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House retirements pile up

A quartet of House members -- Reps. Vern Ehlers (Mich.) and Lincoln Diaz-Balart (Fla.) for Republicans, Reps. Diane Watson (Calif.) and Patrick Kennedy (R.I.) for Democrats -- announced their retirements this week, bringing the total number of those not seeking re-election in 2010 to 32.

That number is consistent with the average number of retirements over the past three election cycles (34) but, given that so few state filing deadlines have passed, it's likely that the 2010 retirement total will eclipse those of 2004, 2006 and 2008.

But, how high will it go? And which side will be more negatively impacted?

Friday Line

The largest number of retirements in the post World War II era came in 1992 when 65 incumbents called it quits due to the volatile combination of decennial redistricting and the House bank scandal.

Without a major scandal gripping the House and with redistricting set for next election cycle, it's hard to see 2010 coming close to challenging the retirement record held by 1992.

More within reason, however, are the retirement totals of the 1994 and 1996 cycles when 48 and 49 members retired respectively. In 1994, Democrats saw 28 of their members retire, lost 22 of those open seat contests and lost the House. Two years later, Democrats picked up seats despite losing 10 open seats to just four defeats for Republicans.

With the likelihood that we could see as many as ten more retirements (or more), the real question is where they come from. Do Democrats suffer more retirements like Reps. Bart Gordon (Tenn.) and Dennis Moore (Kans.), both of whom represent districts that will be hard to hold? Are the future Republican retirements in largely safe districts like the seats held by Rep. Steve Buyer (Ind.) and Ehlers?

Here's what we know right now: Democrats currently have less open seats but far more vulnerability; eight of the 20 seats on this month's Line are districts where a Democratic incumbent is retiring while just two are Republican open seats.

The number one ranked race on the Line is the most likely to switch parties in the fall. Disagree with our ratings? You can rank them yourself at the bottom of this post.

To the Line!

Coming onto the Line: Arkansas' 1st district, Pennsylvania's 7th district
Coming off the Line: California's 3rd district, Colorado's 4th district

20. Pennsylvania's 7th (Democratic-controlled): Former U.S. Attorney Pat Meehan's decision to switch from the governor's race to the contest to replace retiring Rep. Joe Sestak (D) has been a very good one for Republicans. Meehan has emerged as one of the best fundraisers in any open seat -- ending 2009 with nearly $700,000 in the bank. (Previous ranking: N/A)

19. Idaho's 1st district (D): Iraq war veteran Vaughn Ward was seen as the early favorite against freshman Rep. Walt Minnick (D). But, his $105,000 total raised in the last three months of the year is unconvincing -- at best. State Rep. Raul Labrador (R) is also running. Minnick ended the year with $816,000 in the bank. (Previous ranking: 19)

18. Ohio's 15th district (D): Former state Sen. Steve Stivers (R) narrowly missed beating Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D) in 2008 and is back again. Without President Obama driving turnout in Columbus -- home of THE Ohio State University -- Stivers has a very good chance of winning this time around. (Previous ranking: 16)

17. Washington's 3rd district (D): Both parties have crowded primary fields in the race to replace Rep. Brian Baird (D). National Republicans seem to believe state Rep. Jamie Herrera would be their best nominee but it's not clear yet if she will win the nomination. The seat tilts slightly toward Democrats in a presidential year but in a midterm it will be very competitive. (Previous ranking: 15)

16. Ohio's 1st district (D): A poll sponsored by the liberal Firedoglake blog showed former Rep. Steve Chabot (R) leading freshman Rep. Steve Driehaus (D) 56 percent to 39 percent. That seems a bit too wide a gap but Driehaus will struggle to win re-election without Obama driving turnout in the Cincinnati black community. (Previous ranking: 17)

15. Florida's 8th district (D): Establishment Republicans -- led by Sen. Mel Martinez and former Lt. Gov.Toni Jennings -- are trying to rally the party behind businessman Bruce O'Donoghue but he faces a primary fight. Freshman Rep. Alan Grayson (D) seems to revel in his rhetorical bomb-throwing, which might not be a great fit for this swing seat. (Previous ranking: 14)

14. Tennessee's 8th district (D): Democrats are very optimistic about state Sen. Roy Herron's candidacy and the $681,000 he raised in the last three months of 2009 seems to justify those hopes. National Republicans -- led by California Rep. Kevin McCarthy -- are enamored with farmer Stephen Fincher (and the $675,000 he has raised) but he will face a primary fight. (Previous ranking: 12)

13. Alabama's 2nd district (D): Rep. Bobby Bright (D) represents one of the least Democratic-friendly districts in the country. And yet, Montgomery City Councilwoman Martha Roby (R) hasn't come close to living up to the early hype surrounding her candidacy, raising a stunningly bad $76,000 in the final quarter of 2009. The demographics of the district -- particularly in a year like this one -- might make it impossible for Bright to win but Roby isn't doing much to make her case. (Previous ranking: 9)

12. Virginia's 5th district (D): Republicans are falling all over themselves to run against Rep. Tom Perriello -- a sign of his electoral vulnerability but also, perhaps, the key to a second term for the freshman Democrat. Two self-funders are likely to make things in the primary uncomfortable for state Sen. Robert Hurt who is the establishment favorite. If former Rep. Virgil Goode (R) runs as an independent, all bets are off. (Previous ranking: 11)

11. Mississippi's 1st district (D): Freshman Rep. Travis Childers' (D) $110,000 raised in the last three months of last year should set off alarm bells. State Sen. Alan Nunnelee (R) outraised Childers in the quarter but will face what could be a high-profile primary challenge from tea party activist Angela McGlowan. (Previous ranking: 13)

