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Primary season is underway!

The Illinois primaries on Tuesday delivered a series of nasty ads, close contests and a few surprise nominees for both sides (including one Democrats could probably do without) -- a great start to one of the Fix's favorite times of year.

(Some people wait all year for hunting season, others for the start of the NFL season. For us, primary season is where it's at!)

With Illinois out of the way and Texas' primary not until March 2, we have a little time to reflect on the best of the intraparty skirmishes to come.

Friday Line

Below is our list of the top 10 primaries set for this year. The races are rated by their overall impact on the national political landscape, the amount of money involved and, of course, their sheer entertainment value.

We don't want to ruin the surprise but we have a new number one race. As always, your thoughts -- on topic please! -- are welcome in the comments section below.

To the Line!

10. California Senate (Republican primary): Former Rep. Tom Campbell's decision to switch from the governor's race into the Senate primary makes this race a fascinating three-way affair. Polling suggests Campbell is the nominal frontrunner -- likely due to name identification built up over his two failed runs for Senate (in 1992 and 2000) but former HP executive Carly Fiorina has the ability to buy herself some name ID thanks to her personal wealth. (Of course, that wealth funded the odd -- and off-putting -- "demon sheep" web video so money isn't everything.) And then there is state Assemblyman Chuck DeVore who is trying to latch on to the energy of national tea party movement and cast himself as the lone true conservative in the contest. With polls showing Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) might be vulnerable this fall, the GOP nomination now appears to be worth having. (Previous ranking: N/A)

9. Arizona Senate (R): Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth's decision to challenge Sen. John McCain in the state's August 24 primary means that this race is certain to draw national attention. Hayworth, as proven during his time in Congress, is willing to throw all sorts of rhetorical bombs and it will be up to McCain to parry them. McCain is clearly taking Hayworth's challenge seriously, bringing back Brian Rogers, a spokesman during the Arizona Senator's presidential bid, to handle communications . And, as an added bonus, Chris Simcox, one of the co-founders of the Minutemen -- a group of conservatives opposed to illegal immigration -- is also in the mix on the Republican side. (Previous ranking: 9)

8. South Carolina Governor (R): Leaving aside the fact that this is the race to replace Gov. Mark Sanford, which is a compelling story line in and of itself, the GOP contest for governor has even bigger national implications: the winner -- assuming he or she can take advantage of the strong GOP tilt of the state to claim the seat in the fall -- immediately becomes a major player in the 2012 presidential primaries. Given that South Carolina has an unblemished record of voting for the eventual winner of the nomination, all of the would-be nominees will be working hard to win the support of the next governor. Rep. Gresham Barrett and state Attorney General Henry McMaster look like the frontrunners although Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer and state Sen. Nikki Haley are in the running as well. (Previous ranking: N/A)

7. Kentucky Senate (R): What once looked like a cakewalk to the nomination for Secretary of State Trey Grayson has turned into a genuine toss up as businessman Rand Paul has used his father's national fundraising network -- built during Rep. Ron Paul's (R-Texas) 2008 presidential bid -- to fight Grayson to a draw financially. The obvious narrative of the primary fight is the influence of the loosely-affiliated tea party movement, which is backing Paul. Less obvious but no less important is the possibility of the primary being cast as a referendum on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) role as the godfather of the Bluegrass State's Republican politics. (Previous ranking: 8)

6. New Hampshire Senate (R): New Hampshire voters have a tendency to resist conventional wisdom. When George W. Bush was expected to cruise to the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, Granite State voters gave Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) a huge victory in the state and turned the race into a two-man fight. Eight years later, Barack Obama came to New Hampshire riding the momentum of his Iowa caucus win and promptly lost to then Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Fast forward to today where national Republicans have lined up behind former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte as their preferred nominee in the open Senate seat race but a wealthy businessman (Bill Binnie) and a conservative stalwart (Ovide Lamontagne) are also in the running. Will New Hampshire upset the apple cart again? (Previous ranking: 5)

