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The Line: GOP Wants Its 'Safe' House Seats Back

The Fix is knee-deep in sorting through the winners and losers from last night's Republican presidential debate, but the thought of going two straight weeks without a Friday Line was just unacceptable.

So here's an update on the most-competitive House races of the '08 cycle. Due to the fact that many of these races have yet to begin in earnest, we're not yet rank ordering them by the likelihood of a party turnover. If a race you think is a worthwhile target in November 2008 isn't on this list, use the comments section below to make your case.

To the Line!

Arizona's 1st District (Currently Republican): It seems a matter of when, not if Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) will resign this seat following an FBI raid last month on a business run by his wife. This northern Arizona district should be competitive (President Bush carried it by 8 points in 2004 and 5 points in 2000), although it is very difficult to communicate with voters given its vast size. A slew of candidates have already emerged, with Democrats most keen on state Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick and attorney Jim Ledbetter. Former state Senate President Ken Bennett and businessman Lewis Tenney appear to be the leading candidates for the GOP nomination. Any special election in a seat as competitive as this one bodes poorly for Republicans given the toxic political environment for the party nationally.

California's 4th (R): The FBI's recent raid of a business tied to the wife of Rep. John Doolittle (R) has once again put this race on the national radar. Rumors of scandal led Democrats to target Doolittle in 2006. He squeaked by with 49 percent despite the fact that this northern California district was carried by President Bush by 24 percent in 2004. Charlie Brown, an unknown who nearly ousted Doolitle in 2006, is back for another run. If Doolittle decides to run again, this seat will be a major Democratic target. If he retires/resigns, Republicans should win it relatively comfortably.

California's 11th (Currently Democratic): Rep. Jerry McNerney (D) was one of the surprise winners in 2006, taking advantage of the environmental movement's jihad against Rep. Richard Pombo (R) to ride to a narrow victory. But this seat will be tough for any Democrat to hold, as Bush won it with 54 percent in 2004 -- 10 points better than he did statewide. National Republicans clearly prefer former state Assemblyman Dean Andal as their candidate, but Pombo continues to make noise that he may make a comeback bid. McNerney raised a respectable $348,000 in the first three months of the year and ended the quarter with nearly $300,000 in the bank.

Florida's 16th (D): If not for the sex scandal surrounding former Rep. Mark Foley (R), this coastal seat would have remained in Republican hands for the foreseeable future. But circumstances intruded, and Republicans are now intent on wresting back the district, which Bush carried 54 percent to 46 percent in 2004, from Rep. Tim Mahoney (D). That effort suffered a blow when state Rep. Joe Negron (R), who ran as Foley's ballot replacement in 2006, decided not to run. Republicans are keen on two possible candidates -- Pittsburgh Steelers heir Tom Rooney and state Rep. Gayle Harrell -- and believe either can beat Mahoney. Although Mahoney happened into the seat as a result of events beyond his control, he is working hard to keep it. He raised $460,000 in the first quarter of 2007, compared with $165,000 for Rooney and $127,000 for Harrell.

Indiana's 9th (D): This southern Indiana district seems to love to change their Member every few years. Rep. Baron Hill (D) won the seat back in 2006 after losing it to Mike Sodrel in 2004. Sodrel appears to be leaning toward (another) rematch in 2008. If Sodrel runs, mark this race down as the early frontrunner for nastiest House race in the country. Hill and Sodrel don't like each other and won't pull any punches if they go at it again. Hill must worry about running in a presidential election year in a district Bush carried by 19 points in 2004, but he should be helped if -- as expected -- national Democrats target Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) for defeat.

Kansas's 2nd (D): The more we hear about the looming primary fight between former Rep. Jim Ryun and state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins, the more apt the comparison to the neighboring 3rd District seems. After Dennis Moore knocked off Rep. Vince Snowbarger (R) in 1998, national Republicans promised that they would take the seat back in 2000 -- pointing to its strong GOP underpinnings. But state Republicans were in the midst of a huge battle between the moderate and conservative wings of their party and were never able to fully unite behind the eventual nominee. Ditto in 2002. By 2004 it was too late. Could Republicans be repeating the mistakes of the past again? Maybe. Regardless, first-term Rep. Nancy Boyda is clearly vulnerable in a seat that gave Bush a 20-point victory in 2004.

New Mexico's 1st (R): While the furor over the U.S. Attorneys scandal has subsided a bit of late, national Democrats are making sure voters in this Albuquerque district don't forget. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has already funded two radio ads calling on Rep. Heather Wilson (R) to come clean about what role she had in the firing of New Mexico U.S. Attorney David Iglesias. The favored Democrat to take on Wilson is Albuquerque City Councilor Martin Heinrich, who has already announced he will not seek reelection to his current post. Wilson's electoral math in this swing district has always been tenuous (she has never won with more than 55 percent of the vote), and the ongoing brouhaha surrounding Iglesias may be enough to tip the scales against her.

Ohio's 18th (D): Another month passes without even the whisper of a serious Republican candidate ready to step forward to challenge freshman Rep. Zack Space (D). We've been assured that Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has taken the recruitment process in this district as a personal cause, so we expect a top-tier candidate will emerge. And given the district's decided Republican tilt -- Bush won it by 14 points in 2004 -- it's like any Republican not named "Bob Ney" will have a serious shot at Space. In the meantime, Space and his new Democratic colleagues continue to do everything they can to strengthen him. He raised $213,000 in the first quarter and had $180,000 on hand.

Pennsylvania's 10th (D): State and national Republicans are heavily courting U.S. Attorney Tom Marino to challenge Rep. Chris Carney (D) in 2008. Marino is a presidential appointee and would need to resign his current post even to form an exploratory committee. So, we wait. This seat should be a prime Republican target; former Rep. Don Sherwood's admission of an extramarital affair and allegations that he has attempted to choke his mistress turned off voters in this conservative minded northeastern Pennsylvania district. If Marino runs, this would be one of the two or three best chances for a GOP takeover.

Texas's 22nd (D): Acknowledging the difficulty of winning reelection in this overwhelmingly Republican Houston area district, Rep. Nick Lampson (D) is considering a run against Sen. John Cornyn (R) in 2008. A series of GOP mistakes last year -- from former Rep. Tom DeLay's resignation to the inability to remove his name from the ballot -- cost Republicans a safe seat. Lampson was (and is) the strongest candidate Democrats could hope for, but even he will struggle to overcome the Republican nature of this seat in a presidential year. A number of Republicans are mentioned, including Sugar Land Mayor David Wallace, Harris County Tax Assessor Paul Bettencourt and 2006 write-in GOP nominee/former Rep. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs.

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 4, 2007; 6:15 AM ET
Categories:  House , The Line  
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Next: Evolution and the Hand of God

Comments

mascmen7,

you need to go to http://www.snopes.com/politics/clintons/bodycount.asp and really read it.

Posted by: Cathy | May 6, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

About those seats the Republicans think they own, perhaps the fixer ought to consider the history we all ignore. It is about just what happens over forty years.

The most important thing that happens over a forty year period is that people get old and some eventually die. And while animus and hurt are easy things to nurture in one's self, they are actually somewhat difficult to bequeath to ones descendents.

To hear George Will and his cohorts describe the last forty years, America has irretrievably become more Republican Conservative. There might even be some truth to that theory, but like Einstein's fudge factor, perhaps the theory isn't needed to account for the success of the Republican Party.

It is possible that the three most politically astute men to hold the White house since 1900 were FDR, LBJ, and Bill Clinton. They each saw the political landscape with sufficient clarity to accomplish great things even in the face of rampaging opposition control (well, Barry Goldwater obiviated any such control on LBJ when he held office, but he also saw the future.) Most particularly, LBJ, as he signed the Civil Rights Act, noted that it would hurt the Democratic Party for the next forty years. The man was certainly prescient.

Richard Nixon saw just what an opportunity Johnson, Humphrey, and the Democratic Leadership had given his unscrupulous cohort, and began the codespeak, dirty tricks operations that pried the South out of the control of the Democratic Party. It was a truly craven, deceptive strategy, and it remains effective up till now, but the forces needed to effect its leverage have been negligently starved, and the survivors are perhaps no longer sufficient for the task.