10. Arkansas' 1st district (D): Rep. Marion Berry's (D) retirement open up this northeastern Arkansas district where President Obama won just 38 percent of the vote in 2008. The two primary fields are still sorting themselves out but the demographics of the seat make it a hard hold for Democrats. (Previous ranking: N/A)

9. Arkansas' 2nd district (D): After years of skating by without a tough race, Rep. Vic Snyder (D) finally drew a real opponent in former U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin (R) and promptly retired. Griffin starts with a financial edge over any Democrat and will benefit from the fact that Obama lost the district by ten points in 2008. (Previous ranking: 10)

8. New Mexico's 2nd district (D): Former Rep. Steve Pearce (R) outraised freshman Rep. Harry Teague (D) in the final three months of the year -- not a great sign for the incumbent. Both men have significant personal wealth, however, and how much each spends it could be the x-factor in the race. Pearce held the seat for six years before running unsuccessfully for Senate in 2008. (Previous ranking: 6)

7. Illinois' 10th district (Republican-controlled): Each side probably picked their best nominee in the Feb. 2 primary. Democrats went with Dan Seals who, although he lost two races to Rep. Mark Kirk in 2006 and 2008, has no voting record and can run as an outsider. Republicans nominated businessman Bob Dold. The district's demographics favor Democrats. (Previous ranking: 7)

6. Maryland's 1st district (D): Rep. Frank Kratovil (D) is struggling in his first term -- as evidenced by the fact that he was outraised by state Sen. Andy Harris (R) over the final three months of 2009. Fellow state Sen. E.J. Pipkin continues to mull a primary race against Harris. (previous ranking: 5)

5. Kansas' 3rd district (D): The decision by Kansas City Mayor Joe Reardon not to seek the seat of retiring Rep. Dennis Moore (D) puts Democrats in a very precarious position. While President Obama narrowly carried this Kansas-City, Kansas-based district in 2008, George W. Bush won it by 11 points in 2004 and 2000. Republicans have a crowded primary fight. (Previous ranking: 8)

4. Louisiana's 3rd district (D): Rep. Charlie Melancon's (D) decision to run for the Senate this November makes this southeastern Louisiana seat that gave President Obama just 37 percent in 2008 a prime Republican pickup opportunity. Republican chances will increase if former state Rep. Hunt Downer decides to run as he looks likely to do. (Previous ranking: 4)

3. Louisiana's 2nd district (R): Two Democratic state House members are running for the right to knock off freshman Rep. Joseph Cao (R) but the field will almost certainly grow given the fact that President Obama won the district with 75 percent in 2008. (Previous ranking: 3)

2. Delaware's at-large district (R): Republicans are focusing all of their attention in the First State on Rep. Mike Castle's (R) frontrunning bid for the Senate. The seat Castle is leaving behind after nine terms is almost certain to be won by former Lt. Gov. John Carney (D). (Previous ranking: 2)

1. Tennessee's 6th district (D): Democrats don't have an announced candidate yet in this strongly Republican, middle Tennessee district being vacated by Rep. Bart Gordon. The Republican primary will likely determine the identity of the next Congressman (or woman) from the seat. (Previous ranking: 1)

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 12, 2010; 10:40 AM ET
Categories:  The Line  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: House Republican retirements provide counter-conventional wisdom
Next: Tim Pawlenty offers a stinging critique of GOP


It is amazing that the Rhinos have not kept up with the pulse of the people in the FL 8th Congressional District. The excitement that Patricia SulliVAN generates when she speaks, gives one hope of a return to common sense and constitutional governing.

Posted by: ProudVeteran | February 17, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

The candidate that has captured the support of the people that actually live and will vote in the 8th district is conservative Republican Patricia Sullivan. As a resident of the district I can attest to the fact that what we are looking for in a candidate is not a slick politically connected person. We want a person we feel we can trust to represent our interests in Washington. We want a person like Patricia Sullivan who understands the needs of the people.

Posted by: jerseysr | February 17, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

@ #15 Florida 8th District, Why would the people of the district want someone already buddy buddy with the career politician, just to find out they will vote with the crowd. We want new grassroots blood. Someone willing to stand up and vote or speak out on what is right or wrong and not just follow the politician crowd. My support is behind Patricia Sullivan. She is a well spoken and ready to ruffle the feathers in DC and speak for the people of District 8. We the people are looking to get back to the conservative values our country was built on. www.patriciasullivanforcongress

Posted by: Beth407 | February 17, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Florida's 8th Congressional District members are salivating at dumping DEM Alan "" Grayson for Republican Patricia Sullivan, who has attracted numerous supporters. Most voters now know Grayson's tactics and method of BUYING votes, so expect his upset. Especially when he represents the DEMS, and Judicial Watch's new list of "10 Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians" is almost all DEMS - it is at .

Posted by: VJtraveler | February 17, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Let's not forget Patricia Sullivan in FL-8 (#15 on this list). She's well-organized and aggressive. Her entry into the race pre-dates Kurt Kelly and Bruce O'Donoghue by three months, and she may be the only candidate who earns her listing on the ballot by collecting petitions instead of just buying in. Definitely someone to watch in this race. She has the attention and support of the TEA Party crowd...

Posted by: sbpickering | February 16, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

The people of FL's 8th Congressional District will select their candidate to replace the current non-representative, Alan Grayson, and we don't need RHINOs like Martinez blessing our selection. We will elect a true conservative who will fight for our ideals of a smaller government which draws its power from the people it serves, adheres to the Constitution, and believes in the free market system. That candidate is Patricia Sullivan. The "establishment" will do well to stop searching for some "name" to back. They should instead listen to the people who live in the District and throw their support behind Patricia Sullivan, the best person for the job.