5. New York Senate (Democratic primary): Just when it looked like appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) was going to escape a primary fight this years, former Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D) emerged to take her on. Cue fireworks. Ford, who ran a terrific campaign in 2006 for Senate in the Volunteer State, has been something close to a disaster so far in this campaign -- starting with his long and winding interview with the New York Times and culminating with this week's appearance on the "Colbert Report". And yet, polling suggests Gillibrand is in the lows 40s with a significant undecided bloc of primary voters -- meaning that she is vulnerable to an intraparty challenge. Is Ford the right guy to take advantage of Gillibrand's weaknesses? Probably not. But, man is it fun to watch. (Previous ranking: N/A)

4. Nevada Senate (R): With polls showing Senate Majority Harry Reid (D) losing to all comers, the Republican nomination is a precious thing. And yet, the current GOP field is decidedly unimpressive. The latest example? At a debate earlier this week, former state party chairwoman Sue Lowden didn't attend and businessman Danny Tarkanian arrived late. And, they're the frontrunners! Throw in a wealthy businessman no one knows (John Chachas) and the state's lieutenant governor who recently had a criminal indictment against him dropped (Brian Krolicki) and you have all the makings of a great primary. (Previous ranking: 4)

3. Pennsylvania Senate (D): Sen. Arlen Specter ended 2009 with almost $9 million in the bank. Rep. Joe Sestak closed the year with more than $5 million on hand. Those huge warchests -- coupled with both mens' demonstrated willingness to throw hard punches in a political context -- ensure an all-out battle in advance of the state's May 18 primary. The central question: Can Specter convince rank and file Democrats he is one of them? (Previous ranking: 3)

2. Texas Governor (R): It's hard for us to even write this but the highly anticipated primary fight between Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has been, well, kind of boring. Perry got out early and defined the race as a choice between a true conservative (him) and a conservative in name only (KBH). And, despite Hutchison's best attempts to bring some of Perry's mistakes as governor to bear on the race, the contest -- set for March 2 -- has been remarkably stable. But, there's still hope for political junkies who thought this would be one of the great primary races ever. Debra Medina, a little known GOP candidate, may wind up winning enough of the vote to keep either Perry or Hutchison under 40 percent; if that happened the two would face off in an April 13 runoff. Oh, the possibilities! (Previous ranking: 1)

1. Florida Senate (R): What once looked like a walkover for Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has turned into the marquee race of the primary season. Former state House Speaker Marco Rubio has become a conservative darling nationally and in the final three months of 2009 he nearly matched Crist in fundraising amid polling that showed him surging into a lead. Crist is still the best financed Senate challenger in the country -- $7.6 million in the bank -- and has already begun to raise questions about Rubio's conservative bona fides. With the primary not until August 24, this will be a long protracted fight over the future of the party in the state - and, potentially, the country. (Previous ranking: 2)

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 5, 2010; 1:15 PM ET
Categories:  The Line  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Tea party test run in Nashville
Next: Chatting tea party convention, the "Shelby hold", Senate races and more!

Comments

CC, how can the Michigan Republican primary not be on this list? US Rep. Pete Hoekstra and Atty. General Mike Cox are the front runners. Frmr. Sheriff Bouchard looks to be an also ran and the wild card is wealthy businessman Rick Snyder is a wildcard. The Ford family and other Michigan business leaders have already endorsed Snyder. With his money, business experience and high profiled endorsements he could climb high in the polls if he's willing to spend his money to win. Even if he doesn't spend heavily to try and win, although I suspect he will, Pete Hoekstra and Mike Cox will go down to the wire. In Texas, I think Rick Perry will win the primary with over 40% of the vote come March and go on to win reelection in the GE. It will be a continually nasty primary fight until then, however.

Posted by: reason5 | February 8, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

In Montana, we have just one primary race at the state-wide level this year. The state government state-wide officials aren't up until next year. The race for state seats is likely to be unexciting with two non-partisan Montana Supreme Court races on top of the ballot.

Neither US Senate seat is on the ballot either, with Democrat Max Baucus re-elected in 2008. John Tester has until 2012 to face his first reelection challenge.

That leaves only one race with potential excitement, the race for the state's lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. It is held by 5-term Republican Denny Rehberg. Rehberg is correctly seen as not in any trouble this election. His only close election was his first. Following that election, no Democrat of state-wide prominance has challenged him and he has won at a walk each time.