RMN told the South, in words that the insiders thought they understood, that if they went over to the Republican Party, that they could overturn the Supreme Court, and the Civil Rights and Voting rights acts by voting often enough for Republicans who would do the over turning. He almost certainly did not expect to actually change any thing, but knew that much of the White "Hell No" segregationists would never forgive the Democrats, and could be easily bought for the Republican Party, and paid for in blatantly empty Promises.

In spite of the defection of the segregationist wing of the Democratic Party, a terribly unpopular war (bequeathed to the democrats by messers Eisenhower and Nixon), and the wholesale defection of the McCarthyists, HHH almost succeeded in getting himself elected anyway. (McCarthyist: Democrat who declines to support his party because his candidates half hearted campaign didn't get him a nomination he never stood a chance to get anyway. McCarthyite: Republican follower of Joseph McCarthy. Subtly different in print. In concept of course, no relation.) (Quite curious because of the fact that a McCarthyite is guilty of McCarthyism. A McCarthyist is just an innocent naïf.)

Throughout the next nine elections, the pull of the Nixon lever has had a decided effect on national elections, but that pull is dying along with those die hard "Hell NO"ers. That is the kind of animus that is easy to maintain but almost impossible to bequeath. Bill Clinton grasped that point, and his drive to own the political center is based on that consideration.

For it is certain that for forty years, the Republicans have played to sentiments and emotions in the South that worked in their favor, without really doing anything for the South. Johnson pushed large portions of industry and technology Southward as a part of the deal to get Southern Democrats to buy off on Civil Rights legislation. The Democrats always tried to align themselves with the less well off half of the South, and would have succeeded without the "Hell NO" generation getting in the way. Well that "Hell NO" generation is retirement age or older, and with just a little effort the Dems can begin to win back their successors by showing them just how little their parents got for their votes. If the Dems can get Gens X and Y to feel cheated by the GOP, they can lever their own animus driven electoral block. At that point the Republicans are left with the Sage Brush Rebellion.

By the way, They aren't getting any younger either.

Posted by: crazycattail | May 5, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Jerry McNerney has turned out to be a fantastic representative for our district. He is doing a great job and building a popular base along with a war chest of money for 2008. He will be very hard to beat.

Posted by: chet | May 5, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Hi Chris, With regard to Jerry McNerney, you said that he had narrow win over Richard Pombo. McNerney actually won by 6%!
If tht's not quite a "landslide" at least it's not a "squeaker."

McNerney will be a smart and clean representative. I predict he will win by more than 6% next time.

Posted by: Robert Caughlan | May 5, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

CA-11, OH-18, IN-09 and FL-16 are all more swing than Republican districts. Yes, Bush did carry them all, but so did Clinton in 1992 and 1996(He didn't carry FL-16 in 1992 but it has trended more Democratic since). KS-02 may look Republican on paper, but Democrats usually held it easily since before 1994 and Clinton carried it in 1992.

However, I would call PA-10 and TX-22 Republican districts and they should be near the top.

Posted by: Tim | May 5, 2007 12:26 AM | Report abuse

I know that I am repeating some of my previous postings, and I apologize. However, two Congressional seats in the Pittsburgh area will be in play in 2008.

Perhaps one of the bloodiest GOP primaries will be in Pennsylvania's Fourth District (northern and western suburbs of Pittsburgh). Jason Altmire defeated Republican Congresswoman Melissa Hart in 2006 in the multi-county district.

I suspect Ms. Hart will run for her old seat, unless she is making too much money in the private sector. She had ambitions about running for the US Senate in 2010, the seat held by Darlin' Arlen Specter.

Former football player and GOP nominee for governor Lynn Swann is also mentioned as a congressional possibility. Unlike Ms. Hart, Swann carried the Fourth District when he ran for governor.

Ron Francis, a former Allegheny County Council member, has also been mentioned as a candidate in the GOP primary.

State Rep. Michael Turzai will probably run for the Fourth District seat if Ms. Hart doesnt. Turzai will probably get the backing of the local GOP establishment.

It should be noted that Rep. Altmire has been raising money and is keeping a highly visible profile in the Pittsburgh media market.

If the Democrats find a competant candidate, GOP congressman Tim Murphy could be in trouble in Pittsburgh's southern and eastern suburbs. State Sen. Sean Logan of Monroeville would be a very credible candidate; he is a protege of Michael Doyle, the congressman whose district is sandwiched in between Murphy's and Altmire's

Posted by: Conan The Librarian | May 5, 2007 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Isn't your list missing Colorado's 3rd CD?

Posted by: Frank Black | May 4, 2007 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Many if not most of the Dems 08 House targets will be in the Northeast. CT-4, seats in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. If Hillary is nominated against a Republican who isn't Rudy Giuliani then that would give Dems the best chance to make large gains in the region.

Posted by: True Patriot | May 4, 2007 8:32 PM | Report abuse

context of reality...


relationships, if the politicians are okay making up stories , even about evolution , then


they really cant judge the reality around them well enough to make

rational decisions.

Do you understand that much?

If your reality is so impaired by reading a book, that you can not see the world in front of you,


arent you too reality impaired to be holding any boxes that destroy other countries on command????? IF GAWD speaks to you and tells you that ISLAM IS EVIL and needs to be destroyed are you not just a little toooooooooooo crazee to be president of the United States of AMERICA???

or am I missing something?

Posted by: hello | May 4, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

for AMERICA AND AMERICAN _CITIZENS._..


BEING REPUBLICAN APPARENTLY, MEANS CHOOSING PARTY_OVER_COUNTRY...


and selfish ness over citizenship... would a republican choose a rich international over a US born citizen? need you ask????????


check the record... Check James Baker the IIIs Record with the IRAQ DEBT RESTRUCTURING...

search on that and his relationship with the Bin Laden FAMILY...


JAMES BAKER THE III is _THE_MOST_RESPECTED_ Republican in Washington...

search on his name linked with the Bin Ladens and with the Iraqi Debt Restructuring to find out what you can expect from REPUBLICANS....

he helped elect 4 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTS... learn more about him so you can understand what it means to be a REPUBLICAN...

neo ConARTISTe'


not that I care , the name Republican is a label... who it points to changes moment by moment...


but there is a big block of dirty ice in the water glass of Washington DC ...


it is called corruption...


and it needs to be thrown out... no matter how much flavor you add, dirt still tastes dirty...

Posted by: and now for a public announcement

Posted by: and now for a public service announcement from AMERICANS | May 4, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

used to be a RapEthePUBLcbecauseICAN PARTY_OVER_COUNTRY kinda guy


BUT since I have quit smoking satan , I have decided to look at and for the truth...


Now I see that the current Administration is CORRUPT BEYOND BELIEF AND I HAVE FOUND MY WAY!!!!


I WILL NEVER SUPPORT THE RapEthePUBLcbecauseICAN PARTY AGAINST THE CITIZENS OF THESE UNITED STATES AGAIN!!!!!!!!


I HAVE FOUND MY WAY!!!! I will stand against evil , and support the citizens of my COUNTRY INSTEAD OF MY PARTY!!! HAL LE LU AYAH!!!


Posted by: dont you just love these guys... just when you thought _stupid_ evil was dead... | May 4, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

"In a presidential election year, even depressed GOP turnout will probably push many of the GOP incumbents in GOP leaning districts over the top. With the exception of the scandal-ridden members, most of the republicans who "squeaked by" in 2006 in GOP districts will probably win by decent margins come 2008."

Will conservatives really all come out to vote for Guiliani or McCain? People talk about Clinton killing downticket races, but won't the lack of a true conservative GOP candidate depress conservative turnout? Especially if Clinton is not the Democratic nominee?
And any increased turnout by conservatives (the few there) in northeastern districts (CT-04, PA-15, PA-03, the four GOP upstate NY districts especially NY-25, the New Jersey suburban districts) may not be enough to save those seats if its another terrible year. In fact, Guiliani on the ballot could help save those seats, and then in turn lose seats in more conservative parts of the country.
Note: Clinton won Onondaga County (a big chunk of NY-25) 64-33 in 2006, meaning she could actually help Dems, or at least not hurt them in places, especially in formerly conservative upstate New York where people have grown to like her.