Posted by: PatriotDee | February 16, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Florida's District 8 is looking so hopeful with Patricia Sullivan in the race. In the recent Straw Poll her results were high, and Grayson will have a hard dose of reality come this fall. Florida needs more candidates like Patricia Sullivan to help our state and our country to get back on track.

Posted by: wsr210 | February 16, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

We're hoping Alan Grayson will be the only one bragging about his accomplishments this fall. I think most people are tired of career politicians making money and promises that have nothing to do with the people they serve. Patricia Sullivan (patriot, not politician) is a fresh face in the new political arena and I hope and pray she can bring some well needed change to our state and country in the next election. We all need to do our part and I thank all those who care enough to read and comment on these pages. I only hope more people wake up and get involved!

Posted by: dignan5 | February 16, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Florida's 8th District, keep an eye out for Patricia Sullivan to replace Alan Grayson. She had an amazing showing at the Orlando Straw Poll this past Saturday, coming in second. The Tea Party people are clamoring to back Patriots who embrace Commonsense Conservative Solutions and they have their perfect candidate in Patricia. Bruce O'Donoghue should not be so excited to have the endorsement of "The Party Establishment". Just the phrase "The Party Establishment" has now become a hugely negative term. If you don't agree, check out Sarah Palin's rise to the Alaska Governorship which happened without the backing of the Republican Party Establishment. Watch out Washington, Moms know how to "Clean House" :)

Posted by: PatriotNoel | February 16, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Bruce O’Donoghue is a Johnny come lately to a race that will be won by Patricia Sullivan. Former U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez is a RINO and the people of the 8th Congressional District will not be led down that path again. Patricia Sullivan it a Conservative Republican, the Citizen Patriot who will bring dignity and reason back to the representation of the 8th Congressional District.

Posted by: thefaz10 | February 16, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Mel Martinez has never been a conservative Republican and we do not need him endorsing anyone in district 8. Patricia Sullivan has proven herself to be conservative and believing in the principals of limited government, fiscal responsibility, free market capitalism and following the Constitution...Check out her website. We need for Patricia to take over Grayson's seat in congress

Posted by: madub | February 16, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

To bad Martinez and Jennings don't actually have there fingers on the pulse of district 8, if they did they would realize they are backing the wrong candidate. Only one candidate in the district stands out as the winner over Alan Grayson in the General Election. That person is conservative Republican Patricia Sullivan. If you haven't heard of her I know Al has, she's the person with the strength of character that forced Al to alter his web site. It's this strength of character that will propel her to victory in the November election.

Posted by: ric545Riker | February 16, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"One gave his life for our sins. the other played a lot of golf while amerika burned."

Well, this at least reveals what Church Obama chose to join in the D.C. area...

"Our Lady of the Holy Nine Iron."

Posted by: jonweiss1 | February 16, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse


PatKennedy’sSeat™ belongs to the loony-left d-crat socialist party, not to the riff-raff known as "the people". You are not allowed to vote for anybody but a d-crat socialist for this seat. If you even think about voting for anybody else, we will send our SEIU goons and thugs after you. Remember, we know where you live!

P.S. Do not believe the lie that TedKennedy’sSeat™ in Massachusetts was stolen by Republicans. That lie was created by FOX NEWS which, even though it is AMERICA'S MOST TRUST NEWS SOURCE (according to the Jan 2010 PPP survey) never, ever tells the truth about us d-crat socialists and our hatred of democracy. The seat is firmly under our control now and will remain under our control forever!

Posted by: TeaPartyPatriot | February 14, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I believe Obama has actually caused race relations to go backwards.

There is too much push at political correctness - the Obama people are too ready to start crying racist for relatively innocent things.

So there is a backlash - a quiet sustained one.

Perhaps it will not show up in the polls - yea if a pollster asks someone, that person will say that they are not racist.

But what is the real situation ? The false charges of racism - the crazy leftists ready to call anyone a racist over a genuine policy discussion - has poisoned race relations. People are fed up with it.

The people on this blog may be some of the worst offenders - or rather representative of what is going on out there.

Another part - Obama has probably set partisan relations back significantly as well. The very idea of parading around saying that he was going to be bipartisan, and then conducting himself the way he has is utterly pathetic.

The American people see through all of this.

The polls we see may not reflect everything that is going on in America.

I don't know if Massachusetts is representative of the whole country or not - that part of New England may be unique.

Obama is doing a horrible job - that much is clear.

Filter out all the partisan leftists - and try to get a relatively objective take on how Obama is doing and his job performance is horrible.

Ironic, if Obama had passed the health care bill, Obama's standing would probably be worse. American does not want that bill - and now it is the symbol of how out-of-touch Obama is.

I don't get how one goes from Obama's platform in 2008 - to health care, round the clock, all the time.

I don't get how a party can ignore the economy for almost a year.

I don't know however the priority agenda in Washington has been odd at best - stupid at worst.

Obama is a disaster - and I don't see anything that will indicate that anything will get any better.

Normally, at this stage, Obama would be looking for the next affirmative action program to go into - looking for another promotion to cover up the complete lack of accomplishment - or effort or anything.

Obama has never been in a position in which he had to make it work - in which things didn't go well, and he had to turn things around.

Instead, he always went on to the next affirmative action program.

Obama has become the poster child for getting rid of the affirmative action programs - they have not worked - we need to produce people with much more substance.


Posted by: 37thand0street | February 14, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

The truth is that Obama is putting our national security at risk -

And then he sends out his deputy national security officer Brennan to go out and call Obama's critics unpatriotic.

What could be more unpatriotic than risking American lives with "soft on terror" policies as Obama has done.

If Obama was a real man, he would do his own dirty work and make these comments himself.

But he isn't.