This year may be no different. Three Democrats are in the primary which runs in June. They are former Montana Democratic State Party chair Dennis McDonald, Tyler Gernant, a young Missoula lawyer, and Melinda Gopher, a Missoula activist on Hative American issues. She is Ojibwe.

Neither have run for political office. McDonald is the only one who can be seen as having a state-wide profile, due to his party chairmanship, but the office is not one that draws much media attention. In Montana, the state party chairs for both parties usually get their remarks about the other side published in the state's newspapers. McDonald is a rancher now (ag ties can be important in a Montana race), but was once a prominent criminal defense lawyer in California.

Gernant is young and fresh out of law school. One thing he may have going in his favor is the fact that he is based in Missoula, a liberal-bastion college city (University of Montana) that Republicans in the state like to call the Peoples Republic of Missoula. Missoula is the second largest city in the state and provides a large chunk of the Democratic primary vote.

New to the race is Melinda Gopher, who describes herself as an activist on Native American issues. She has been running a blog which has lately been attacking the State's Senior Democratic Senator, Finance Committee chair Max Baucus. Baucus is center-left and often draws fire from the left side of the political spectrum. His latest sin in the eyes of Gopher is his willingness to compromise in creating the recent health bill. Gopher is also Missoula-based and may have an advantage with the state's only significant minority population, Indians. The Indian vote is important in Montana, especially in a Democratic primary.

All have an uphill fight in just garnering enough name recognition in the state. But a hotly contested Democratic primary is one sure way to get that recognition in time for the general election.

We shall see if this race becomes interesting.

Posted by: AlaninMissoula | February 6, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

sverigegrabb, I live on the Main Line, and I am waiting for Specter vs Sestak to come to life, too. Voting in the primary will be a big decision.
I liked it when Specter changed parties, and I think he has been a good Senator for PA -- BUT he is very old, and old is being passed over this round of elections. I know he still thinks he's got it, and maybe he does, but there comes a point. He should have viewed his life after the party switch as a Victory Lap, a chance to commit to some things that are important and not worry about reelection.

Sestak isn't exactly young, but he has a vigorous bearing and his politics are more truly Democratic. Still, he made himself the dog in the manger and left his congressional seat unsecured and vulnerable to a good Republican candidate (and the GOP found one in a popular ex-US Atty). I feel like he has shown more ego than dedication to his party -- like Corzine, he feels he gets all the pastries on the cart.

Toomey? Must be squashed like a bug. Once Pennsylvanians get a better idea of what he stands for (and who he represents) they will turn their back on him.

18 inches of snow here. It should end in a couple of hours.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | February 6, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

A balanced budget and lower taxes is not a positive agenda?


I guess you find putting this country in a TRILLION dollars of debt positive???


By the way, Obama's budget director admitted that Obama's budget was "Not Sustainable"


Why can't we get a sustainable budget out of Obama ???


The worst part of this is that Obama was trying to jame a $ 2 - 3 Trillion dollar health care deficit down America's throat - AND THEN Obama was going to start talking about the $ 1.3 Trillion per year deficit he has going with the regular deficit.


How irresponsible can Obama be???


It is clear NOW to all but the most IRRESPONSIBLE AND CLUELESS people that Obama's health care plan was just too expensive and should never have been considered to be implemented under these economic conditions.


And don't try to say that the whole health care plan was paid for, because that was the farthest thing from the truth.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 6, 2010 2:39 AM | Report abuse

The democratic options on health care - the analysis is based on the idea that "the damage is already done." And the damage has been massive to the democratic party.


The whole image of Obama as the bipartisan uniter - who was not only going to unite Washington, but the whole world - and had the power to unite warring Marian spacemen - has been completely destroyed - by Obama himself.


OUCH.


The response of Obama and the democrats - get mean to the Republicans, and try to call them out - is only going to make the situation worse.


First it proves that Obama really does not understand what got him into the position he is in today - which people interprete that Obama has ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA ABOUT HOW TO GOVERN.


First impressions matter - and if one takes out the die-hard democrats, Obama's numbers are really, really low.


People have tuned in to Obama over the past few weeks to hear his response - and it has not been "I made a mistake, I will listen to the American people, I will now be bipartisan."


Instead, Obama is punching at the Republicans - which is only CONFIRMING TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE what is WRONG WITH OBAMA.