Posted by: Mac | May 4, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

JD, you need to direct the atheists or others to: http://www.icr.org/. This is the web site for the Institute of Creation Research. The scientists on board here are distinguished with PHDs from major universities and institutes known for expertise in science. If they want to see a list of scientists who believe in creation is can be accessed at: http://www.icr.org/research/index/research_creationsci/. Blarg stating that you can't believe in science and have rational thought if you believe in creation is ludicrious on its face. Most of us believe many species evolved within their own kind and even developed specialized skills and physical features. We just don't believe in one species becoming another.

To get a better grasp of how scientists recognize and revere God's creation they need to read Einstein and God by Thomas Torrance at: http://www.ctinquiry.org/publications/reflections_volume_1/torrance.htm

Posted by: tarheel | May 4, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

politicaljunky writes
"While 2008 will probably see a small democratic gain, those eagerly anticipating a second democratic wave will probably be sorely disappointed."

My question is what the Republicans will run on in 08. Dems are not smart to run against Bush again, though that may still be enough to win. I'm curious to see if either party can come up with a compelling vision for the future. The Dem Pres candidates are certainly making efforts to build a vision - at least Edwards and Obama are; so perhaps the winner of that nomination will direct the new direction of that party. But what do the Repubs have? Right now they're trying to remain loyal to Bush while distancing themselves from him; it is unclear how this strategy will net them additional seats in the House, or anywhere else.

Posted by: bsimon | May 4, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

The democrats surely had and still have an advantage recruiting top quality candidates, but those who expect a lot of the close 2006 races where democratic candidates came marginally close to winning to be huge pick up opportunities are probably being too optimistic. The GOPers are probably losers come november, but they do have several factors in play that will pad their potential loss.

1) in the 2008 cycle, the DSCC faces a much larger number of districts in which they will have to play defense on republican turf, ensuring that even their slight advantage in fundraising at this point will probably be spent mostly on defending districts they already hold on GOP turf rather than pushing into more republican leaning districts (despite what they say right now).

2) In a presidential election year, even depressed GOP turnout will probably push many of the GOP incumbents in GOP leaning districts over the top. With the exception of the scandal-ridden members, most of the republicans who "squeaked by" in 2006 in GOP districts will probably win by decent margins come 2008.

While 2008 will probably see a small democratic gain, those eagerly anticipating a second democratic wave will probably be sorely disappointed.

Posted by: politicaljunky | May 4, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

JD -- not to beat a dead horse, but I think the question I'd be interested to hear you answer is whether the fact that a given candidate -- democrat or republican -- rejects the idea of evolution would/should make you and/or the general populace less inclined to vote for them. To answer in the affirmative -- as I assuredly would -- isn't intolerant. That's simply a stance that I view as disqualifying for a whole host of reasons. Yet rejection of evolution is widespread in the GOP.

Given that you tend to vote Republican, even if you're not a member of that party, I assume that you don't think rejecting such a basic scientific principle is a big deal. If that's the case, I'd be curious to hear what your rationale is. From my vantage point, this discussion underscores the strange fit between the GOP's religious-right and libertarian factions, which in any other country would be separate parties. Since you SEEM to fall into the latter camp, perhaps you can enlighten me regarding why a party that has run up huge deficits, grown entitlement programs, slashed civil liberties, and inserted itself into people's most private decisions is a good vehicle for representing your views.

Honestly, I'd like to understand this so please don't take my question as an insult. I genuinely don't get it.

Posted by: Colin | May 4, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Wisconsin Congressional District 8 will be as a competitive race as you can find for 2008. This was Republican Mark Green's district before he ran for governor of Wisconsin in 2006. He had won this district with over 70% of the vote three elections in a row.

The new Democrat, Steve Kagen, won with a 51-49 margin. The vote was 141,598 to 134,990. Kagen won his home county, Outagamie by 6,000 votes, close to his overall margin of victory. Gard actually won 8 counties to Kagen's 6 and there was a virtual 50-50 tie in Brown County. Kagen was from the most populated area of the district and the second largest city in the district, Appleton. Appleton alone has a population of 70,000. It is centered in what is often called the seven cities, an area of around 200,000 people. His opponet, John Gard, was from a small town, Peshtigo, north of Green Bay, with a population of 3,357.

Kagen, a millionaire doctor, used $2.5 million of his own money to outspend Gard by around $400,000. 79% of Kagen's financial support was from himself and only 9% from individuals. Gard had 55% of his funds from individual donors. Clearly Kagen had little financial support from others and will need to drain his personal finances again next time.

A new candidate from the higher population areas of Green Bay or Appleton would cut into Kagen's home county vote. And if Mark Green wanted to return to Congress he would be the odds on favorite to regain this seat for the Republicans.

Add to this Kagen's recent verbal gaffes. After being late for a meeting on an Indian reservation he said he was on, "Injun time, because they don't use clocks." Plus he admitted he intentionally insulted Laura Bush by calling her Barbara when they met. That type of disrespect will lose him lots of independents and even Democrats. Add this all up and you have a seat that is not only definitely in play in 2008 but could easily flip.

Posted by: tarheel | May 4, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

JD writes "I'm not a repub"

Sorry. My mistake. Let me rephrase:

"That's great. Do you, as a non-Republican, think the Republican party is well served by nominating a Presidential candidate who believes creationism in favor of evolution? Blarg says such a worldview is indicative of a person who favors faith over rational thought. Is this a good characteristic for a President?"

Posted by: bsimon | May 4, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

bsimon, I'm not a repub

drindl, he's your president too, assuming NY State is still part of America, which it was last time I looked.

ee cummings, I mean meuphys, I'm glad to see we agree on something.

Posted by: JD | May 4, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

One poster suggested Obama received Secret Service protection because of death threats from Hillary. Have you read the long list of opponents of the Clintons who have ended up dead from John John to two teen agers in Mena, Arkansas who revealed a Clinton drug running operation. FBI said an altimeter on John John's plane was triggered to an explosive when his plane descended. Carolyn Kennedy was terrified thinking that the Clintons would kill her next.

Posted by: mascmen7@yahoo.com | May 4, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Progressive asks
"Did you see George Will's column earlier this week on the NRCC's "road map to a House majority" in 2008? It's all such wishful thinking, with no basis in reality or acknowledgement of the overwhelming unpopularity of Bush and his disastrous war."

I thought the same thing. Mr Will's willful denial of the Bush impact on 2008 isn't surprising; for one thing, his goal is to distract from the current disaster that is the GOP. He wants to imagine a time when Republicanism or Conservativism is no longer synonymous to 'unfettered disaster' or cronyism. Don't get me wrong, the Dems have plenty of problems too. But when it comes to George Will & a few others, they're trying to put this period behind them and imagine a return to 'real' conservatism is still possible.

Posted by: bsimon | May 4, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

FL 24 -- Republican incumbent Tom Feeney: I agree with the synopsis posted by terje May 4, 2007 07:45 AM. Feeney is caught up in an Abramoff situation. Feeney refuses to go on record with the media to field questions and to date has only posted editorial responses to the media reporting. Furthermore, Rep Feeney, former FL House Speaker, was in charge of the show when the FL House pulled a Texas style Gerrymander Session in redistricting the State to favor Republican control (BTW- At the time, the FL gov was Jeb Bush). In Fact, Feeney's own original district incurred an organic demographic shift that gravely endangered his reelection, so what's the solution? Gerrymander the districts to create a new district for Feeney to maintain his core demographics while ensuring the neighboring districts also favor his party affilation's demographics. He's a real piece of work and this Abramhoff Scotland Golf Outing may well prove out to be his undoing.

