlach, who has held this south suburban Philly seat since 2002 seems to know his ticket could come up in 2010; he is exploring runs for governor and Senate although the former office seems the more likely choice at the moment. Doug Pike, a longtime member of the Philadelphia Inquirer's editorial board, the son of a former New York congressman and a potential self funder, is already in the race but the Democratic field will grow if Gerlach abandons the seat for a statewide bid.

8. Ohio's 1st district (D) (55 percent): Rep. Steve Chabot's (R) hold on this Cincinnati-area district was always tenuous due to the heavy (27 percent) black population. With President Obama's historic candidacy leading the ticket, Chabot's number came up in 2008 as state Rep. Steve Driehaus (D) knocked him off by just over 8,000 votes. Chabot is running again, believing that the high levels of black turnout will not be repeatable in 2010. He's probably right but Driehaus will also benefit from the power of incumbency; witness the $152,000 (out of $215,000 raised) that came from political action committees in the first three months of the year.

7. Delaware's At-Large (R) (62 percent): Most Republicans we talk to think Rep. Mike Castle (R) is going to run for the Senate. If he doesn't run for Senate, a retirement is as likely a possibility as a reelection bid. And, no matter what Castle does, Democrats have a quality candidate already in the running: former Lt. Gov. John Carney. If Castle vacates the seat -- and we should know his plans within the next few weeks -- this becomes an even better Democratic pickup opportunity.

6. Mississippi's 1st district (D) (38 percent): Rep. Travis Childers (D) won this northern Mississippi seat in a contested special election in 2008 and went on to hold it by double digits last November against the same Republican opponent. Childers' electoral successes suggest he is a good fit for the district but the conservative underpinnings of the seat ensure that Republicans will work hard to find a top-tier candidate. If and when Republicans find someone, expect this race to move up the Line.

5. Alabama's 2nd district (D) (36 percent): We are the first to admit that Rep. Bobby Bright (D) proved us wrong in 2008 -- winning this decidedly conservative southern Alabama seat based on his strong ties to the district as a result of his time spent as the mayor of Montgomery. But, Bright also benefited from historically high black turnout -- in a seat where nearly three in ten residents are African-American -- that will almost certainly drop off in 2010. (It may not drop off as much as expected if Rep. Artur Davis who is black winds up as the Democratic gubernatorial nominee.) Sensing opportunity, a number of Republicans are considering the race, including 2008 loser Jay Love.

4. New Hampshire's 1st district (D) (53 percent): Rep. Carol Shea Porter was an accidental winner in 2006 -- caught up in a Democratic wave in the Granite State -- but, to her credit, she (eventually) realized her vulnerability in 2008 and brought in a professional team of political advisers. Still, she won with less than 52 percent in another very good Democratic year. Republicans quickly convinced Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta to jump into the 2010 race, and while Guinta has yet to prove himself as a federal candidate, Republicans are very optimistic. Shea-Porter won't be able to rely on a presidential year turnout and must show that the strides she made toward professionalism in 2008 will continue in this race.

3. Maryland's 1st district (D) (40 percent): Rep. Frank Kratovil (D) benefited from a perfect political storm in 2008. Conservative state Sen. Andy Harris beat longtime moderate Rep. Wayne Gilchrest in a Republican primary and Gilchrest, upset with the loss and the general direction of the GOP, decided to endorse Kratovil. In the general election, a libertarian candidate siphoned off more than 8,000 votes, more than enough to hand Kratovil a stunning 1,800 vote victory. Harris is back for a rematch and it's hard to imagine that Kratovil will be able to recreate the Democratic turnout of the 2008 presidential election.

2. Idaho's 1st district (D) (36 percent): Rep. Walt Minnick (D) ran a solid and professional campaign but it's hard to imagine him having won this seat if not for the utter ineptitude of then Rep. Bill Sali (R), a hard-right Republican who managed to alienate even his allies during his single term in Congress. Minnick raised a very solid $394,0000 in the first three months of 2009 but the simple fact of this district is that the Democrat could do everything right and still lose. Minnick got something of a break when state Treasurer Ron Crane decided against running but, rest assured, Republicans will find a credible candidate.

1. Louisiana's 2nd district (R) (74 percent): This majority-minority district in New Orleans (almost 64 percent of its residents were black, according to the 2000 Census) is among the oddest stories of campaign 2008. Voters, clearly fed up with Rep. Bill Jefferson's ethical problems opted for an unknown Republican named Joseph Cao in a December 2008 runoff. With Jefferson out of the picture, this is an almost impossible hold for Cao and Republicans.

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 15, 2009; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  The Line  
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Comments

Kman23:

I only asked if Rep. Cao was "pro=life" (and proved it could be a winning issue for him). If you don't want to discuss abortion, you'd better stay off the latest thread:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/cheat-sheet/051809whute-house-cheat-sheet.html

Posted by: JakeD | May 18, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Can we please get JakeD banned. This is an article on competitive house races not abortion! JakeD is a political hack! Go start an abortion blog or something. Please ban him WaPo. I'm all for free speech but this guy doesn't deserve it anymore. Every article no matter the subject, all he talks about is abortion. Its mind numbing.

Posted by: Kman23 | May 17, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure the 2011 inductees will fall into lock step with the current public servants..