Posted by: 37thand0street | February 13, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

The speech Obama gave in Philadelphia during the primaries was a complete disgrace.

The media dropped the ball, and they should go back and review what they did.

Obama should have been honest to the country about the white-hating nature of his own Church - and been specific about what the Church stood for - and what Obama thought.

Obama NEVER said that he was against the white-hating nature of the Church.

IN FACT Obama backed up Rev. Wright for weeks.

broadwayjoe - you and your pals all belong in jail.

It is about time

So don't give us your Sarah-Palin hate - it is so silly and hypocritical.


Posted by: 37thand0street | February 13, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Obama seeking to maximize his unilateral power - key signal of a socialist to impose one's will on an unwilling population:


Posted by: 37thand0street | February 13, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

It is about time the American people realize the full implications of what the democrats did with the "stimulus" bill last year.

The democrats have not taken the recession seriously.

Instead they went off and diverted the stimulus fund to a whole bunch of democratic special interest programs.

AND then Obama went off to work on health care.

Obama is a horrible failure - his job performance is a complete joke. It makes sense when you hire someone with little experience and who has none virtually nothing in his life.

Blame the democrats for that.

The democrats have been EXTREMELY IRRESPONSIBLE WITH THIS COUNTRY - the democrats are prolonging the recession.

We need to get someone in there with economic and business experience.

HOW HARD IS THAT ???? Apparently so hard the democrats don't get it.

AND you have democratic Congressmen on Chris Matthews claiming they are doing a good job.



Posted by: 37thand0street | February 13, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I wish my congressman BRAD MILLER (D-NC) would resign, or have a heart attack, or die in car accident, or anything else equally beneficial to NC taxpayers.

Posted by: penniless_taxpayer | February 13, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

43% of Americans say they would rather see Obama flee the country than wait for his term to end.

Obama's approval rating on his handling of health care is at 36%.

Obama's approval rating on the economy is 35%

Thank you broadwayjoe for bringing this to our attention.


Posted by: 37thand0street | February 13, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

They are like rats jumping off a sinking ship. Years of mismanagment have taken us to the edge, and now we can see the horrows below. Instead of taking a stand and swearing off cheating, lying, and stealing; they hit the road. Good riddance!

Posted by: Prof-Dr-G | February 12, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

He IS speaking to many Ped. Can't you hear him? Are you too stupid? or too immoral? I am not surprised he doesn't speak to you. But in fact he did. He said, "do not bring any of your offspring into the world. If you want to torment your fellow human beings, they will have to willingly comply."

so in fact, you have utterly missed the greatest gift in life. And you're too ignorant to understand that.

you will die old, lonely and forgotten. a rightful stamp on a waste of a life.


you crack me up, zouk

your desire to hurt is so intense that you fail to, you're so x
comical in your bloody-spittle intensity. I bet the carpets in your hospital room have bite marks.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 12, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Cillizza actually wrote "less open seats."

the mind reels. This isn't a seventh grader's essay, this is a paid reporter for a major paper.

Why would someone who would never write "fewer water" write "less seats?"

if it's something you can count the word is FEWER. The distinction is called PARTITIVITY.


Posted by: Noacoler | February 12, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

O’Reilly then said that he has seen “no evidence” that President Obama is a socialist, but that his viewers should be afraid of some Democrats in Congress who want to “impose social justice on the nation”

LOL - god forbid we should have 'social justice" in America --NEVER!

Posted by: drindl | February 12, 2010 2:22 PM
Every Sunday at my Catholic church, we pray for social justice. Out loud, too. I always thought that was a good thing.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | February 12, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

I would add 1st district of Rhode Island to the line.

I think John Laughlin's "Scott Brown" common sense, grass roots connection with the people is a major factor in Patrick Kennedy's decision to step down. He did not want to be the first Kennedy to lose an election in 50 whatever years.

John Laughlin is a strong candidate, and I expect the DNC to pull a big name RI political veteran out of it's hat.

Put RI on the line. It's a race to watch.

Posted by: conservativelibertine | February 12, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

track down "God" then let him speak for himself


He IS speaking to many Ped. Can't you hear him? Are you too stupid? or too immoral? I am not surprised he doesn't speak to you. But in fact he did. He said, "do not bring any of your offspring into the world. If you want to torment your fellow human beings, they will have to willingly comply."

so in fact, you have utterly missed the greatest gift in life. And you're too ignorant to understand that.

you will die old, lonely and forgotten. a rightful stamp on a waste of a life.

Posted by: drivl | February 12, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Good post, GJonahJameson. Am I the only one who cannot "rank them yourself at the bottom of this post"?

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 12, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I feel like it might be a waste of my time to make an on-topic post, but...

The Ohio 15th race is an odd one to watch. Mary Jo Kilroy beat Steve Stivers by about as close a margin as you can imagine in 2008 to turn the 15th blue after decades of being a reliable Republican pickup, thanks in large part to the strength of Republican incumbents like Deborah Pryce. Kilroy was the first serious Democratic candidate in ages, and even then, she lost to Pryce in 2006 before coming back in 2008 and just squeaking by Stivers. Voters didn't trust Kilroy, and a lot of them had to hold their noses to vote for her, but a distaste for Republicans in general and Stivers' past as a bank industry lobbyist were just enough for Kilroy to win.

I expected to see a lot of really intense scrutiny of Kilroy during her first term, but strangely, I've heard practically nothing. It seems that despite her crippling charisma deficiency and reputation as the sort of person you wouldn't want to hang out with any longer than you have to, she's actually pretty capable as a Congresswoman, to a lot of people's surprise. Every statement I've heard in support of Stivers has more or less ignored Kilroy and focused on Democrats' dropping popularity in general, which is doubly strange, since Kilroy was getting attacked pretty viciously during the last few elections.