Posted by: John in FL. | May 4, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

better bring on the reagan look alike, Fred Instead. he's the only one that give them any kind of hope as of this moment. mainly because the stiffs they put up there yesterday to gossip, i mean debate, have NO chance whatsoever.

plus, this is the day that even more scandal comes out and more bad news will come out every day if things hold true to the r form.

so it will only get worse and somehow pundits still want to stick the wet finger in the air. at this point, Democrats just have to avoid murdering anyone to get elected.

the little talk last night showed that they know that hil is THE candidate by nakedly showing their fear. remember, when a dog shows its teeth and its tail is stiff, it is telling you that it is afraid. those guys, especially c. mathews, were positively trembling with fear, every tail sharp for attack. it was highly amusing.

this incompetent administration is historic. if it weren't our government that was involved, i would be LOL.

well now i am just monumentally pissed off. our people have had to put up with smart, lying feds for generations, since the war dept. turned over administration of indians to the BIA.

can't take lying, STUPID feds as well. that is just too much, tell me that it will end. lie to me. like i said, we are used to that. just say. yes, this too shall pass, hand me a bible, steal my land. anything. just say this nightmare will end.

Posted by: py | May 4, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

The moonbatty koz is on -- right after noon, just like every single day. Do you spose he punches a time clock? Now he will be posting every five minutes and hijacking the board, just lke he gets paid to do.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

We are the moonbats, hear us roar.

Bark, bark, Hhhoowwwwllll.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to the others who took exception to The Fix's use of the phrase "jihad" to describe the environmental movement's campaign against Pombo. Language like that betrays CC's pro-Republican bias.

I'm also getting SO tired of The Fix saying things like "in a district that gave Bush 54% of its votes in 2004, the Republican should be favored." PLEASE put 2004 in perspective. Because of the Iraq fiasco, the 2008 political environment is looking more like 2006 than 2004.

Did you see George Will's column earlier this week on the NRCC's "road map to a House majority" in 2008? It's all such wishful thinking, with no basis in reality or acknowledgement of the overwhelming unpopularity of Bush and his disastrous war. The Fix's Line today reflects that wishful thinking: the media want competitive races so they have something to write about. But any evidence of competitiveness at this point is way too thin. The terrain has shifted dramatically since 2004, so get over it!

Posted by: Progressive | May 4, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

GA Districts,

I don't think the GA-12th is in as much danger as you think. Barrow will have another term with a Congress that can feed him winning programs for his district, and he's already $400k ahead of whoever the Republicans can throw out at him. I think a lot will depend on who the POTUS candidate is and how that tracks with his constituents' beliefs.

And I thought Marshall was going to go after Chambliss, so that his may be tossed up.

Posted by: ThingsThatShine | May 4, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

anonymous asks
"anyway, has democracy EVER been created by an occupying force? at least to a country that was never a democracy before?"

Well, some war-supporters will try to argue that Japan & Germany fit this mold - ignoring their pre-war democracies.

Posted by: bsimon | May 4, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Silent Cal writes
"I am a Republican, but tend to agree with some of the Democrats that more Republican seats should be on the list given the current environment. I also do not necessarily believe HRC will be a liability...I say it is too soon to tell."

Do you think the GOP can maintain its current seats and/or gain seats with its current direction? If not, do you expect a shift in direction on war policy and/or other major issues in order to improve their chances in 08?

Posted by: bsimon | May 4, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

agreed meuphys... anyway, has democracy EVER been created by an occupying force? at least to a country that was never a democracy before?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

jd says "- if we could have successfully planted a seed of democracy in the mid-East, and if that seed grew, America would be 100x safer over the next 50 years."

and i agree. it would have been great.

it would also have been good if we had pursued osama when he was 'cornered', and gotten him before he escaped.

it would have been nice if hitler had not been an anti-semite.

it would be ideal if the u.n. always agreed on security and environmental issues.

if only.

instead, what we got was a poorly-planned and even more poorly justified invasion of iraq, with goals whose attainment was seen by many even back then as highly improbable. we got a war in which the aftermath was anticipated by respected, if unconsulted experts.

we got a war which has predictably become an open-ended police action and is losing us respect, influence, and allies around the world. there was really no chance for this to succeed long-term with this approach and this leadership.

invading iraq was the biggest u.s. foreign policy mistake for years, maybe ever.

Posted by: meuphys | May 4, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

'believes in a God who created the universe and set in motion a series of events that ended up with us chatting on a WaPo board, does that jibe with the liberal doctrine enough'

I have no problem with this -- why should I? I'm not against religion -- I just don't want others's reilgions forced down my throat, as many in the republican party want to do, starting with your president.

As far as 'bile' is concerned -- I love my country. And it makes me very angry that the republican party has debased it.

'More importantly, there are some people I refuse to be in a tent with.'

Hear, hear, blarg.

Posted by: drindl | May 4, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

JD writes
"And you have the right to not vote for them. That's the America I want to live in."

That's great. Do you, as a Republican, think the party is well served by nominating a Presidential candidate who believes creationism in favor of evolution? Blarg says such a worldview is indicative of a person who favors faith over rational thought. Is this a good characteristic for a President?

Posted by: bsimon | May 4, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Sex scandals, FBI raids, partisan firing scandals onandonandonandon ... "So Many Republicans, So Few Prison Cells" The bumper sticker says it all.

Posted by: slavin | May 4, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

"Now, in the bookstores of all national monuments and parks there are publications about how God created them in 6 days--and that's all you can buy."

A little bit of hyperbole, Drindl?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Silent Cal, on topic or off topic the reason i love "the Google and the Internets" is the free flow of ideas and opinions..Besides it's Friday so chill out dude....

Posted by: TheIrishCurse | May 4, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for everyone who stayed on topic. For the rest of you, please cut it out. There's plenty of Internet out there for your topics.

I am a Republican, but tend to agree with some of the Democrats that more Republican seats should be on the list given the current environment. I also do not necessarily believe HRC will be a liability...I say it is too soon to tell.

Posted by: Silent Cal | May 4, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Blarg, tolerance means that people are allowed to believe as they want, as long as it doesn't hurt you or yours. (Ie, they can't 'believe' that God says they can steal your car, drive on your lawn, etc.).

And you have the right to not vote for them. That's the America I want to live in.

Posted by: JD | May 4, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse


"taking advantage of the environmental movement's jihad against Rep. Richard Pombo"

Whoa. I just saw that. WTF, CC? That's straight out of Limbaugh. That's exactly what he accuses the environmental movement of -- jihad, terrorism, tarring them with the bin Ladin brush -- one of his scummiest tactics. To use that kind of inflammatory anti-Dem language and framing says more about you than I would bet you want people to know. Please throw out any pretense of being non-partisan, ok? You've just ID'ed yourself as a winger.

And you work for the WaPo. And a fan of the guttersnipe Drudge as well. I just lost alll respect for you. I'm sure you went to a very fine school, or you wouldn't have that job. Too bad you have to identify with such an anti-intellectual group.

Posted by: drindl | May 4, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Barrow and Marshall hung on just barely in a very bad year for Republicans. In 2008 GA will continue to trend more Republican and one or both could be defeated.

Posted by: GA districts | May 4, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

No, I didn't say that people who generally don't believe what I believe are incapable of rational thought. I said that people who don't believe in evolution are incapable of rational thought. (Or maybe they have the capability but choose not to use it. Either way, the result is the same.)

The amount of scientific evidence opposing creationism is overwhelming. It's not just evolution. Creationism goes against everything we know about biology, geology, astronomy and astrophysics, etc. Believing in Biblical creationism means that you reject science and everything that goes with it, including rational thought.

And stop with that tired "I thought liberals tolerated everyone" BS. Tolerance does not mean acceptance of all beliefs. And no tent is big enough to include everyone. More importantly, there are some people I refuse to be in a tent with.

Posted by: Blarg | May 4, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

drindl, what race baiting has the Libertarian party done? Cites, please.

You say that someone who doesn't believe in science doesn't deserve to be president. OK, two things: 1) don't vote for him/her then, and 2) do you suggest that every Republican doesn't believe in any science? If someone believes in a God who created the universe and set in motion a series of events that ended up with us chatting on a WaPo board, does that jibe with the liberal doctrine enough that the person is allowed to be spared the vitriol and bile we've seen this morning?