Posted by: newbeeboy | May 16, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

This Easton native agrees completely with your assessment of Maryland 1st. Perfect storm is an apt description of Kratovil's win. When the results came in even his supporters were amazed. He managed to squeak by in VERY favorable circumstances; the national environment, a weak opponent and a very, very key endorsement by the popular republican outgoing incumbent Gilchrest. Kratovil definitely has his work cut out for him come November.

Still, Kratovil should be able to make this race interesting. He won before when he was a lost cause. The mere fact that victory looks possible will give him a huge boost. While the 1st is conservative, democratic registration is slightly higher then GOP registration. These dems loved republican incumbent Gilchrest who was a true moderate. They voted the party ticket after Gilchrest got thrown under the bus and Kratovil might be able to win them over because the GOP is never going to find another candidate of Gilchrest's caliber in a million years.

All in all, I think this election should be an exciting contest. The broader implications are tantalizing as well. This election strikes me as a likely bellwater. Is it time for back country Democratic representatives to get off the endangered species list or is the GOP's still going to be too dominant in these districts for the dems to fight here?

Posted by: theamazingjex | May 16, 2009 5:09 AM | Report abuse

Chris, my complaint cuts both ways. A lot of men on my side spend an awful lot of time dinging Palin for things that are part of being female, not part of being a politician.

==

Wouldn't know, but from where I sit Palin is completely despicable and her politics are nothing but the idelogical extension of her despicability.

This horrid woman goes hunting in helicopters, shooting wolves and caribou by the dozen and leaving their carcasses in the snow. Words fail me, except in the fates I silently hope befall her.

The way she delivered that "it's like a community organizer" line, that snotty smug stupid attitude, yeah, "despicable" will have to do for now.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 16, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

I disagree on Childers and Shea-Porter being on the list.

First, the latter got the nomination by upsetting a DCCC-funded preferred nominee, and then winning the election, and getting reelected. I think she's a bit more credible than Chris is giving her credit for.

The former, Mr. Childers, won decisively in 2008, and Mississippi is quite friendly to conservative Democrats downballot.

Posted by: SeanC1 | May 15, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm

I wonder why Mr Fix is hating on Carol Shea-Porter so much. Might it be because he and his fellow pundit keep writing here off and are then embarrassed when she rather inconveniently proves them so very very wrong?

In 2006 she obviously had no chance of winning the primary but er... did... Well that must be terrible for Democrats because she was clearly gonna loose the general... oh wait she won...erm well that cant last long cos she was clearly gonna really struggle to win re-election in 2008... oh dear... she won? erm well hmm... must be because of Obama's coattails!

Damn this is tedious... According to CQ Obama won the NH 1st by 7 points and Shea Porter won it by 6. Doesn't really seem to suggest to me that Obama is hugely more popular in this District than Sea-Porter is.

Stop picking on here please pundits! She will only keep embarrassing you!

Posted by: the_skilled99 | May 15, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Chris, my complaint cuts both ways. A lot of men on my side spend an awful lot of time dinging Palin for things that are part of being female, not part of being a politician.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | May 15, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

No Margaret the goops have gone into permanent paranoia mode since they lost power, and you may have noticed that not only are those two Senators exempt from the heat but so are two others: Biden (Obama's sidekick) and Reid (Pelosi's opposite number in the Senate). Obama has a Y, but he has dark skin. And he defeated Daffy John "earmarks! bridge to nowhere!" McCain.

Notice they're not going after Sarah Palin, but there is some doubt that, despite her chromosome count, she fully qualifies as human.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 15, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Why are the men always blaming the women for what they themselves have done wrong?

Pelosi says she wasn't briefed honestly. Two male senators have said the same thing, and no one is jumping down their throats. I think it has something to do with Pelosi having two X chromosomes and a lot of opinions. Apparently those don't fo together.
Mrs. Edwards writes a book mostly about her illness and all anyone here and in the press wants to do is complain about the part of the book she wrote about her husband's infidelity and how unseemly her tour is. The same thing happened to Hillary Clinton. It always comes back to HER making a mistake, doesn't it?

And all the shouting about abortion here. You think abortion is wrong? Then don't have one. Wait a minute, most of the shouters here can't GET pregnant.

XY thinks it dictates everything.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | May 15, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

There are a number of people who did not vote R due to lack of integrity of deficit spending; however,

==

That was a tertiary reason; the more prominent reasons that people abandoned the GOP have if anything gotten stronger since the GOP reacted to its loss with such astoundingly little dignity, and if anything they have provided new and even stronger reasons for not voting GOP.

You guys nurture whatever hope it takes to get you through the night, mmmK?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 15, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

You know that nobody here wants to discuss abortion with you yet you miss no opportunity to change the subject to it. That's what I mean when I call you a fanatic.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 15, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

BTW: if you guys didn't want to discuss "abortion" this weekend would be a good one to not turn on the TV.

By TOM COYNE, Associated Press Writer Tom Coyne, Associated Press Writer

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Former Republican presidential hopeful Alan Keyes, a Roman Catholic priest and 19 others were arrested Friday after marching onto the University of Notre Dame campus to protest President Barack Obama's planned commencement speech.