And this whole idea that "charges of racism will give us some momentum" - is another attitude problem which does nothing to really help Obama at this point.


When Obama gets voted out of office, are we going to have another Nixon moment, when he calls the nation "a bunch of racists" - it is certainly possible.


Obama and the democrats are now the PARTY OF BLAME.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 5, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Go fellate a tailpipe, paint-chip boi

Posted by: Noacoler | February 5, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Noacoler


Another "ad hominem" attack - why don't you just leave and spare us


Same with broadwayjoe and DDAWD.

Thank you.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 5, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Shut up and go away you damned idiot.


.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 5, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Obama's own budget director said that Obama's budget is unsustainable.

WHY doesn't Obama put up a sustainable budget?


Why is Obama SO IRRESPONSIBLE ???

It seems Obama wanted everyone to forget about the budget situation, until he jammed through his health care plan - so the whole budget would be a complete disaster.

THIS IS WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU ELECT SOMEONE WITH NO ECONOMIC OR BUSINESS EXPERIENCE EXCEPT FOR BUYING COCAINE.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 5, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Aren't 90% of you commentators ASHAMED of yourselves? (The other 10% know who you are) You DON'T stick to--or even near--the topic of Chris's posts, you hurl insults that a kindergartener would be ashamed of, and periodically you accuse Chris of bias in one direction or the other, sometimes both! Really! Please grow up!

LET'S TALK ISSUES!

Chris,

Based on this week's primary line, can you explain why KBH is being so incredibly unskilled against Gov. Perry? She should have wiped the floor with him. Do you think she's just...tired?

I'm still fascinated by PA. That 'Snarlin' Arlen' and Joe Sestak should be so financially well-matched says a great deal about how the PA electorate views party-changer Specter.

Whoever wins the primary, what do you think of the general? If the D. victor is clever, he'll paint Toomey with the extremist brush--plenty of Club-for-Growth video to support that; If he's not clever, and not quick about it, hello Sen. Toomey!

In CA, Fiorina is so clumsy--and she's barely talked yet. Wait until she puts her foot in her mouth a few times! She'll get relegated to the back bench in no time.

Although Whitman has the deep pockets, she's up against another $$ daddy, and Poizner is not going to go gently into that good night!

Crikey, don't you love politics? It's like Christmas all year long!

Posted by: sverigegrabb | February 5, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

"We have to reserve “remarkable” for the fact that Sanford, Vitter, Craig, Ensign … are all still in office."

Not Craig, he resigned and was term limited anyway, no matter.

The rest...how DO they do it? Not just the sleeping at night part. Edwards, Clinton, what the f is wrong with these guys? They all think they will be happier if they do it? Get away with it? Cry and apologize? No se.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 5, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

I dunno, shrink, seems to me that Sanford’s saga of self-destruction was compelling in a prurient sort of way, something like going around a freeway curve and seeing a long line of furious flashing police car lights.  You can’t help but wonder what sort of loser has attracted so much heat.  Wasn’t enough for Sanford to chuck his career away, he had to keep making it worse, sticking his foot all the way down his throat.  That his wife refused to take the usual Stand By Your Man supportive stance, standing next to him looking like she didn’t know what hit her as he prattled on about his Latina squeeze, was a milestone for women all by itself.
 
Of course, coming as it did in a long string of Republican sex meltdowns no, it wasn’t all that remarkable.  We have to reserve “remarkable” for the fact that Sanford, Vitter, Craig, Ensign … are all still in office.  So much for the party of personal responsibility and taking ownership for one’s actions.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 5, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

"So the disturbing question about Jenny Sanford remains: Why would a woman so obviously smart, well-educated, successful and attractive allow herself to be treated so badly for so long?"

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2010/02/jenny_sanford_no_longer_a_role.html?hpid=topnews

zzzzzzzzzz ungh, snort, Oh, sorry...

Compelling? I find this soporific. I'll give CC and drindl and DDAWD a pass though. They don't get paid to watch the endless procession of balding narcissists wandering through the bonfires of their vanities.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 5, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

My life bears even less resemblance to your caricature than yours does to your extravagent boasts, loser.

Prattle on about your magnificent achievements and see if you cab figure out how everyone knows you're lying.