Posted by: JD | May 4, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

JD writes
"You've just said that if someone doesn't believe exactly as you do, then they are incapable of rational thought."

Well, thats not quite what he said. I think he asked if Republicans thought it was acceptable for a Presidential candidate to believe that their religious beliefs trumped science. He didn't say that Presidents have to be agnostic or atheist or whatever he believes (or doesn't). It is a valid question for the person that directs the policy of the EPA, DOA, etc. Will they base decisions on science or religion? If a person believes the earth was created in 6 days roughly 6000 years ago, are they qualified to be President?

Posted by: bsimon | May 4, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Well curse (you from NJ? if so, where?) I was in the stay the course camp until a week or two ago, when the local guy wouldn't let our generals build some wall, Israel-style, to protect things. As I posted at the time, now I'm in the get them out, and prepare for the consequences camp.

I'm telling you, it's going to make Darfur look like Club Med. It's too bad too - if we could have successfully planted a seed of democracy in the mid-East, and if that seed grew, America would be 100x safer over the next 50 years. Not to mention the fact that the price of oil would probably come down by half, which would help big-time.

Posted by: JD | May 4, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

To quote somebody or other: I'm open-minded, but not so much that my brains fall out.

If someone wants to profess a disbelief in evolution, that's fine. They have free speech. They can even disbelieve gravity, if they want - I don't care.

But to pretend that their beliefs need to be given respect by anyone with a modicum of education or common sense is ridiculous. It ignores the fact that there is such a thing as objective truth and reality.

It seems ironic that right-wingers are so eager to jump onto the bandwagon of government enforcement of moral certainty, but when it comes to FACTS, they can't change stances fast enough. Suddenly, moral relativity is the order of the day. And they're proud and happy to legislate for all of us on the basis of their utterly disproven fantasies.

Despite what Bush & company have been pushing down our throats for the past six years, there IS such a thing as objective reality. And we are not obliged to pretend that fantasies - particularly ones that may endanger us all - are true or valid.

I thought conservatives were supposed to be the ones with common sense?

Posted by: Quasit | May 4, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Clash Over Hate Crimes Bill

Advocates for and against a new hate crimes bill approved by the House of Representatives clashed over the measure, drawing in even the head of the Democratic Party.

http://onthehillblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/clash-over-hate-crimes-bill.html

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I must take exception to your quote (CA-11) that Rep. McNerny won by

"taking advantage of the environmental movement's jihad against Rep. Richard Pombo"

Turn that statement around and you're closer to the truth: It's Mr. Pombo who has been waging jihad against the environment for years. His 'poison the wells-salt the fields-pave the forests' vision of environmental stewardship went on far too long, and his defeat came none too soon.

Posted by: VeganMilitia | May 4, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

What about Limbaugh, JD? He's a vile 'hater' one of the worst. And Dick Cheney goes on his program regularly. And speaking of haters, Cheney accuses the entire dem party, more than half the country, of giving aid to terrorists -- treason.

'You've just said that if someone doesn't believe exactly as you do, then they are incapable of rational thought.'

No, what Blarg said was people who don't beleive in science don't deserve to be president of the greatest country on Earth. They don't. End of story. What do you want, some nut raving about the Rapture, carrying around the suitcase that holds The End of the World As We Know It? [Cheney carries the nuke suitcase now -- a job that used to belong to the actual elected president]

And you obssess constantly about Sharpton, but the race baiting in youir own party doesn't bother you? Come on.

Posted by: drindl | May 4, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

JD, funny you mention Michael Savage..i occasionally listen to him on the local outlet here in Chicago, and agreed he is a full blown nut job..With that said he did make one salient point this week about the Iraq war..and i actually agreed with what he said..he basically said there should be two options period for the conduct of the war..Either wage full blown, no rules of engagement, unapologetic war or get out..period...i know which way i tilt..you?

Posted by: TheIrishCurse | May 4, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

IL-10, Kirk v. Seals, will be a big target. Democrats in Illinois are putting up candidates in every district at every level knowing that if Obama is at the top on the Pres. ticket IL will turnout and turnout big. Also add that Sen. Durbin is running like he's got 2 top tier challengers after him, raising tons of money, jet setting around the state, which will help any other federal candidate since they can coordinate their talking points. Durbin is a lock for re-election and since he and Obama are the only two interested in party building in Illinois they take providing coattails seriously. Democrats had an amazing year in Illinois in '06, we took EVERYTHING, and state Republicans are more concerned with holding the line, especially in suburban areas where they faced major losses, than really making gains. I think Democrats take this seat, locally Dems picked up two county wide seats within the 10th, picked up a 50 year Republican held State Senate seat and made gains on the municipal level during what was an awful year for Dems. in city elections. I'd also keep an eye on IL-11, Emanuel have been calling around asking ton's of elected state officials to run against corrupt Rep. Weller. His district played home to a major upset in the most pop. heavy area by a State Senate seat flipping to the Democrats after only a month of targeting by the State party. Also, in the population center of Joliet in his district a supposed vulnerable Dem. State Senator in his first race won with over 60% of the vote, that does not bode well for Republicans who seek to stem gains by Democrats in Will County.

Posted by: ISUDEM | May 4, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Good one Quasit, you'll be here all week. Tip the waitresses...

I don't like personal attacks or hateful criticism of anyone, although I admit it's hard not to hammer whackjobs like Sharpton, who are so clearly pushing a race-baiting, harmful-to-America agenda. I would also lump a few others into that category, including Farrakahn (sp?) and Michael Savage.

Blarg, my religious beliefs are my own business, but suffice to say they would probably pass your muster.

But put yourself into the shoes of a religious person (not an 'extremist', whatever that means). You've just said that if someone doesn't believe exactly as you do, then they are incapable of rational thought. Again, from their POV, is that threatening? And doesn't that fly in the face of a big-tent, inclusive America, that I thought liberals were all about? Why does it have to be 'my way or the highway'?

Posted by: JD | May 4, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: G. Sizemore | May 4, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Well TheIrishCurse, I can understand that - but it bothers me that constituent service isn't even MENTIONED as a factor in re-election.

If I were a representative, I'd damned well be trying my best to provide the best service and representation for my employers - the people of my district and the people of the United States - that I could, in the hope that they'd recognize and reward effective representation.

Okay, that's probably a pretty naive thing to say, but still...doesn't performance have ANY impact on elections? I think it does, and if it doesn't, it should!

Posted by: Quasit | May 4, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Bush is not Hitler!

Hitler was democratically elected.

Sorry, couldn't resist. That one always cracks me up.

Posted by: Quasit | May 4, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

JD, you only complain about criticism of conservatives. Criticism and insulting of liberals doesn't seem to bother you at all. You even engage in it yourself sometimes. So it's hard to believe that you're genuinely upset about the state of political discourse in the country. You don't have a problem with insults; you just don't like when your guys are the targets.

And you're missing the point about these creationists. (And, coincidentally, ignoring my questions about your own beliefs.) Several people here have criticized the Republican candidates who don't believe in evolution. You say "They have a right to believe whatever they want."

But that's not the issue. The issue is whether people who don't believe in science or rational thought should be elected president. And how it looks for the Republican Party to be supporting creationist candidates. Do you personally have a problem with that? Are there any beliefs in a presidential candidate that you don't think are okay?

Posted by: Blarg | May 4, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Bush is Hitler. Condilesbo Rice and Cheney the 3-blind chickens.

Posted by: 1-20-09 | May 4, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

' I read one more time how Bush is Hitler 2.0, and Cheney is the anti-Christ...'

But it doesn't bother you to hear that Hillary is a 'lesbian' 'murderder', 'b*tch', etc?

Posted by: drindl | May 4, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, Quasit, with the possibility it'll take a billion dollars to buy the presidency in '08 money seems to be the ONLY thing that matters to politicians..and with the current make-up of the SCOTUS who are sure to eviserate the McCain-Feingold act on corporate money flow to campaigns it's gonna get alot worse...