The arrests marked the third straight Friday that protesters have been detained. They are angry about the school's decision to give Obama, who supports abortion rights and embryonic stem-cell research, an honorary degree and have him speak at Sunday's commencement.

"Notre Dame is arresting a priest," the Rev. Norman Weslin, founder of the Lambs of Christ abortion protest group, said as Notre Dame security personnel put plastic restraints on his wrists Friday. "Why are you arresting a priest for trying to stop the killing of a baby? You've got it all backward."

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Mr. Cillizza, of course, that Republicans are almost certain to pick up seats next November.

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

I believe that 2010 may be a good year for the House Republican candidates in the districts that were drawn to favor them in MI,PA,FL,OH,ID, and even NY if David Paterson is on the ballot for Gov.


Posted by: Digital_Voter | May 15, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Bismon,

“fiscal stimulus money may nudge it back onto the upswing. If that happens - where's the GOP?”

I think if the present congress and executive branches which are both controlled by D continue on with record deficit spending then that will be the platform the R will use for their upswing. There are a number of people who did not vote R due to lack of integrity of deficit spending; however, Obama has put Bush and his cronies to shame in their record spending. The long term question is who will keep funding our deficit (how long will the Chinese continue buying our notes)? If inflation roars back due to deficit spending their will be a backlash against the D.

Posted by: sltiowa | May 15, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade:

Are you gone for the weekend too?

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

hahahahahahahaaa

you hang on to that thought, Jake

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 15, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I hesitate to differ on what is obviously a well researched list, but I think you have seriously underestimated the amount of anger toward Andy Harris on the Eastern Shore for what he did to Gilchrest ... Granted, it will ease a little, but there is no way he should be ranked that high on list, because resentment truly runs strong and deep

Posted by: kdemko | May 15, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

It also means that I just proved you lied.

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

congratulations on getting some attention, Jake. That means you can make it through another night!

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 15, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

For the record, mark_in_austin, bsimon and BreakNobama (on the other thread) have all answered my questions and are more than "nobody".

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Keep on eye on WA state's 8th district. In years past the Darcy Burner campaigns put that district on this list. This cycle's likely dem nominee, Suzane Delbene, is the real deal with executive experience at several high tech firms. Contrast that experience with Reichert voting against the stimulus and voters asking themselves who can help turn things around economically and the 8th might go D for the first in its history.

Posted by: kranman | May 15, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Ye,s exactly what is Pelosi 'guilty' of? what laws has she broken?

Posted by: drindl | May 15, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

JakeD anguished:
who answers MY questions to them?

==

Why, nobody, Jake, and does anyone need explain AGAIN why that is?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 15, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else (who answers MY questions to them)?

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

What is Pelosi "guilty" of, Jake?

(this should be good)

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 15, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

shackford56:

Please see dcgrasso1's post at 3:44 PM. Thanks.

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

For the record, former Speakers (and Speaker-designates) have been ousted "for much less". Vice-President Aaron Burr killed Alexander Hamilton for MORE than what Pelosi is guilty of.

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Western Maryland? Haha, that's hilarious. Please tell me that's just an egregious typo. Because if it's not it's pretty poor substantive work, even for WaPo coverage outside MoCo and Prince George's.

Posted by: shackford56 | May 15, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

But Plum Line blogger Greg Sargent makes a contrarian point today about the media coverage of Pelosi, wondering why the CIA side of things isn't receiving the same level of scrutiny:

Multiple news accounts this morning report that Pelosi’s credibility is in question after yesterday’s press conference, in which she accused the CIA of lying about what they told members of Congress about the agency’s use of torture. This theme was sounded by MSNBC, WaPo’s Dan Balz, the New York Times write-up, and many others.

That’s as it should be. But I challenge you to find a news account that stated with equal prominence that the CIA’s credibility is also in question.

Sargent makes a fair point. Having covered the intelligence community a few years back, though, the sources are much more suspicious, the information often opaque, and it's generally harder for beat reporters to actually prove the CIA is lying, while it's a heck of a lot easier for the media to cast skepticism on a politician's claims.

Sargent continues:

Three senior Democrats — Pelosi, Bob Graham, and Jay Rockefeller — have all publicly claimed that the CIA didn’t brief them about the use of torture in the manner the agency has claimed. Meanwhile, the CIA itself has conceded that its own accounting may not be accurate.

Yet key facts that cast doubt on the CIA’s claims have been buried or completely omitted from multiple news reports. The Times’s first mention of Graham’s claims came today, five days after he first made them, and they were buried in the 22nd paragraph of the paper’s write-up."

must be that librul media again

Posted by: drindl | May 15, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Pelosi isn't going anywhere, billy. you teabaggers are having delusions -- nothing unusual for you, I know. You think you have a power you sadly, do not possess. Who will decide Nancy's fate? Why, Democrats! Remember-- she's from San Francisco. And how do you think those fine folks will react to a barrage of attacks against her by wingers? They will circle the wagons around her, my friends. She'll be just fine, don't you worry.

"Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has jumped to the front of the line with the heated rhetoric on the Nancy Pelosi torture memos frenzy, calling for the speaker's ouster in a Fox News interview that aired in the past hour.

King basically goes off for the entire four minute segment — egged on by Fox anchor Megyn Kelly, who asks, "What can be done to take away her speakership?" King is no stranger to provocative comments — last month he warned that Iowa would soon become a "gay marriage mecca."