I feel like the local Republican party is banking entirely on unrest against Democrats to sink Kilroy, assuming that Stivers came so close in 2008 that he can't possibly lose when the Democrats aren't on a roll. He'll probably win, but it'll be a lot closer than everyone thinks -- and hey, everybody was expecting Kilroy to lose in 2008, too.

Posted by: GJonahJameson | February 12, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Back on topic:

"Democrats currently have less open seats but far more vulnerability; eight of the 20 seats on this month's Line are districts where a Democratic incumbent is retiring while just two are Republican open seats."

This is the crucial difference -- everyone needs to read Cook's Report latest on "competitive" House seats -- I still maintain that Rep. Cao (R-LA) will win re-election. Rep. Lungren (R-CA) is probably glad that his seat is off The Line too ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 12, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

No one else?

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 12, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Every human being is given a 'Mission from God'


what a load of nutty bull

if you can track down "God" then let him speak for himself. If you can't produce him then he's nothing more than an imaginary playmate and entirely irrelevant to politics and policy, however much the idea inspires emotions you enjoy.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 12, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

'Mission from God' for dribbl:

cut and paste all the left wing sewage from Kos, Huff, FIredog and the rest over to the Fix. do not stop to think, (as if she could).

Posted by: drivl | February 12, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse


Every human being is given a 'Mission from God' -- read Rick Warren's Purpose-Driven Life -- but that doesn't make us all "Messiahs".

If anyone else wants to discuss the actual thread topic, please let me know.

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 12, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

But -- I thought Rs were against earmarks!

"By placing a "blanket hold" on President Barack Obama's nominees for federal positions, Shelby attempted one of the most noxious political stunts in modern American history. When he removed the hold, Shelby essentially admitted the tactic had been a brazen attempt to coerce the White House into sending billions of dollars of earmarked funds to Alabama--that the holds had nothing to do with qualifications of the nominees.

Shelby has been trying to get a new FBI crime lab opened in Alabama, and he has been trying for months to strong arm the Air Force into reversing a legitimate bid of $35 billion as part of a $100 billion contract granted to Boeing to build refueling tankers for the military. Shelby wanted the contract to go to Northrop Grumman/EADs, a company which has given heavily to finance his campaigns and would have assembled the tankers in his home state."

Posted by: drindl | February 12, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

zoukie/drivl -- you just never stop thinking about me, do you? it's not healthy.

do yourself a favor, get out of the basement, try to meet some people for a change.

Posted by: drindl | February 12, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

dribbl's tenuous grasp on reality is slipping away fast.

Posted by: drivl | February 12, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

There is no way that Iraq is an Obama achievement

Obama, Reid and Biden did everything they could to make this country leave Iraq in a loss - which would have resulted in chaos in the country.

We leaving Iraq with a win - no thanks to Obama or Biden

These guys are real jokers.


Posted by: 37thand0street | February 12, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

There are often circumstances beyond the surface facts of retirements. Two come to mind. Rep. Vic Snyder (D, AR) married later in life and at the age of 60 or so finds himself with four boys age 3 and under, including triplet sons who are age one. Whether or not he would have run for re-election without the prospect of a more robust race this year is anyone's guess. Mine is that he would have retired regardless since he feels an obligation to spend time with his family at this very challenging point. Rep. Marion Berry (D AR) likewise has a good reason...he received some unspecified negative health reports after a checkup during the December Congressional break and already had been relying on a cane for walking purposes. In that case, there was no challenger of note on the horizon. Yes, the seats will be filled by new folks. But do not mistake all retirements as reflecting a political climate in a particular area. There are good and sound personal reasons especially for House members who not only commute and have constituent obligations most weekends but have to raise money to run for Congress every two years.

Posted by: Cleo6 | February 12, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I guess in Arkansas if your a long-time congressman and get a whiff of competition in a one-party state, then you resign. Really pathetic.

Posted by: rogden71 | February 12, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse


'Greg Girard does NOT think that Palin is the Messiah "

But that is what he said, Joke. Friend of yours? So tell me, what's li'l Sarah scared of? Those mean old reporters who might write down what she says?

"Fox News contributor Sarah Palin will make two high-profile appearances in Central Florida next month, but the press will not be welcomed. Palin’s camp has barred the media from recording or photographing the former governor’s speeches, so if reporters want to attend, they’ll have to buy a ticket like anyone else. (Prices are between $150 and “at least” $250.) The Orlando Sentinel reports that the unusual decision was made by Palin’s handlers, not local organizers.

“These are the terms of the contract that were presented to us,” said Orange County Republican Party Chairman Lew Oliver.

Oliver acknowledged that previous Lincoln Day dinner speakers — mostly elected officials and political hopefuls — have allowed media coverage.

Palin’s speaking fees are also not being disclosed, but she was paid a reported $100,000 for speaking at the National Tea Party Convention last week.

Palin has consistently tried to limit media access at her recent events, even discouraging “attempts at citizen journalism” by barring attendees at her book-signings from carrying cell phones or cameras, and refusing to “talk about politics with them.”

Is she afraid to talk without a TelePrompter?

Posted by: drindl | February 12, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

"Last night on Fox News, Bill O’Reilly was incensed about a recent Gallup poll finding that 36 percent of Americans have a positive image of “socialism.” The poll result is “simply incredible,” O’Reilly declared, adding, “Can you say ‘Fidel Castro’? … It’s hard to believe.”

O’Reilly then said that he has seen “no evidence” that President Obama is a socialist, but that his viewers should be afraid of some Democrats in Congress who want to “impose social justice on the nation”

LOL - god forbid we should have 'social justice" in America --NEVER!