Posted by: TheIrishCurse | May 4, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Drindl,

Drindl,

I have visited remote NP in the past as well (places in ND, ID, WY) and I did not see the vast literature coming from a creationism perspective (actually I did not see any at all). Please give us a list of these NP which only support creationism.

Posted by: slt | May 4, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

It troubles me that the only indication listed here of how well a threatened incumbent is doing in trying to protect their seat is how much money they've raised.

Aren't any of these people trying to hold on to their seats by doing something wacky like, I don't know, maybe providing excellent service and representation for their constituents?

If any of them ARE doing that, how about telling us about that as well? I know everybody loves money, but (heretical though the thought might be) MONEY IS NOT THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS!

Posted by: Quasit | May 4, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

If a strong D candidate is recruited to run in NJ-5, this district should be in play. The district has historically been a moderate R lock, but is trending D (especially with the war and corruption plaguing the GOP). Congressman Garrett paddles widely to the right of the mainstream - his views are out of touch with the majority of his constituents. It would take a very credible and well-financed (and moderate) candidate from the Democrats, but Garrett can be defeated.

Posted by: Douggie | May 4, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

um, drindl yes I have 3 kids, and they're doing fine thanks for asking.

blarg, I'm pretty sure the Republican party, of which I'm not a member, doesn't use a creationism/evolution litmus test for their candidates. So no, I don't think the GOP has 'a problem' with creationists running.

As for the haters out there, well, people always complain how this country has become so divided red-state/blue-state. That our politicians rarely reach across the aisle to work in a bipartisan fashion. I'm getting tired of it. If you want to criticize (ideas, not people), fine, do it but offer solutions as well. I read one more time how Bush is Hitler 2.0, and Cheney is the anti-Christ...

Posted by: JD | May 4, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

If a strong D candidate is recruited to run in NJ-5, this district should be in play. The district has historically been a moderate R lock, but is trending D (especially with the war and corruption plaguing the GOP). Congressman Garrett paddles widely to the right of the mainstream - his views are out of touch with the majority of his constituents. It would take a very credible and well-financed (and moderate) candidate from the Democrats, but Garrett can be defeated.

Posted by: Douggie | May 4, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

sorry blarg, that was mine... posted in a hurry.


'Cater to Creationists Makes National Park Agnostic on Geology

Washington, DC -- Despite promising a prompt review of its approval for a book claiming the Grand Canyon was created by Noah's flood rather than by geologic forces, more than three years later no review has ever been done and the book remains on sale at the park, according to documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

"In order to avoid offending religious fundamentalists, our National Park Service is under orders to suspend its belief in geology," stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch. "It is disconcerting that the official position of a national park as to the geologic age of the Grand Canyon is 'no comment.'"

http://www.peer.org/news/news_id.php?row_id=801

Posted by: drindl | May 4, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

NC-08. Kissell. He's ready to run for the GOP nom now and why not?

Conservatism is dead: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/5/4/63429/48121

Posted by: Carolina Crush | May 4, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

IrishCurse, I thin you're missing something. Bush, the Republicans, and ther Pentagon folk ar esparately seeking to share the blame. Even before the veto, Bush was begging for some sort of compromise. Peteus runs around plugging holes in Iraq and knows full well that the Shia political leaders are looting the country and the best he can hope for is the arise of anotheer Saddam style dictator that will impose stability... And the horses behinds at the Pentgon are censoring email, blogs and (not so mch reported) ordinary MAIL from soldiers in Iraq. In the wake of getting caught in a series of ought lies - Tillman and Lynch stories, RPG system, fudged casualty numbers - the Pentagon career twerps are pretty obviously hiding whatever bad news they can until the fools in the Democratic Party ride to their rescue. The Iraq bus has already had its wheels come off and it now looks like the entire region is going to be drawn into the conflict and very likely China and Russia will end up pitted against us in diplomatic and military confrontations. While Bush has played politicical games, the situaion has spriraled completely out of control; due to his (and corporate Amercia) policies have armed our enemies. The future holds little promise as the moronic fans of Fox cheer the lothsome fools steady march to end this country and the Amercian dream. J.D., you and your sort are the most cowardly, despicable monsters of modern times. What's worse, you are such ignorant clodhoppers you cannot see the harm you have done to my country.

Posted by: MikeB | May 4, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

What I should have said, alt, is that I have been to many different national parks in the last few years [many of them rather remote] and indeed, most of them had only biblical literature relating to the geology. I should not have said 'all' of the national parks, although there was a push to do that by some of the bush appointees in the Park Service.

I have an old friend who works for the EPA for 20 years and so I do have a very good idea of the kind of pressure there is to alter data. Don't kid yourself. and there are scientists and scientists -- someof whom are more interested in promoting industrial profits than science.

Posted by: drindl | May 4, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Chris says
"GOP Wants Its 'Safe' House Seats Back"

If they're 'safe' how did they get lost?

Could it possibly be that the GOP has lost touch with their constituents? Its really too soon to tell, but I'm curious to see if the local Dems will nominate a competent candidate this time and challenge the 'safe' GOP seat called MN-06. Rep Bachmann is demonstrating her fringe thinking such that a moderate Dem should be able to effectively challenge her in 08.

And, just generally thinking, how stable are any of these disticts anyway? Thinking of MN-06 as an example, there is huge growth in certain districts - how will this impact the demographics?

Posted by: bsimon | May 4, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Anonymous, let me give you some friendly advice: When you're accused of making things up and asked for a source, it doesn't help to just post something with quotes around it. You need to actually include a link, or a reference, so people know that you aren't just making things up. And while you're at it, maybe you could sign your posts.

Is the Internet really that hard to use?

Posted by: Blarg | May 4, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

"State and national Republicans are heavily courting U.S. Attorney Tom Marino to challenge Rep. Chris Carney (D) in 2008."

Excellent--his path to victory is clear. Marino can announce a high-profile investigation into alleged corruption in Carney's office, including connections to voter fraud. Then he hands off this investigation to his deputy before resigning and running against Carney. No one will notice when the case evaporates in December because of a lack of evidence.

RCCC, are you listening? Get on it!

Posted by: Brittain33 | May 4, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

No, two wrongs don't make a right. But it's little silly for you to constantly complain about liberals who hate Bush, and ignore all of the hatred coming from conservatives. Neither side has a monopoly on insults or vile rhetoric, and I'm tired of conservatives attacking people and then complaining that they're being attacked.

And yes, it's their right to not believe in evolution. Everyone has the right to believe what they want. But we also have the right to not elect people with such ludicrous beliefs to a position of power. Do you think that anti-science creationists have the intellectual ability to be president? Do you personally have a problem with creationists running for president? Because the Republican Party doesn't.

Posted by: Blarg | May 4, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

'A pseudoscientific book, Grand Canyon: A Different View -- that promotes creationism and flood geology as the origin of the canyon, its strata, and its fossils -- is being sold in the bookstores of Grand Canyon National Park. A park service employees association, leaders of several professional geological societies, and hundreds of scientists and citizens have objected to its presence in the science sections of the park bookstores. Thousands of creationists have supported the book, and the controversy has attracted national media attention.'

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Why do you have such an obssession with my mother, dude? Every time I come on here you mention your mother this or that. I'm sure I'm old enugh to be your mother... got any kids yourself? Or are you just a snotty pup?

Posted by: drindl | May 4, 2007 10:21 AM | Report abuse

JimD and Drindl,

The flat earth comment about NP service employees' not mentioning geologic age of natural landscape has no validation. Where is your proof other than a vast conspiracy theory from the right wing? I have visited 5 National Parks in the last year (Rocky Mountain, Mesa Verde, Great Sand Dune, Arches and Canyonlands). In each park, I talked with Park Rangers concerning geologic formations and ages and they all answer in standard scientific terminology and geologic ages. The books in the various gift shops carried no creationism stories only classical scientific explanations. Before you post something why don't you check your facts.