King said former speakers have been ousted "for much less," and he goes on to call Pelosi "an enemy of national security." In the end, King admits that "it is in the hands of Democrats." Indeed, Pelosi is getting more support from Democrats in the past few days, with some Intelligence Committee experts backing her side of the story."

Posted by: drindl | May 15, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

never billy. dream on.

Posted by: drindl | May 15, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

How long before Pelosi's seat makes it onto this list?

Posted by: billy8 | May 15, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Not so funny that GOP loyalists seem to be pining for another "terrorist attack" as their best hope of their party getting back into power.

That's some patriotism there.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 15, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

This is hilarious.

http://obama.wsj.com/quote/07au9MtdHug8y?q=White+House

"Just wait until the next big terrorist attack"

This is funny. Check it out on the WSJ blog. it's from the fix, a week ago... jake said it and then i mocked him and it
got picked up at WSJ, it appears.

Little eerie to realize how many people mayb be listening to such chat

Posted by: drindl | May 15, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

"I respect that, but I want to discuss other approaches that may have more impact on minimizing abortions.

If you want to have that discussion, I have some ideas to throw out. Gotta run, now, however."

Without much depth of thought:

Prevention program that's multifaceted - teach abstinence, but not abstinence only

Improve the economic situations of the poor - Clinton did that

Improve inner city education

Improve education on abortion alternatives (adoption)

Posted by: DDAWD | May 15, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

You overuse the sneer-quote, Jake. One can be an impeccable conservative and still be pro-choice. It's your personal fascination that makes the pro-life position so fundamental, but most serious conservatives know that it's a losing electoral proposition. Even a lot of pro-lifers are unwilling to return to the coercion of forcing women to have babies they don't want, since this will kill a good number of them who seek to end their pregnancies through back-alley procedures or throwing themselves down stairs.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 15, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

fable104:

I disagreed with your contention that Rep. Cao (R-LA) is a goner, and even addressed your issue about a purported "recall" election. If you want to discuss that, or Walt Minnick (who may be "conservative" on other issues but is not a pro-lifer), let me know.

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

So... Where does that leave us with 2010? Will the GOP be able to come up with something that will swing the pendulum? Right now it looks like their only hope is ongoing economic unrest.

==

I think they are planning a False Flag "terrorist attack," and I fantasize daily they get caught before it happens. It'd be fantastic to have Cheney sputtering that killing a few hundred people would energize Americans to make us "safer."

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 15, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

So much for "respectful dialogue" with those you disagree with here.

Posted by: JakeD


Jakey, the thread is about the Friday Line, not your extreme abortion rhetoric. If you've actually got something intelligent (I know that's asking a lot) to say about the Line, then fire away.

Posted by: jasperanselm | May 15, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

"So much for "respectful dialogue" with those you disagree with here."

Yes -- the nonsensical "logic" you post is extremely disrepectful to anyone who disagrees with you.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | May 15, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

So much for "respectful dialogue" with those you disagree with here.

==

Like you're in any position to lecture anyone on respectful dialogue. You're a lying troll.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 15, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

"I thought YOU posted the following:"

I did. I got sidetracked. That happens sometimes. But I'm here for posts like the one I made at 1:05 and 4:06.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 15, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

It's not only hate that's become mainstream conservatism, but lying too. Sometime during the Reagan era they dropped any pretense of telling the truth and the great purges have been not so much of the ideologically impure as those not willing to utter the qualifying lies with conviction.

Abortion is murder, cutting taxes increases revenue, global warming is a lie, invading Iraq made us safer, and the new one, torture works.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 15, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

So much for "respectful dialogue" with those you disagree with here.

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox8 writes
"Usually the non-presidential party picks up seats in a midterm but usually the other party hasn't immolated itself with with frivolous political gestures and with an unpalatable extremity in its positions."

That reminds me; I neglected to include this angle in my first post.

While it can be helpful to study history in order to detect patterns with which to analyze the present, it is a mistake to presume that history will be a guide. For instance, the Fix notes that the 1994 pickup skews the results of the 'minority party pickup' calculations. The interesting question is: why? Likewise, the 2002 pickups bucked the trend - the President's party gained seats despite the historical record. Again: why? In the 1994 case, the GOP took advantage of entrenched Dem laziness and abuse of the system by showing up with a bunch of new ideas and a snappy slogan. In 2002, the GOP took advantage by beating the Dems over the head with 'soft on terrorism' unless they voted to invade Iraq.

So... Where does that leave us with 2010? Will the GOP be able to come up with something that will swing the pendulum? Right now it looks like their only hope is ongoing economic unrest. Yet, at the moment anyway, the economy's freefall has stopped - and fiscal stimulus money may nudge it back onto the upswing. If that happens - where's the GOP?

To make a short story long, I would hesitate to look at the historical record and say "2010 is a GOP year."

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 15, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

C'mon jake, you're overdue to say something stupid.

Posted by: jasperanselm | May 15, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

The rightwing bloviaters are inciting nuts to murder:

"Neiwert also bemoans the radicalization of the Republicans and the refulgence of the fringe. He writes that the poisonous rhetoric that now dominates the right represents the "death of discourse itself" -- and possibly presages the coming of a new American berserk. Bookending The Eliminationists is the story of Jim Adkisson, a Knoxville man who killed two and wounded seven in a July 2008 shooting at a Unitarian Church.