Posted by: drindl | February 12, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse


We'll see.


Greg Girard does NOT think that Palin is the Messiah (only your side has false gods ; )

For the rest of us:

Let's not get our Messiahs mixed up.

One has been worshipped for over 2000 years. the other flopped out after less than a year.

One gave his life for our sins. the other played a lot of golf while amerika burned.

One said love they fellow man. the other said cops are stupid and Amerika is a downright mean country.

One eschewed power. the other corruptly aggrandized it.

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 12, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Pawlenty is saying the same thing about the Rs as I just said about the Ds.

We are still in very serious economic trouble and the inability to get anything done right is going to cost incumbents of both parties.

The circle of blame is as boring on this blog as it is the electorate. If politicians want to know what threaten their careers, they should start with a mirror and I'm not just talking about the Sanfords and the Clintons.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

more tea party nutbags:

The Massachusetts man charged this week with stockpiling weapons after saying he feared an imminent "Armageddon" appears to have been active in the Tea Party movement, and saw Sarah Palin, who he said is on a "righteous 'Mission from God,'" as the only figure capable of averting the destruction of society.

As we reported yesterday, Gregory Girard, a Manchester technology consultant, was found with a stash of military grade weapons, explosive devices including tear gas and pepper ball canisters, camouflage clothing, knives, handcuffs, bulletproof vests and helmets, and night vision goggles, say police. They believe Girard, who pleaded not guilty at his arraignment, was "preparing for domestic and political turmoil," and feared martial law would soon be imposed.

Girard's wife said her husband had recently told her: "Don't talk to people, shoot them instead," and "it's fine to shoot people in the head because traitors deserve it."

But it appears that Girard had lately found a community with which to share some of his growing fears. A "Greg Girard," listing his location as Manchester, Mass., has a personal page on the "Patriots of America" online network, a popular site affiliated with the Tea Party movement. The phone number listed on the page is the same as the number listed on the website of Girard's consulting firm, which appears to have been run out of his home. "

This one think Palin is the Messiah. See the kind of people you empower when you legitimize crackpot 'movements', Chris?

Posted by: drindl | February 12, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

let's see -- drivl/zouk disappears, 37 pops up.

what a coincidence. is there any limit to how many screen names you can use here? he's used at least 20.

Posted by: drindl | February 12, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

43% of Americans say they would rather see Obama flee the country than wait for his term to end.

Obama's approval rating on his handling of health care is at 36%.

Obama's approval rating on the economy is 35%

Thank you broadwayjoe for bringing this to our attention.


Posted by: 37thand0street | February 12, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Those three D losses were because the Ds were not just perceived as incapable/incompetent, they actually were.
So yes, my point was that the Ds will only have Republicans to fear if they can not focus on what needs to happen and get it done. Earlier many were willing to give the Ds a pass on the economy, that period is over, it is put up or pack up time for the Democrats. The mid-terms will be a mixed bag of course, decided mostly as we have seen, by local issues and candidates. 2012 will be all about the state of the union.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Politico has a story on how Pelosi is upset with the White House - and what happens this morning ?

Harry Reid pulls the jobs bill which the White House negotiated with committee chairman and the Republicans.

So what is going on ? Is it that bad down there, that they all are going in different directions???


Posted by: 37thand0street | February 12, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Dan Qualye's son is running in the Arizona 3rd.


Posted by: 37thand0street | February 12, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

jaked2, you left some other elections off your list. Do you remember:

Illinois 5th CD
New York 20th CD
California 32nd CD
California 10th CD
New York 23rd CD

Just a little reminder that the situation is as fluid as Quitter Palin's employment.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | February 12, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

dribbl has fled. time for the Ped.

Posted by: drivl | February 12, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Pat won't run? As any kennedy would say: "I'LL DRINK TO THAT!"

Posted by: TeaPartyPatriot | February 12, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse


Did Democrats have little to fear from Republicans in New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts?! Perhaps you've forgotten that the mid-term elections are coming up THIS YEAR?

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 12, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Democrats have little to fear from Republicans. They have two years left to use what the voters gave them. If by mid 2012 everything still looks like this, then maybe the Republican version of the Big Tent, everyone from the inspid milquetoasts like Pawlenty to the deeply psychotic elements within the TEA rabble, could re-establish the Republican menace.

Kansas can go bright red, just like Oregon voters have gone so far out into the blue we just raised taxes on rich people. No one cares what happens locally. The point is, the American economy is in the hands of the Democrats. If they can point to job growth plus deficit reduction in administrations bracketing the Bush Cheney disaster, Republicans can stoke fringe rage all they want. No one will vote for them if their record is one of economic failure if the Democrats, for all their mistakes, the chaos and the corruption, can at least keep the economy sound. I am betting (literally, with real money) that the real estate/toxic asset crisis will be over by the end of this year and the stability of home equity will drive the spending/investment job growth cycle that will, in turn, drive deficit reduction. The Democrats don't have to worry about Republicans, they are just a distraction.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Oberstar was on the radar as a potential retiree before the Dems won the majority. Now he seems to be enjoying the Transportation Committee too much to quit. If Dems were to lose the majority this year, he'd be on the retirement shortlist for 2012.

Posted by: bsimon1 | February 12, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Jake. let's not get our Messiahs mixed up.

One has been worshipped for over 2000 years. the other flopped out after less than a year.

One gave his life for our sins. the other played a lot of golf while amerika burned.

One said love they fellow man. the other said cops are stupid and Amerika is a downright mean country.

One eschewed power. the other corruptly aggrandized it.

Posted by: drivl | February 12, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse


Obama's birthplace (from 1961) is indeed more mysterious than the birthplace of Jesus Christ (recorded and preserved from over 2,000 years ago).