As for dates, I'll limit my own boasts to noting that loneliness isn't my problem. Quite the opposite.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 5, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

isn't it about time for you to punch out from your underpaid job hunting red marks to take your bus back to your squalid townhouse in the "up and coming" part of town where you live with your family of birds.

first thing is to check the gold under the floorboard and count it twice. then yell at the bird for outsmarting you again. then over to the playground for tonights date. bring some candy.

Posted by: drivl | February 5, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

The Tea Party "convention" is a scream.
These boobs have no idea how politics works.

The organizers say they "hope" to raise $10 million this year, zouk spends less than that on his yacht fuel. Do these morons know how much money is involved in politics? Do they realize what the Supreme court has done to political money?

The only question is why these proles still think their nickels and dimes matter. This is not 1840, the year of the Whig explosion, with hard cider and slogans they organized the largest turnout of the electorate for a Presidential election in American history.

Nowadays Politics is about real money. If the tea baggers ever figured out what all those zeros behind the numbers meant, maybe they would realize neither party wants their support and neither party will listen to their agenda...whatever that is.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 5, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Spare us the dimestore epistemology you cretin. You post saliva-not-controlling drivel on this blog EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR. There is no way in hell you have achieved anything in life more worthwhile than a high score in Final Fantasy XI.

That you expect anyone to believed that such a hate-addled loser could be successful just underscores how completely deranged you are. I'm sticking with the mental hospital,, nothing else makes sense in your case.

Hahahaha Porsche, Ferrari, demense on Luna... hahahahahah what a chump.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 5, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Bingo

the unhinged align again.

But without Curly aka Loud and Dumb the average IQ of the stooges still hovers in the high 40s.

As we have already been told this week, the math was too much for them. Held back in kindergarten I presume.

If one of the other toddlers had a purple crayon, they insisted on having it, or if no other remedy was avaialble, that purple crayons do not exist.

It has been ever since.

Posted by: drivl | February 5, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

"their envy and utter cluelessness about life would never permit them to approach anything like material wealth, career satisfaction, family love and hobbies other than hating, envy and spite.

Losers. Pathetic losers.
Posted by: drivl "

there is no one on the web better at self-description than poor old zouk.

Posted by: drindl | February 5, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I have a private island where I junt the deadliest game of all...UNOCORNS MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Don't worry. Sean Hannity tells me the unicorns are all socialists.

That's funny, jaked and zook apparently have the exact same life.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 5, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

And oh, those luxurious outings to five star spots... when exactly do you squeeze those in? When are you ever not here posting hate and more hate and more hate?

You're the farthest thing from "happy" on this earth

Posted by: Noacoler | February 5, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Hahahahahahahaha oh my ribs

you forgot the FTL starship and the harem of orally talented supermodels, zouk

hahahahahah like anyone believes you're anything but a human zit farm and lice ranch.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 5, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Noacoler | February 5, 2010 3:07 PM |

Posted by: DDAWD | February 5, 2010 2:38 PM

Posted by: drindl | February 5, 2010 2:34 PM

Occasionally the planets align and the stooges post all in a row.

Loud and Dumb must be out on a street corner in the snow preaching global warming.

they just can't get over my happiness and success. they have been ranting for days about a person they don't know and how impossible it is that he has a beautiful wife and two good kids. all the more perplexing for such limitless failures is the notion that someone might own a house on Capitol hill.

Hey stooge losers. Just to make your weekend simply marvelous, consider that I also own a ski condo, a residence in VA, a nice size yacht, Porsche, BMW, volvo and Land rover and we travel to all sorts of fun places about every month, when the kids private school lets out. Next month Cayman island. Always five star.

Now the loons will go apopleptic that anyone could possibly be in such a way, (which is fairly normal among the educated and intelligent).

their envy and utter cluelessness about life would never permit them to approach anything like material wealth, career satisfaction, family love and hobbies other than hating, envy and spite.

Losers. Pathetic losers.

Posted by: drivl | February 5, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else?

==

bzzzzt click! whirrrrrrrr...

Posted by: Noacoler | February 5, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

No, jake, no one wants to talk to you.

Posted by: drindl | February 5, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else?