In a manifesto released in February, he wrote, "Know this if nothing else: This was a hate crime. I hate the damn left-wing liberals. … Who I wanted to kill was every Democrat in the Senate & House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg's book."

The scariest part of all this? We are just a few months into the Obama presidency. The ugliness has just begun. Neiwert's book should serve as a wake-up call not just for progressives and moderates but also for conservatives who still seek to participate in the American pluralist experiment. Some may want to brush off the Adkissons and Poplawskis as deranged aberrations, but that would be a dangerous temptation.

As The Eliminationists persuasively argues, they are less anomalies than inevitabilities: the terrifying end products of a conservative movement that has nothing left to offer but the conspiratorial murmur and the rabble-rousing howl."

Posted by: drindl | May 15, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

"I guess Dr. Rice doesn't teach at Stanford in your "reality" either."

We're not talking about "Dr. Rice" -- we're talking about you.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | May 15, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

My apologies, bsimon1. I thought YOU posted the following: "I enjoyed Ruth Marcus's op-ed pointing out that Gov Palin made an effective argument for choice, when she described her own choice not to secretly have an abortion while on a business trip & Bristol's choice to carry her baby to term, despite the challenges faced by teenage mothers."

I will patiently await mark_in_austin's return then.

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

You don't even have a GED, Jakey-D. Did you even make it to the eighth grade?

I love the reverent "Dr." Rice. That woman is the intellectual equivalent of a prostitute

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 15, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

chris,

This is a good piece about what has happened to the rightwingers... It's called "how hate groups went mainstream"


"The Eliminationists attempts a grand theory of the right-wing mentality. "What motivates this kind of talk and behavior is called eliminationism: a politics and culture that shuns dialogue and the democratic exchange of ideas in favor of the pursuit of outright elimination of the opposing side, either through suppression, exile, and ejection, or extermination," he writes. Calling eliminationism "a signature trait of fascism," Neiwert offers a deft and scrupulous synthesis of academic research on fascism, which has been drained of its meaning from both liberal overuse (as Neiwert admits) and conservative up-is-downism.

Neiwert's commentary is depressingly timely. While paranoid and anti-intellectual rhetoric has long defined conservative media, the latest strain seems to be louder, meaner, and more pervasive. Where once the kind of hate talk Neiwert describes was confined to the fringes, it's now part of daily programming at Fox News. To a distressing extent, much of mainstream right-wing culture and politics is predicated on hatred and exclusion.

Hardly a day goes by that an epithet isn't hurled against Hispanics, Muslims, immigrants, gays and lesbians, and other bêtes noire in conservative media and the right-wing blogosphere. And let's not forget the greatest enemy of all: liberals. More than low taxes, traditional values, or a hawkish foreign policy, hatred of liberals (as opposed to mere disagreement) is the one true unifier among conservatives. Neiwert sums up the right-wing mentality by citing a line from Benito Mussolini to a left-wing critic: "The democrats of Il Mondo want to know our program? It is to break the bones of the democrats of Il Mondo." For many conservatives, the goal isn't so much to enact conservative policies as it is to vanquish the liberals in their midst."

http://prospect.org/cs/articles?article=how_hate_groups_went_mainstream

Posted by: drindl | May 15, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

"Let me know when you get back and are ready to discuss the issue"

I am here to discuss the Friday Line.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 15, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Stanford Law School has gone to court for a permanent injunction barring jaked from claiming he ever attended that august institution, or even cleaned toilets there.

Summa cum laude. LOL

==

Yeah the Summa Cum Laude grad who thinks the ad hominem is the only logical fallacy there is. Who never heard of ad verecundiam, never heard of post hoc ergo propter hoc, never heard of prejudicial language.

The phonies never understand how educated people spot them so easily

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 15, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I guess Dr. Rice doesn't teach at Stanford in your "reality" either.

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Stanford Law School has gone to court for a permanent injunction barring jaked from claiming he ever attended that august institution, or even cleaned toilets there.

Summa cum laude. LOL

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | May 15, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin or bsimon:

Let me know when you get back and are ready to discuss the issue : )

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else?

==

DOESN'T LOOK LIKE IT, TROLL

Maybe you should leave

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 15, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

rlalumiere, part of MD-01 is on Maryland's Western Shore (though the most eastern part of it!). I live a little north of Baltimore and am just barely within the district. Part of it also runs south of Baltimore.

My daughter lives in Roscoe Bartlett's district (MD-06) and says that the voting results, while still reliably conservative, have gotten a little bit closer every election. In 2002, Bartlett got about 66% of the vote; 2004, about 60%; 2006, 59%; and in 2008, 57.8%. The district is getting a lot of influx from people who commute to Baltimore and Washington and do not hold a conservative philosophy. I expect Bartlett will remain in office for a few more cycles, but by the time he retires (he's about to turn 83, so that time might not be too far off), the district might be up for grabs.

Posted by: dcgrasso1 | May 15, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else?

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

You cannot murder something that is part of your own body.