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 12, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

To Patches Kennedy: How is the demerol, xanax, oxycontin, zolpidem, ativan, phenergan and Chivas cocktail treating you these days?

Not too good, hmm?

Posted by: screwjob2 | February 12, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Too funny, your comments about Dennis Moore's seat being tough to hold. Nobody is running to replace him in Kansas as a Democrat. In case you haven't noticed, nobody is running to oppose Brownback for Governor or for the senate seat Brownback is vacating to run for Governor. Kansas is going to be redder than it's been for as long as I can remember and I can remember back to the 60s. When Paul Morrison got run out of his AG office and Mark Parkinson declared he wouldn't run as Governor, the Democratic party in KS pretty much read the tea leaves and decided we're back to being a state voting for the least offensive Republican in the primaries again. It's a battle between the Lincoln Republicans and the Kris Kobach Republicans again.

Posted by: bastet20 | February 12, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Daily Kos State of the Nation == Pravda lies meant to hold up the Soviet empire

Only a full fledged kool aid drinking moonbat would quote Kos as anything but a joke. but then so is Lib leadership so I guess it is the proper venue.

Posted by: drivl | February 12, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Research 2000 2/8/2010-2/11/2010. All adults. MoE 2% (Last weeks results in parentheses):
PRESIDENT OBAMA 56 (56) 41 (42) +1

PELOSI: 39 (40) 52 (51) -2
REID: 25 (26) 65 (64) -2
McCONNELL: 19 (20) 63 (62) -2
BOEHNER: 19 (20) 61 (62) 0

CONGRESSIONAL DEMS: 39 (38) 58 (58) +1
CONGRESSIONAL GOPS: 20 (20) 65 (64) -1

DEMOCRATIC PARTY: 40 (39) 55 (56) +2
REPUBLICAN PARTY: 31 (32) 60 (59) -2

Full crosstabs here. This poll is updated every Friday morning, and you can see trendline graphs here.

Defining the movement in this week's Daily Kos State of the Nation tracking poll is a tricky task. The GOP continues to give back its recent gains, with all the players on the red team either holding steady or losing ground. What was once a seven-point gap in net favorabilities between the Democratic Party and the GOP has doubled in recent weeks, and now stands at a fourteen-point split.

President Obama continues his post-SOTU recovery on the favorability issue, with his current +15 split (56/41) among his best showings in recent months."

Posted by: drindl | February 12, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

'And then, of course, there is the double-whopper of all anti-Obama conspiracy theories, the "birther" claim that America's president might actually be an illegal alien who's constitutionally ineligible to occupy the White House. This point was made by birther extraordinaire and Christian warrior Joseph Farah, who told the crowd the circumstances of Obama's birth were more mysterious than those of Jesus Christ. (Apparently comparing Obama to a messiah is only blasphemous if you're doing so in a complimentary vein.) To applause, he declared, "My dream is that if Barack Obama seeks reelection in 2012 that he won't be able to go to any city, any city, any town in America without seeing signs that ask, 'Where's the birth certificate?'"

Many of the tea-party organizers I spoke with at this conference described the event as a critical step in their ascendancy to the status of mainstream political movement. Yet with rare exceptions, such as blogger Breitbart, who was reportedly overheard protesting Farah's birther propaganda, none of them seems to realize how off-putting the toxic fantasies being spewed from the podium were.

Perhaps the most distressing part of all is that few media observers bothered to catalog these bizarre, conspiracist outbursts, and instead fixated on Sarah Palin's Saturday night keynote address. It is as if, in the current overheated political atmosphere, we all simply have come to expect that radicalized conservatives will behave like unhinged paranoiacs when they collect in the same room.

That doesn't say much for the state of the right in America. The tea partiers' tricornered hat is supposed to be a symbol of patriotism and constitutional first principles. But when you take a closer look, all you find is a helmet made of tin foil.'

Posted by: drindl | February 12, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON – Attorney General Eric Holder is leaving open the possibility of trying professed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed before a military commission instead of the civilian trial originally planned for New York City. "At the end of the day, wherever this case is tried, in whatever forum, what we have to ensure is that it's done as transparently as possible and with adherence to all the rules," Holder told The Washington Post

Is that the out of town bus I see rapidly approaching?

wow, the mountain of Obimbo failures is climbing high enough to block the sun. Is that why it is so cold? AL?

Posted by: drivl | February 12, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Sessions skewers clueless Brennan's USA Today op-ed
Rick Moran

"No difference" between a military and civilian interrogator? That's just one of the startling claims from John Brennan's strangely defensive and wholly ignorant piece in USA Today.

Senator Jeff Session laid into Mr. Brennan like the former prosecutor he is on the senate floor in a classic take down of Brennan's "illogic:"

Posted by: drivl | February 12, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

"Meehan is a good candidate for the GOP,and I don't think he will get any interference from a far Right opponent, even though he doesn't have a Toomey-like financial agenda."

That doesn't really matter anymore, margaret. no matter how far right they are, the TPrs will find someone farther right, because they are nuts. Read this piece by a self-identifed conservative:

"This world view's modern-day prophets include Texas radio host Alex Jones, whose documentary, The Obama Deception, claims Obama's candidacy was a plot by the leaders of the New World Order to "con the Amercican people into accepting global slavery"; Christian evangelist Pat Robertson; and the rightward strain of the aforementioned "9/11 Truth" movement. According to this dark vision, America's 21st-century traumas signal the coming of a great political cataclysm, in which a false prophet such as Barack Obama will upend American sovereignty and render the country into a godless, one-world socialist dictatorship run by the United Nations from its offices in Manhattan.