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 5, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I doubt that there are more "racist" Republicans than there are "racist" Democrats.

==

coming as it does from the gutter-hugging racist f*ckwad who calls the President a monkey, this opinion is without value and of no concern to anyone.

Go yank it to Runner's World again you puke-puddle

Posted by: Noacoler | February 5, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I doubt that there are more "racist" Republicans than there are "racist" Democrats.

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 5, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Chris - good column, but it would be more helpful with primary dates.

Posted by: jrc1234 | February 5, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Chris - good column, but it would be more helpful with primary dates.

Posted by: jrc1234 | February 5, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

"Founded in Ripon, Wisconsin, in 1854 by anti-slavery expansion activists, the Republican Party quickly surpassed the Whig Party as the principal opposition to the Democratic Party."

And then came the Southern Strategy, which was the first of many times they sold out their principles and souls and became the modern Racist/Dimwit Party.

Posted by: drindl | February 5, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

drindl:

Founded in Ripon, Wisconsin, in 1854 by anti-slavery expansion activists, the Republican Party quickly surpassed the Whig Party as the principal opposition to the Democratic Party. It first came to national power in 1860 with the election of Abraham Lincoln, a former Whig, to the Presidency and (as you probably know) presided over the American Civil War and Reconstruction. Maybe it's time for a repeat?

The Republican Party began to form in the late 1840s, though it would take opposing the Kansas-Nebraska Act to finally unify the party as a whole. Their first official party convention was held on July 6, 1854 in Jackson, Michigan. The Republican's initial base was in the Northeast and Midwest, and the party solidified its position as the primary opposition party with the nomination of John C. Fremont in the 1856 Presidential election. CNN was not even around back then to cover the convention ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 5, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

The Republican Party's first nation convention’s lacked the orchestrated staging of most modern political events too. Can't wait for Gov. Palin's speech tomorrow night (will probably be BETTER than her GOP Convention speech ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 5, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

laughable:

"The inaugural National Tea Party Convention began yesterday in Nashville, TN despite teabagger infighting and controversy surrounding the event in recent weeks. Tea Party activists have criticized the “scammy” convention’s cost, organizer Judson Phillips’ intention to make money of the event, and Sarah Palin’s $120,000 speaking fee. And today, the Washington Post reports that the teabaggers — who often boast of their patriotic bona fides — got off to a slow start:

And outside the convention hall, entrepreneurs sold souvenirs: sterling silver tea bag necklaces ($89.99), bags of “Freedom Coffee” ($9) and T-shirts emblazoned with a bald eagle ($20).

The convention’s first day lacked the orchestrated staging of most modern political events. The convention host delivered a meandering welcome speech without notes, saying he misplaced them. Former congressman Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) offered a fiery defense of Judeo-Christian faith and traditional American values, but there was no prayer or Pledge of Allegiance to open the convention — nor was there an American flag in the convention hall. "

Maybe they're going for another symbol. Confederate flag, maybe?

Posted by: drindl | February 5, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Moonbat:

After insisting for a year that failure was not an option, Obama is finally acknowledging his health care overhaul may die in Congress. His remarks at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser Thursday night sounded contradictory at times, complicating congressional leaders' effort to revive health care legislation as Democrats hunger for guidance from the White House. Even while saying he still wanted to get the job done, Obama counseled going slow, and bowed to new political realities.

LOL!!!

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 5, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

'And after carpet-bombing the blog for months with psychotic hate zoukie tries to tell us he’s a fantastically successful executive living in a multimillion dollar townhouse across the street from the Supreme Court.'

you forgot the German supermodel wife and two perfect 'Aryan' children. I swear to god, he actually said that. the most common adolescent fantasy on the internets.

Posted by: drindl | February 5, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Ouch, now here is another in an endless line of compelling (or in my view, utterly boring) stories about getting the old man's ham bone boiled...and losing everything...

"...Cohen's woes have added to the Democrats' problems in the state. His former wife said he flew into steroid-fueled rages and later failed to make child support payments while he aired a campaign ad blitz touting job fairs he had organized.

Cohen said a 2005 domestic abuse accusation that he held a knife to the throat of his then-girlfriend was untrue. The charge was dropped when the woman, an accused prostitute who Cohen said was his masseuse, did not show up in court.