Posted by: drindl | May 15, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Usually the non-presidential party picks up seats in a midterm but usually the other party hasn't immolated itself with with frivolous political gestures and with an unpalatable extremity in its positions.

I think the GOP is going to lose more seats, because they seem determined to marginalize themselves. They're even attacking the "listening tour" as too "wimpy." Real men don't listen, real men torture, right?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 15, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse


"The "best" way to reduce the number of abortions (if that's your only goal) is to kill every female of reproductive age. There's no getting around that logic."

You seem to be working from a script, jake, just like zouk used to do and say the exact same things every day. Which righrtwing foundation pays you guys?

Posted by: drindl | May 15, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Ah, I see jakey's getting paid by the post again today. How refreshing............

Posted by: jasperanselm | May 15, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

If jake really had gone to law school, he'd know that most professors would use him to point out the absurdity of absolutist provisions. He'd be made a fool of.

==

that ship has sailed

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 15, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

When you come back, we could just kill all females of reproductive age. That would IMMEDIATELY bring the abortion rate to zero. Let's discuss the options.

==

Nobody wants a discussion with a moron or with a fanatic and you are both.

Abortions could be reduced to near zero by finding ways to reduce unintentional pregnacny to near zero, but you are against all those ways too.

Same crowd that calls abortion "murdering children" is behind ineffective and ridiculous ideas like abstinence only sex education, favors denying access to birth control medication, and generally would rather force women to bear children they don't want.

Why should anyone take them seriously?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 15, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

If jake really had gone to law school, he'd know that most professors would use him to point out the absurdity of absolutist provisions. He'd be made a fool of.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | May 15, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

JakeD turning ANOTHER comment section into an abortion debate?

Not only a moron, but a fanatic to boot.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 15, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

If anyone (other than "koolkat_1960" or "chrisfox8") wants to know the difference between REAL murder and justifable homicide, please let know.

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

bsimon:

Let's say, hypotehtically, that the U.S. Supreme Court rules today that the State cannot prosecute "murder" of anyone with the last name "Simon". Does that mean REAL murder is O.K. with you suddenly?

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

"Using that "logic" then REAL murder is a personal issue and a personal choice too."

For someone who allegedly went to Stanford Law School, you're quite silly. Murder IS a personal choice. That's why people who murder are subject to criminal sanction. People who can prove they had no choice, for example were forced to murder someone else by someone who would kill their children if they didn't carry out the murder, will almost surely get off.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | May 15, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Chris, being with the Washington Post, you should know that Frank Kravotil does NOT represent Western Maryland. Western Maryland is solidly in the hands of the current Congressman Roscoe Bartlett.

Kravotil, in fact, represents the Eastern Shore -- a very different district from Western Maryland.

Come on, Chris, get it right!

Posted by: rlalumiere | May 15, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else?

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

The pollster was ready to propose mass vasectomies as a more humane approach then the slaughter of women, and one more likely to tag the irresponsible parties, but the conversation proceeded apace. Oh, well.

Posted by: MoreAndBetterPolls | May 15, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

"Does anyone (other than "koolkat_1960" or "chrisfox8") want to refute my actual points about Ms. Marcus's op-ed piece?"

the only point I see you have made is that she is "full of crap." Not much of a point.

If abortion were illegal, Palin would have made the same choice but she would not have made it public and rightwingnuts like jaked could not trumpet her "pro-life stance."

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | May 15, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I have also been nothing but "respectful" with people who disagree with me (even when they are not "respectful" to me). Forced sterilizations would still have a small "failure" rate.

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

bsimon:

Perhaps certain other assumptions should be stated explicitly like: "The ends do not justify the means"?

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone (other than "koolkat_1960" or "chrisfox8") want to refute my actual points about Ms. Marcus's op-ed piece?

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"The "best" way to reduce the number of abortions (if that's your only goal) is to kill every female of reproductive age. There's no getting around that logic."


If that's what you call logic, discussion is pointless. Perhaps certain assumptions should be stated explicitly like: "reducing abortions while continuing the species," so forced sterilization is out too.

So. Are you capable of rational discussion, or is it correct to conclude that you have no interest in respectful dialogue with people with whom you disagree?

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 15, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"Abortion is a personal issue and a personal choice. The government has no business taking that difficult decision away from those who must live with the consequences." Ruth Marcus (4/29/09)

Using that "logic" then REAL murder is a personal issue and a personal choice too. Just because Gov. Palin thought about an abortion, doesn't mean the pro-choice side is correct, anymore than parents who think about killing their own BORN children. Short of my "modest proposal" we will always have abortions, just like we will always have REAL murders.

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

"Ruth Marcus was full of crap."

thanks for making my case about rightwingnuts.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | May 15, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1:

The "best" way to reduce the number of abortions (if that's your only goal) is to kill every female of reproductive age. There's no getting around that logic.

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Oy, I live in Pennsylvania's 6th District. Every two years Gerlach makes noises about how moderate he is, just until he is reelected, and then he votes the GOP party line again. His district, one of many outrageously redrawn to secure that Permanent Republican Majority 9 years ago, is now firmly Blue and he should be looking for his next job.

The male fixation with controling pregnancy? What is THAT about? The boys in this blog spend so much time shouting their virtue here I'm going deaf!