Drindl,

I am intrigued by your comment that all you can purchase at gift shops are books on creationism. Please show me your facts or why don't you visit a NP and learn something other than spouting nothingness. You once wrote in defending yourself you write careful research facts only. If this is what you call facts, how are you any different from the flat earth people you oppose?

I am a chemist now employed by the USDA and we are not told how to do our science and we do research into system sustainability, global warming, and evolution something your flat group would oppose. I think you and others have created this persona that all government scientists are cowering to some political ideology or that we have our research dictated by the local pastor. While we do have our research priorities driven by the executive branch (a big push into biofuels now), we are not told to alter our data.

Posted by: slt | May 4, 2007 10:20 AM | Report abuse

And wait -- FAUX will tell us that the Obama death threats came from Hillary. Just wait. Like vultures they wait for some foul news to slime dems. And the simple folk will beleive it, just like they always do.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

"I knew the crowds were large ... but some of the other information given to us, unfortunately I think, raised a concern among many of [Obama's] friends," Durbin said.

"Unfortunately, some of the information we found was racially motivated. It is a sad reality in this day and age that Mr. Obama's African-American heritage is a cause for very violent and hatred, hated reactions among some people."

Read this and tell me you didn't see it was coming. Tell me you didn't know your racist fellow republicans would at some time threaten this young man's life just becuase of his skin color for god's sake. You are one sick bunch. This guy has two little kids and he has done nothing -- NOTHING -- to deserve this. I am just sickened and ashamed to be living in the same g*ddam country with you republicn bigot fascists.

Why should I worry about al-queda when I live in a country full of heavily armed lunatics who would just as soon shoot me as look at me? The whole winger culture just feeds this HATRED, this constant hatred -- it is so very sick.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

drindl, I guess your mom never told you that two wrongs don't make a right.

If people don't want to believe in science, that's their right. I happen to believe in science and disagree with the fundamentalist view of creation, but I realize that, in this country, they have the right to believe that.

Go back and re-read my quotes from this morning - now, if you want to attack the ideas, fine, but mean-spirited name calling and ad hominem attacks (which you specialize in, btw) are SO unproductive.

Posted by: JD | May 4, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

'(CNN) -- Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, a U.S. senator from Illinois, has been placed under the protection of the Secret Service, the agency said Thursday.

The government is not aware of any specific, credible threat against Obama, according to a law enforcement source familiar with the decision. But his office has received hate mail and calls and other "threatening materials" in the past and during his campaign, the source said.'

Let me ask you again, JD -- WHO ARE THE HATERS??!

Stop lying to yourself. You're not stupid like so many of them, I know that. When will you face the truth? Your party is a bunch of murderous bigots.

Posted by: drindl | May 4, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

To be honest, Judge, I am. I worked for the Village Voice many many years ago [like 25] and Wayne was a tough young and tenacious reporter even then -- one of the best. Never met anyone so rigorous and honest. We used to fight a lot, because he was incredibly non-partisan, and I grew up as a working class union kid and a dem. But I have always respected him. Too bad the only thing most reporters do much of nowadays is go to cocktail parties and sit on politician's laps.

He really has the 'book' on rudy -- becuase he's known him for years, was a big supporter when rudy was a prosecutor, and was even a personal friend at one point.

Posted by: drindl | May 4, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Seems the zealots of the Party of God think they can solve over a millenium's worth of hatred and violence..These men seem like there fairly intelligent individuals..Why on earth does anyone actually think that there is some sort of victory to be had in Iraq? Whether we stay or leave at this point is wholly irrelevant..Shia's will kill the Sunni's and Sunni's will kill the Shia's every friggin chance they get...And please when McCain brings up the tired and completely false assertion that they'll "follow us here if we leave Iraq" is falling on deaf ears..besides they probably can't afford the plane tickets to get to New Jersey in the frist place..

Posted by: TheIrishCurse | May 4, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

JD -- who are the haters? Who are the ones who are always shreiking about 'Liberals this! Liberals that! Liberals are traitors! Liberals are terrorists! Liberals hate america! etc, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

Turn on your radio -- listen to Hannity or Limbaugh bleating about how liberals are cowards and losers and every horrible thing you can think of. Hear about feminazis, enviroterrorists, you could go on forever. And they do.

So please, if you can't be truthful, don't bother to talk.

Can you really defend people who don't believe in science? Do you mind if I am stunned that there ar those who want to take us back to the 12th century?

Posted by: drndl | May 4, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Drindl: hey, are you plugging your friend's books?

AndyR: you got it. From elsewhere in the WaPo: "GOP Field United On War, Divided On Social Issues." This should be altered to read "GOP Field United On Losing in 2008, Divided On Social Issues."

JD: isn't the 'haters' term a Faux News invention?

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | May 4, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Dead spot on Andy R...Repugs and there ilk can spin all they want about picking back up there "traditional seats", but Iraq will be the ten thousand pound weight around there necks..It'll be interesting to see in the next year or so, if Iraq continues on the downward spiral(and it will)how many repugs see the light and start to move away from the party talking points...'08 can't come fast enough!!

Posted by: TheIrishCurse | May 4, 2007 9:42 AM | Report abuse

JD the parts of the debate I saw the three real candidates did fine. But the evolution thing is ridiculous. Anyone who doesn't believe in evolution is a certifiable moron. Period.

You can believe that God created the world, but if that is the case then she also created Evolution.

Posted by: Andy R | May 4, 2007 9:39 AM | Report abuse

well, the haters are again out in force this morning: "They are all pathetic catastrophic losers" ... "The Slack-Jawed Drooling Cro-Magnon Party" ... "utter contempt".

But just so we're clear, it's the right wing who are mean spirited, overly partisan, and vilify their political opponents instead of seeing them as Americans.

Whatever.

Posted by: JD | May 4, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Southern Indiana has got to be kidding... Ellsworth won the 8th with over 60% and doesn't even have a serious challenger. If not for the Libertarian candidate in the 9th it's possible Hill might not even have won (barely scratched 50%). I don't even think Hill's going to run. The caliber of the statewide candidates making noises about governor are so lame that Hill would have a better chance beating Daniels (and would bring the national resources to do it) than getting reelected with Hillary or Obama on the ballot above his name.

Posted by: There's more than corn.. | May 4, 2007 9:28 AM | Report abuse

I think that you are forgeting that the political environment still doesn't favor Republicans at all. The Democratic house is passing laws that will sell well next year.

Although some districts will certainly switch hands, many of the districts that you consider strong red districts used to be Democratic before the republican takeover of 1994. So really in the last election they were reverting BACK to thier traditional Democratic leanings.

And last but not least. Iraq, Iraq, Iraq. That alone will be worth a ten seat pickup for the Dems.

Posted by: Andy R | May 4, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Someone mentioned the book on Guiliani. There's two very good ones, 'Rudy!' and 'Grand Illusion' -- both written by Wayne Barrett -- a veteran investigative reporter, old-fashioned, hard-nosed, deep-digging, NY guy, like Jimmy Breslin, like the kind you never find anymore. He's covered Rudy for at least 20 years, knows him better than anyone. Read them -- you'll learn a lot.

Posted by: drindl | May 4, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse


'Reagan's tactic of outspending the Soviet Union in the Cold War has come home to roost. The War on Terrorism has been a very low-cost way for opponents of the U.S. to force us into endless spending '

I thought this was an astute observation. This is exactly what bin Ladin said we would do after 9/11 -- spend ourselves into oblivion and take away our own civil right. Everything we have done since then has played directly into his hands. And electing another republican reactionary will be exactly what he wants -- a fool to be duped into the global religious war bin Ladin so fervently desires.

And the ones who don't believe in evolution -- how are they different from the Taliban or al-queda? After all, it was reverting to primitism and medieval fundamentalism that destroyed the worldwide scientific, academic and military superiority that the Arab world once enjoyed. It would be easy enough for the US to revert to backward ignorance and superstititon. There's plenty of fertile ground for that even right now. You can see right here there are plenty of folks who read this blog who would be happy to live in abject simple-mindedness and ignorance -- and do.

God, what a crop of puppets -- with bin Ladin and the ghost of the Alzheimer Ronnie pulling their strings.