His would-be boss, incumbent Governor Patrick Quinn, said on Thursday that Cohen should drop off the Democratic ticket if he cannot get past those problems.

The deficit-riddled state dominated by Democrats has been downgraded by the debt ratings agencies and ranks above only California. Quinn proposed a 50 percent tax increase, but he quickly dropped the idea and the deficit has ballooned."


http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2010/02/05/us/politics/politics-us-usa-politics-illinois.html


Stupid men. I'll bet Cohen thinks he is special, misunderstood and blames his wife too. Get past these problems? HA!

Meanwhile, how about that 50% tax increase?

Posted by: shrink2 | February 5, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

bsimon, not only is Shelby holding out for big fat pork for his state but also to guarantee that a European company [Airbus] gets the $100 billion contract instead of Boeing, an american-based company. So it's about more than pork -- it's also outsourcing American jobs when we need it least.

another lesson is rightwing hypocrisy.

Posted by: drindl | February 5, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Porkulus are us:

"[A]n Alabama member has placed a blanket hold on more than 70 administration nominees in order to secure funding for home-state projects."

"As for the current situation, [WH Spokesman Gibbs] highlighted the nomination of Martha N. Johnson, who was confirmed Thursday as head of the General Services Administration, nearly 10 months after Obama first put her name forward.

Although unanimously approved by the Senate Homeland Security Committee in early 2009, Johnson's nomination was held up by Sen. Christopher S. Bond (R-Mo.), who wanted a $175 million federal building project approved for his state."


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/05/AR2010020502098.html

Posted by: bsimon1 | February 5, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

And after carpet-bombing the blog for months with psychotic hate zoukie tries to tell us he’s a fantastically successful executive living in a multimillion dollar townhouse across the street from the Supreme Court.  As if someone so incapable of focus and unfamiliar with simple logic could so much as hold a job, much less have “actual responsibilities.”  Unemployed mental patient frantically going from browser to browser to post hate and derision and mockery 365 days a year.

Despite CC's "best efforts," to be sure.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 5, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

man, how f*cking pathetic do you have to be to scroll through different names on an anonymous internet board? Like it boggles the mind. Is the company that zook keeps so devoid of brainpower that he feels that he is fooling other people? Can he leave a room of people he knows, come back in, introduce himself with a different name, and the people would think he's a different person?

It's quite telling that these guys are comfortable with idiots. Zook has got no one to tell him "hey, buddy, you statistical thing on car dealerships is just stupid." or "dude, people are going to think you're an idiot if you expect Obama to have fixed he economy within the first ten minutes of his Presidency"

Instead, the company he keeps says "ZOMG, OBMAA IS TEH SOCALIST AND DAETH PANNELS AND MUSLIM TERRIST AND ZOOK YOU SO SMART I WANTS TO RIDE YOU LIKE I RIDE MY HALF SISTER"

Posted by: DDAWD | February 5, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

ddaawd, i actually thought it was rather compelling too. i also felt kinda sorry for him. he was a man willing to throw it all away for this one woman. an old story, but still one of the most basic elements of human drama.

Posted by: drindl | February 5, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"

"Mark Sanford, which is a compelling story line in and of itself..."

Divorce is final in just a few weeks. Sorry about the wish to be a role model for your sons there Mark. Wishing and doing in two different lives, your story is not compelling, no matter what CC thinks.

Posted by: shrink2"

I disagree. It made for some really interesting drama, the way the story just unfolded from a simple hike to a rendezvous with a mistress in Argentina to his surreal confession. I feel a little, but not a lot of sympathy for the man, but it was quite a dramatic story. And I almost never care about this sort of drama.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 5, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Biggest news of the day is that even berry admits his health care fiasco is a dead flop.

Could it have been an utter lack of leadership. Consult the TelePrompTer.

Posted by: Moonbat | February 5, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

oh look, wasilla trailer trash:


'Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's sister-in-law has reached a plea deal with prosecutors in a burglary case.


Diana Palin, the 35-year-old half sister of the governor's husband, Todd, was sentenced last week to 15 months in prison. She already has served five months and will complete the sentence at a drug rehab center.