And here's the school bus, bringing my 'choice' children home.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | May 15, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin writes
"It may be a conversation in which JakeD and others committed to criminalizing abortion cannot be engaged"

JakeD proves the point
"we could just kill all females of reproductive age"


It should be obvious to anyone with two brain cells to rub together that the best way to reduce the number of abortions is to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies. Women were getting abortions before the procedure was decriminalized nationwide. It is illogical to argue for recriminalization for the purposes of reducing the number of abortions.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 15, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Arizona's 5th which is heavily republican has elected and re-elected a popular democrat. Yet, you wonder, with 55% of the district registered republicans, how long this will continue. Mitchell first got elected in 2006 because people here were fed up with a loud mouth do nothing republican who formerly was sports announcer (Heywood)and he got re-elected on Obama's coat tails. Obama came close in Arizona and got far more votes in the fifth than previous democrats. So you see, this could be a sleeper the next time around.

Posted by: Opa2 | May 15, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin:

When you come back, we could just kill all females of reproductive age. That would IMMEDIATELY bring the abortion rate to zero. Let's discuss the options.

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

drindl, assume with me that Roe, because of its underpinning of the definition of a "person" as including a fetus viable outside the womb, will become a virtual non sequitur over time. This will become true, because very early embryos will be viable outside the womb as technology advances.

At that time, I think the strongest argument for legislating abortion to be rare, but safe and legal when performed, is based on an understanding that the law is not the only means of social control, and is often an ineffective one. In Brazil, a catholic country, abortion is generally illegal, with some exceptions; nevertheless, it is far more widely practiced than in the USA.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_Brazil

It is said that abortions were more widely practiced in 1960 than today in the USA, but post-pill I think we are comparing apples and oranges.

I know that you oppose "casual" abortions. Rather than a debate about whether abortions should be crimes, how about a discussion about how to minimize abortions? I think that is a different conversation. It may be a conversation in which JakeD and others committed to criminalizing abortion cannot be engaged, because they find the moral imperative too demanding to permit the assumption that abortions will occur, regardless of the penal sanctions.
I respect that, but I want to discuss other approaches that may have more impact on minimizing abortions.

If you want to have that discussion, I have some ideas to throw out. Gotta run, now, however.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | May 15, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Ruth Marcus was full of crap.

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I have NOT made the case for choice, anymore than when gang / murderers like Stanley "Tookie" Williams "repent" in prison.

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

"I've known women who were pro-choice, too, who became very pro-life after getting pregnant. So, that cuts both ways, folks."

And you have, like Palin, made the case for choice. It's up to the pregnant woman.

PS I'm sure you've also known women who got pregnant and got abortions -- they just didn't go around announcing it like those who chose to have their babies.

Thanks Jake!

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | May 15, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm not so sure that MD-01 (mostly on the EASTERN Shore, as DukeStinks correctly pointed out) is as vulnerable as you think, Chris. I live in this district, and the Republican, Andy Harris, has done himself no favors. He continues to make comments in the state legislature that are really off the wall. In the meantime, Frank Kratovil has voted as a "blue dog" Democrat (i.e., more conservatively than I'd prefer, but more in line with a generally conservative district!) and as far as I can see, is representing the district pretty well.

I think he'll be harder to defeat than you believe.

Posted by: dcgrasso1 | May 15, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Rightwingnuts will not accept that Palin's column was a great propaganda piece FOR choice, even though, if abortion were illegal, she could not have written the column since she couldn't have made her "choice" known. When I bring that up, rightwingnuts never respond.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | May 15, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I've known women who were pro-choice, too, who became very pro-life after getting pregnant. So, that cuts both ways, folks.

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Joseph Cao is the most accidental of accidental congressmen. He should take pictures of himself in his office because a few years from now no one will believe he was in Congress, representing that district.

He can be pro-life, pro-choice, pro-rata, pro tem, pro football, and pro hace vice, but he ain't getting reelected.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | May 15, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

exactly, b.

i took a friend for a procedure once and noticed that at least half the women around the room had necklaces with crosses, so my guess is that there was a good chance they were 'pro-life'.

Nobody likes abortion, but doesn't give the government the right to intervene in medical decisions.

Posted by: drindl | May 15, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

The last general election was barely six months ago. The current House has only been seated for four and a half months. How can we be in the next election cycle? They haven't had time to do anything. This is insane!

Posted by: caribis | May 15, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"Everybody is pro life until they or their daughter get pregnant."

I enjoyed Ruth Marcus's op-ed pointing out that Gov Palin made an effective argument for choice, when she described her own choice not to secretly have an abortion while on a business trip & Bristol's choice to carry her baby to term, despite the challenges faced by teenage mothers.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 15, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Everybody is pro life until they or their daughter get pregnant.

Posted by: drindl | May 15, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Route1:

At least a MAJORITY consider themselves "personally" pro-life. Getting them to not contradict themselves now is the main task. The abolitionist movement in this country started in worst shape, my friend -- too bad we didn't have George Gallup around back then -- hopefully, we don't end up with a Civil War over this issue too.

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

JakeD, looking at the Gallup poll, simple math tells me that 76 percent of the people polled feel that abortion should be legal, either with or without restrictions. Only 22 percent feel it should be absolutely illegal. If you consider that to be positive news for the pro-life movement, that's interesting. We just elected a pro-choice President with a 53 percent majority, so that would seem to put paid to what you're selling.