By the way, JimD -- you're absolutely right about the Grand Canyon. Now, in the bookstores of all national monuments and parks there are publications about how God created them in 6 days--and that's all you can buy. Unbeleivable how far back we've gone -- and how fast.

Posted by: drindl | May 4, 2007 9:20 AM | Report abuse

You should not omit Florida's 13th Congressional District. Christine Jennings was ahead in all the pre-election polls and then lost by a slim margin caused, perhaps, by the mysterious undercount of thousands of votes. Vern Buchanan faces a tough battle for re-election (or as Democrats would say, election) in 2008.

Posted by: JoeFL | May 4, 2007 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Embryonic stem cells, evolution, global warming --- these issues are behind my utter contempt for the right wing of the Republican party and its utter contempt for modern science. I have read that Bush administration political appointees have forbidden National Park Service employees from mentioning the geological age of the Grand Canyon in order to avoid offending the Flat Earth Society and other fundamentalists.

Posted by: JimD in FL | May 4, 2007 9:06 AM | Report abuse

As a lifelong resident of the district, I have to disagree some with your assessment of Indiana's 9th District race. To the extent you regard the district as volatile, perhaps you confuse it with our neighbor to the west, Indiana's "Bloody 8th." Before Baron Hill won in 1998, Lee Hamilton (a relatively conservative Democrat) served for 30+ years. True, it has seesawed of late, but it must be considered that Soderel squeaked by in 2004 on the coattails of a then-popular president. In all honesty, I would have to rate Indiana's 8th as more likely than the 9th to change parties this cycle.

Posted by: Southern Indiana | May 4, 2007 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Terje: thanks for the precise, BALANCED analysis!

Hey, WaPo, contact this guy and see if he wants a job.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | May 4, 2007 8:54 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree with dopper0189. HRC at the head of the ticket would seriously hurt Democrats in tight races in swing districts.

Posted by: JimD in FL | May 4, 2007 8:52 AM | Report abuse

>>>The Fix is knee-deep in sorting through the winners and losers from last night's Republican presidential debate

They are all pathetic catastrophic losers.

There, wasn't that easy?

Jerry McNerny ain't goin' nowhere. Put it in the bank.

Watch the GOP fools deny hundreds of years of science, genetics, medicine, and of course COMMON SENSE:

http://www.crooksandliars.com/2007/05/03/who-doesnt-believe-in-evolution/

Posted by: F&B | May 4, 2007 8:50 AM | Report abuse

let's not forget the book on Guiliani

Posted by: lor durante | May 4, 2007 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Dan Maffei in NY's 25th has a real shot after losing by only 3,400 votes to Jim Walsh in '06. Especially with (hoped for) Democratic Presidential coattails.

Posted by: JP | May 4, 2007 8:25 AM | Report abuse

'The WP fronts word out of Iraq that the number of attacks involving lethal weapons known as "explosively formed projectiles" increased last month to 65, which is a record. Officials say these projectiles are made in Iran and are being used almost exclusively by Shiite fighters against U.S. targets. '

Actually, the press knows very well that these bombs are being manufactured in southern Iraq -- because the factory was found 3 weeks ago. The story was in the NY Times. But the rest of the media is terrified of crossing Cheney's PR buildup to attack Iran. The factory is sponsored by Maliki's government. Come one, people, the Shia, whom we are feeding billions to, hate us every bit as much as the Sunni.

Do you not know that a great many of the Shia in Iraq come from/ have family member in Iran?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 8:24 AM | Report abuse

'He struggled a bit to answer a question on whether it would be a good day if and when Roe vs. Wade was repealed ("It would be ok," he said) and seemed slightly flummoxed on a question about the difference between Sunni and Shia'

Rudy knows NOTHING about the rest of the world -- nor does he care. All he EVER thinks about is Rudy. Want rudy wants. After 4 years, he hasn't bothered to find out much out about a war and occupation that has killed more than 3000 of our people. Why? Well, he just jdoesn't much care. We know him real well out here in the Northeast. Take him, he's yours.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Had the national Democrats put more money and support into the Florida 13th, the Republicans would be trying to regain the seat. The Democrats might focus its attention on the distic but it might be too late to take it over.

Posted by: stevencon | May 4, 2007 8:13 AM | Report abuse

'Meanwhile, three candidates signaled that they do not believe in evolution. '

You have got to be kidding me. Three candidates for POTUS IN THE YEAR 2007, who say they don't beleive in the basis for modern biology? They don't believe in f*cking SCIENCE? What have you got there kids, the Medieval Party? The Slack-Jawed Drooling Cro-Magnon Party?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 8:13 AM | Report abuse

CC -- this is a good list, but I think a few likely key races are missing -- especially if the national environment continues to be toxic for Republicans

NC - 8 -- A completely underfunded and underrated Democratic candidate Larry Kissell came up just a couple of hundred votes short of knocking off Robin Hayes. Hayes has got to be on anyone's vulnerable list

FL -13 -- The controversial outcome of this race will mean that Republican incumbent Vern Buchanan will face a tough rematch with Christine Jennings.

CT 4 -- Chris Shays barely hung on last time... he's tied himself to Bush's Iraq policy, which isn't getting any more popular. After Dianne Farrell lost twice, the Dems would need to find a fresh face to challenge him.

NH 1 - Carol Shea-Porter was one of the biggest Democratic upsets last time... if the Republicans recruit a top flight challenger and avoid a nasty primary, this race will certainly be in play

PA 6 - Jim Gerlach keeps squeaking through in this district that continues to trend Democratic. After two losses, the Democrats will want to find a different candidate than Lois Murphy.

OH 1,2,15 -- Each of the 3 Republican incumbents barely made it through last election and will face strong Democratic candidates in 2008 - CDs 1 and 15 have an even partisan divide and are trendly Democratic recently. CD 2 is heavily Republican but incumbent Jean Schmidt is keeps shooting herself in the foot enough to make her endangered.

FL 24 -- Republican incumbent Tom Feeney is in serious ethics trouble in this district that favours Republicans but can be competitive. If Feeney stays in the House and runs for reelection, the Democrats will certainly target another Abramoff Republican.

Other races to watch -- Wyoming AL, where Cubin barely pulled it out last time; IL -10 where Dan Seals last proved that Republican incumbent Mark Kirk is vulnerable in this suburban district; NJ 7 - where Mike Ferguson nearly lost to Democrat Linda Stender last time - the DCCC will make sure she's got enough money this time; VA -11, a Democratic trending suburan district where Democrats will make a serious effort if Tom Davis ends up running for Senate; Michigan 7 where the Democrats will recruit a strong challenger for right wing 1st termer Tim Wlaberg; Mich - 9 where D Nancy Skinner gave Joe Knollenberg an unexpected scare last time.

Hard to predict this far out, but unless the political environment around Iraq etc changes dramatically, Republicans may be playing defence and losing more seats instead of making up for losses last time around.

Posted by: terje | May 4, 2007 7:45 AM | Report abuse

I wonder what the over under for the 2008 house is. I see Dems winning 8-10 seats, I see the GOP winning 2-4 seat. So by my math Dems will pick up 4-8 seats. I see REGIONAL trends. The war will make it hard for Republicans to win back seats they "should" win North of the Mason Dixon line, this will limit their success. For example, I find it very hard to imagine a Bush appointee and war supporting winning a seat in Conn. Lieberman won because he had years of support, socialy left of center, and ran against a novice, and even he had the race of his life. The war is in many ways what the abortion/guns issues has been for the GOP in the border states. Dems lose races in KT,WV,TN,OH,MO that on "paper" they should win, on this issue alone. The reverse will be true for the GOP in 2008. The only exception is if HRC gets the nomination. She can win, but she will damage the Democratic ticket further down.

Posted by: dopper0189 | May 4, 2007 7:43 AM | Report abuse

FL-13. Vern Buchanan beat out Christine Jennings because Democratic-leaning Sarasota County had a mysterious 18,000 undervotes in this race.

Posted by: marc | May 4, 2007 7:30 AM | Report abuse

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