Prosecutors say she burglarized the same Wasilla house three times to steal money for a drug habit. She was arrested April 2 after the owner of the home confronted her.'

___

Posted by: drindl | February 5, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Shelby holds Senate hostage to win military contract for European firm

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/2/5/834125/-Shelby-holds-Senate-hostage-to-win-military-contract-for-European-firm

Shelby Tries to Shut Down US Senate to Benefit Foreign Company

http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2010/02/05/shelby-tries-to-shut-down-us-senate-to-benefit-foreign-company/


It's like an alignment of the liberal moons. the moonbats are all howling in unison today.

dribbl has been warned to post this up to quota or be sent back down to copyright in the basement.

Posted by: drivl | February 5, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Here CC -- is the real story of the day -- how could you miss it?

'There has been a lot of discussion of how foreign companies will be able to influence elections and politics given the Citizens United deal. But foreign companies are already dominating our politics.

Consider Richard Shelby’s decision to place holds on all of Obama’s nominees unless some federal money that may benefit Alabama gets released.

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) has put an extraordinary “blanket hold” on at least 70 nominations President Obama has sent to the Senate, according to multiple reports this evening. The hold means no nominations can move forward unless Senate Democrats can secure a 60-member cloture vote to break it, or until Shelby lifts the hold.

Essentially, Shelby’s threat is primarily about gaming this bidding process to make sure Airbus–and not Boeing–wins the contract.

Underlying the refueling contract is the question of whether the US military ought to spend what may amount to $100 billion over the life of the contract with a foreign company, Airbus. Particularly a company that the WTO found preliminarily to be illegally benefiting from subsidies from European governments.

Richard Shelby is preparing to shut down the Senate to try to force the government to award a key military function to a foreign company."

So much for American jobs, eh?

Posted by: drindl | February 5, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Poor dribbl. anxiously awaiting another bulk email so she knows what to think today.

Until then you will have to make do with the same tired one post after post.

Posted by: drivl | February 5, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Here CC -- is the real story of the day -- how could you miss it?

'There has been a lot of discussion of how foreign companies will be able to influence elections and politics given the Citizens United deal. But foreign companies are already dominating our politics.

Consider Richard Shelby’s decision to place holds on all of Obama’s nominees unless some federal money that may benefit Alabama gets released.

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) has put an extraordinary “blanket hold” on at least 70 nominations President Obama has sent to the Senate, according to multiple reports this evening. The hold means no nominations can move forward unless Senate Democrats can secure a 60-member cloture vote to break it, or until Shelby lifts the hold.

Essentially, Shelby’s threat is primarily about gaming this bidding process to make sure Airbus–and not Boeing–wins the contract.

Underlying the refueling contract is the question of whether the US military ought to spend what may amount to $100 billion over the life of the contract with a foreign company, Airbus. Particularly a company that the WTO found preliminarily to be illegally benefiting from subsidies from European governments.

Richard Shelby is preparing to shut down the Senate to try to force the government to award a key military function to a foreign company."

So much for American jobs, eh?

Posted by: drindl | February 5, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

PA PREDICTION: Senator Specter will act against type, withdraw from race, endorse Sestak, and write blockbuster autobio that will finally reveal some of American history's most disturbing mysteries -- and clear the path for Specter to ascend to the level of American Hero, a one-time enabler who helped take down a sinister, secretive and covert American Gestapo.

***

SECRET MULTI-AGENCY FED PROGRAM SILENTLY TORTURES, IMPAIRS, SUBJUGATES U.S. CITIZENS WITH CELL TOWER MICROWAVE WEAPON SYSTEM, FINANCIAL SABOTAGE, 'COMMUNITY WATCH' VIGILANTISM: VETERAN JOURNALIST

http://nowpublic.com/world/u-s-silently-tortures-americans-cell-tower-microwaves
http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america
OR: NowPublic.com/scrivener (see "stories" list) OR poynter.org/subject.asp?id=2 (see "articles" list)

Posted by: scrivener50 | February 5, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

"Mark Sanford, which is a compelling story line in and of itself..."

Divorce is final in just a few weeks. Sorry about the wish to be a role model for your sons there Mark. Wishing and doing in two different lives, your story is not compelling, no matter what CC thinks.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 5, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

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