Posted by: Route1 | May 15, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Eastern Maryland, Cillizza. Eastern Maryland. Don't know why you always forget that one.

Posted by: DukeStinks | May 15, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Maybe if you grovel, savage....


"Earlier this month, the British government announced a list of people barred from entering the country because of their history of fostering extremism or hatred. Included on the list was American hate radio host Michael Savage, who has since expressed his outrage at the decision. “It is demented,” Savage said. “I want my name off of that list and I want a letter of apology from this [British Home Secretary] Jacqui Smith.” Now it appears that Savage is seeking help from an old nemesis: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The San Fransisco Chronicle’s Rich Lieberman reports that “[l]awyers for Savage are formally asking [that] she call on the British Government to withdraw its ban.” It’s interesting that Savage is now turning to Clinton for help, considering what he has had to say about her in the past. Some examples:

– “Hillary Clinton, the most Godless woman in the Senate.”

– Regarding one of Clinton’s speeches: “That’s rubbish. That’s Hitler dialogue. Goebbels would be proud of you, Hillary Clinton. I know Mao Zedong would have been proud of you.”

– “[Clinton has] destroyed the war effort against terror. And if, God forbid, a suitcase bomb goes off you’ll know who to blame.”

– On Clinton’s run for the presidency: “[She would] stir up a race war, a civil war in the country to get that hag, that harridan elected.”

Savage also once suggested that Clinton had something to do with the death of John F. Kennedy Jr. so she could run for U.S. Senate in New York."

Posted by: drindl | May 15, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

God, Jake, don't you ever think of anything but pregnant women? it's not healthy.

In any case the poll you keep pushing shows that overall most people want to keep abortion legal.

Posted by: drindl | May 15, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

MN seats to watch:
Freshman Rep Eric Paulsen (R) was in the news this week when it came to light that his wife earned $10000 from his campaign over 3 months last year. While legal, it could raise an ethical cloud.

2nd term Rep Michele Bachmann (R) is always one to watch. She was able to squeak out an 08 win in a district she should hold easily. Her propensity to say outrageous things keeps this seat on the target list for Dems, though their best bet is to win the Governorship & eliminate it in redistricting (MN is likely to lose a Rep).

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 15, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about Louisiana's 2nd District, but nationwide, polling is looking good for the pro-life movement:

http://www.gallup.com/poll/118399/More-Americans-Pro-Life-Than-Pro-Choice-First-Time.aspx

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

In his presumed quest for reelection Cao has been adamantly encouraged by Wagner, who, as described by Times-Picayune columnist Stephanie Grace, asserts that Cao can win reelection if he staffs key positions with African-Americans and emphasizes service to constituents. Grace quoted Wagner as saying that, if Cao focuses on the needs of the people he represents, they "aren't going to care whether the congressman is black, yellow or blue." In his final column of 2008, John Maginnis, naming Cao's election as one of eight reasons why the year was one of the "most eventful" in Louisiana political history, asserted that Cao's "electoral future is uncertain but not untenable." Political watchdog C.B. Forgotston said he assumed that the Democrats would regain the seat in 2010 once the majority party unites behind a new candidate free of the scandal associated with Jefferson. On March 19, 2009, Times-Picayune analyst Stephanie Grace averred that Cao will defeat Jefferson if Jefferson is somehow Cao's opponent in the congressional election of 2010.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Cao#Re-election_prospects

Should be interesting at least

(cont.)

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

As for the recall, the petition needs over 100,000 (within 180 days of February) to fulfill Louisiana requirements, and Congress has never removed, and has no constitutional provision for removal of, a member because of constituents' recall. Several leaders of the recall campaign, specifically the Reverends Samuel Butler and Toris Young, claimed to have been supporters of Cao, but Cao and his campaign manager Bryan Wagner asserted never to have met them, whereupon columnist James Gill commented:

This is most odd, for these ministers never impersonate shrinking violets. It would be hard for anyone to forget meeting them.

After Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell issued an opinion that the state cannot recall federal officials, Butler and Young announced that they would pursue the matter in the federal courts. We'll see how that works out for them. Gill, immediately jumping on this new twist in the plot, asserted that Young would certainly know how to get to federal court (LOL):

"because he has been to federal court several times, most recently when Judge Lance Africk gave him permission to fly to Washington for President Barack Obama's inauguration."

Young couldn't leave the jurisdiction without Africk's say-so because he is on probation, having gotten out of jail just last year. Africk sent him down in 2006 after he pleaded guilty to 11 counts of fraud and identity theft.

Gill concluded that Wagner's not knowing Young could be explained by the latter's having been "detained elsewhere" during the early stages of campaign planning. LOL

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Joseph Cao is a goner. Even if he votes with the Democrats on every issue between now and November 2010, he still voted against the Barack Obama's stimulus package. Black ministers in his district were already calling for a recall election a month or two ago.

Winning in Idaho is incredibly difficult but if anyone can do it then it is Walt Minnick. Minnick is an incredibly conservative Democrat and already has raised a good pile of money. He could be the next Jim Matheson and hold on to his seat.

Posted by: fable104 | May 15, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Is Rep. Cao pro-life?

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

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