Sure enough, in Nashville, Judge Roy Moore warned, among other things, of "a U.N. guard stationed in every house." On the conference floor, it was taken for granted that Obama was seeking to destroy America's place in the world and sell Israel out to the Arabs for some undefined nefarious purpose. The names Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers popped up all the time, the idea being that they were the real brains behind this presidency, and Obama himself was simply some sort of manchurian candidate.

A software engineer from Clearwater, Fla., told me that Washington, D.C., liberals had engineered the financial crash so they could destroy the value of the U.S. dollar, pay off America's debts with worthless paper, and then create a new currency called the Amero that would be used in a newly created "North American Currency Union" with Canada and Mexico. I rolled my eyes at this one-off kook. But then, hours later, the conference organizers showed a movie to the meeting hall, Generation Zero, whose thesis was only slightly less bizarre: that the financial meltdown was the handiwork of superannuated flower children seeking to destroy capitalism."

Posted by: drindl | February 12, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I think people on both sides of the debate should keep in mind that political fortunes can change pretty quickly. A year ago, who would have seriously predicted the number of D seats that are in such danger now? It's less than a year ago that John Ensign and Mark Sanford were potential 2012 R presidential nominees.

As the economy continues to improve and the jobless level drops, I think you may see fewer people turn to the R candidates in the 2010 election, and D candidates begin to have a stronger probability of keeping their seat. Another poster on an earlier thread said that as he prepares tax returns, people have been pleasantly surprised by the refund they're getting, and he gave credit to the Obama tax policies.

Yeah, Ds will lose seats in both the House and Senate. As to how many: the current polls are just a snapshot of what's going on in February 2010. October and November 2010 may see a very different political climate.

Posted by: dcgrasso1 | February 12, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Gibbs defends Biden claim that Iraq
is a great Obama achievement,
though both men opposed it

Getting surreal. saved or created. global warming. this is turning into fantasyland.

Posted by: drivl | February 12, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

If he cna't lead the message, all he's got left to do is attack whoever is.

Standard change-the-subject troll tactics. He's really classic troll -- unemployed, lives rich fantasy life, has no friends or family.

Posted by: drindl

Note the cognitive dissonance in the loony one. cilizza thread is on the topic of:

House retirements pile up

Dribbl prefers the topic of:

Tea Party is quietly targeted for capture


Get in there and shear those sheep, Sarah!

I don't know but does this look like "Standard change-the-subject troll tactics."

Posted by: drivl | February 12, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

hey margaret, you see this gail collins funny today?

" David Brooks: Gail, there I was watching the snow drift down on the Brooks estate in suburban Maryland last Saturday, when suddenly, after some spluttering and coughing, I was without power. Now I know how the Republicans feel.

Gail Collins: David, I think the Republican analogy would work only if your next step was to barricade yourself in the power station, turn off service to all the people who did have power and announce that nobody was going to do anything until the company promised to build its next generator on your block and employ all your family, friends and neighbors at handsome salaries to do the assembling. But I’m sorry, you were saying about the snow…"

Posted by: drindl | February 12, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

On topic, I'll say that one of the reasons I am upset with Joe Sestak running for the Senate is that he left the 7th congressional district dangling. He hadn't held that seat long enough to get it good and warm for the next Democrat.

Meehan is a good candidate for the GOP,and I don't think he will get any interference from a far Right opponent, even though he doesn't have a Toomey-like financial agenda.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | February 12, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

It really freaks him out when he can't control the board, margaret. If he cna't lead the message, all he's got left to do is attack whoever is.

Standard change-the-subject troll tactics. He's really classic troll -- unemployed, lives rich fantasy life, has no friends or family.

Posted by: drindl | February 12, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Looks like drivl is getting mighty repetitive.

If he starts over-using the return key and CAPS we'll know we're all in trouble. No one repeats a slim concept more often than King Of Caps, unless it's King of Zouk.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | February 12, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Could whoever is feeding dribbl's brain please send her another email so she can "think" up some new posts. this sheep one is getting old after 3 or 4 repeats.

not that is was that brilliant the first time around.

Posted by: drivl | February 12, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

the loon is now posting three or more of the same post.

Barking mad!

Watch for the flood of sewage the rest of the afternoon. This is a career for poor old bat dribbl.

Posted by: drivl | February 12, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

'Sarah Palin is not dense or erroneous in her view of the Tea Party, just the opposite. She represents a growing insider’s attack to the heart of the Tea Party. Very much like a wolf in sheep’s clothing entering in at the gate as an ally, but for all intents and purposes there to seize and capture, not only one or two stray sheep, but the whole flock!'

Get in there and shear those sheep, Sarah!

Posted by: drindl | February 12, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

'A Political firestorm is inevitable as the Tea Party is quietly targeted for capture!

“The Tea Party is an inspired movement of like minded Patriots, not the actions of one person, but countless Patriots acting as one. I am deeply concerned the Tea Party is becoming nothing more than a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party.”

I am sending an alarm to the Tea Party membership! Be alert to turncoats and deceivers being herded into the Tea Party by usurpers from the weakened Republican Party for the sole purpose of capturing our populist movement. Our political ideals were once theirs and our immense growth has created a lusting for their good old days!

Sarah Palin’s well delivered speech and her attractive demeanor is little more than a veneer for her less attractive political philosophy. She seems more like a duck out of water among true Conservative Constitutionalists. Palin demonstrates her NeoCon flippant viewpoint and her naïveté as she seems envious of the swelled numbers of Patriots pledging their allegiance, to of all things, AMERICA and not to a kool-aid ridden political dinosaur.'

Posted by: drindl | February 12, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

"And which side will be more negatively impacted?"

Maybe it is just the Pete's Coffee talking, but I wonder which side will be more positively impacted.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

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