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The Line: Dems Dominate List of Endangered House Members

The Fix is headed down to Atlanta for a long weekend of cheering on his beloved Georgetown Hoyas in the Final Four. But what would Friday be without The Line?

This week we tackle the 10 House seats most likely to switch party control in November 2008. The majority of the districts listed below are currently held by Democrats -- a function of the party's 30-seat pickup in 2006 that included wins in a number of districts that have strong Republican underpinnings. Those Republican roots are a big incentive for talented GOP candidates to undertake a challenge.

At the moment, the races are ranked alphabetically rather than by their level of vulnerability. Until the contests mature more fully, we'll continue to stay away from numeric rankings.

Use the comments section below to offer your own thoughts. The Fix will be back on Tuesday -- hopefully after the Hoyas win the national championship!

To the Line!

California's 11th District (Currently D): The exclusion of this seat from our last Line was a glaring oversight. Rep. Jerry McNerney (D) ran a competent campaign but was significantly aided by millions of dollars worth of ads pumped into the district by environmental groups attacking Rep. Richard Pombo (R). And then there was the fact that Pombo was unwilling to recognize he was in a real race. By the numbers, this district, which is split between the Bay Area and the Central Valley, should be in Republican hands. President George W. Bush won 54 percent of the vote there in 2004 -- ten points better than he did statewide. Republicans are very enthusiastic about former Assemblyman Dean Andal, who is on the verge of jumping in. A number of other Republicans are mentioned, including Pombo, but the party establishment seems to favor Andal.

Florida's 16th District (D): Republican hopes in this district took something of a hit when state Rep. Joe Negron (R), who was the last-minute fill-in last year for former Rep. Mark Foley (R), decided against running again in 2008. Without Negron in the race, Republicans will almost assuredly face a September 2008 primary. Three serious candidates appear set on running -- state Rep. Gayle Harrell, attorney and Pittsburgh Steelers heir Tom Rooney, and Palm Beach County City Councilor Hal Valeche. Harrell has inked Foley's past consultants may be too moderate to win the nod. Rooney, according to party insiders, is working the hardest in the early going to rally support. Freshman Rep. Tim Mahoney (D) must prove he can win a race that is not a referendum on the misdeeds of Foley in a district that gave President Bush 54 percent of its vote in 2004.

Indiana's 9th District (D): We sub out Indiana's 8th district from The Line for this seat, which reclaimed by Rep. Baron Hill (D) in 2006. Why? Because former Rep. Mike Sodrel (R), who took this southern Indiana seat away from Hill in 2004, appears set to run again. And in a presidential year, the district is likely to vote more Republican than in an off-year contest. If Sodrel makes the race, it will be the rare four-peat in congressional politics: Hill and Sodrel would face off for the fourth consecutive cycle.

Kansas's 2nd District (D): Republicans won't say it publicly, but there is clearly a sentiment within the party that wishes former Rep. Jim Ryun (R) would have melted quietly into political history following his 2006 defeat at the hands of Rep. Nancy Boyda (D). But Ryun, who is part of Kansas folklore for his sub-four-minute mile as a high schooler, is itching for a rematch. He won't have the field to himself, however, as state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins is likely to run. A Ryun vs. Jenkins primary would highlight the ongoing rift between conservatives and moderates in the state -- a fissure that helped fuel Democratic gains in Kansas over the past few elections. Boyda is relatively unproven, and Republicans believe her early votes in Congress can be used to paint her as too liberal for the Topeka-area district.

New Mexico's 1st District (R): Following her victory over former state Attorney General Patricia Madrid (D) last November, it seemed likely that Rep. Heather Wilson (R) might finally have convinced Democrats give up on winning her seat. Then the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys -- including New Mexico's David Iglesias -- became big news, and it was revealed that Wilson had called Iglesias last fall to wonder why he hadn't wrapped up an investigation of several state Democrats. Given the incredibly competitive nature of Wilson's Albuquerque-area seat, any small development could tilt the balance of power away from her. National Democrats are working to make voters aware of the Iglesias firing and Wilson's role in it -- running radio ads earlier this month during drive time. The Democratic field has yet to sort itself out, although Terry Brunner, a longtime aide to Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D), is mentioned.

New York's 20th District (D): This was the last race we decided to add to the list this month. Freshman Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) has received some of the best press we have ever seen. (Does it get any better than this story?) But Republicans are very excited about the candidacy of Sandy Treadwell, a former N.Y. secretary of state and chairman of the state Republican Party. Treadwell's path to the nomination is far from clear, however. A number of other Republicans -- including former Rep. John Sweeney (R) -- are weighing the race.

North Carolina's 8th District (R): Republicans believe that if Rep. Robin Hayes (R) could survive (by just 329 votes!) the poisonous political atmosphere in 2006, he isn't likely to be defeated in 2008. Democrats think that if Larry Kissell could come so close with no help from the national party in 2006, then his early start and a commitment from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee means this seat is theirs for the taking next year. The truth is probably somewhere in between. A demographic change may be helping Democrats in this central North Carolina district, as the African American population increased proportionally over the past few election cycles.

Ohio's 18th District (D): Former Rep. Bob Ney (R) cost Republicans this seat in 2006 by refusing to resign soon enough in the face of overwhelming evidence that he was guilty of wrongdoing in connection with the influence-peddling scandal that had lobbyist Jack Abramoff at its center. (Ney is currently serving two and a half years in prison.) Rep. Zack Space (D) was the beneficiary of Ney's fall, crushing the Republican candidate on Election Day. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has set finding a candidate to reclaim this seat for the GOP as one of his top priorities for 2008, but no names have emerged as of yet. Space is clearly vulnerable in a district where Bush took 55 percent of the vote in 2000 and 57 percent in 2004.

Pennsylvania's 10th District (D): Much like Ohio's 18th, the troubles of the GOP incumbent in this northeastern Pennsylvania district cost Republicans last fall. Former Rep. Don Sherwood (R) was forced to admit an extramarital affair while simultaneously disputing that he has abused his mistress. Rep. Chris Carney (D) was in the right place at the right time, as Sherwood's high-profile foibles handed the Democrat the victory in spite of the fact that Bush carried the seat by 20 points in 2004. Republicans believe they have found the candidate to beat Carney. The problem? They can't say who it is -- yet.

Texas' 22nd District (D): We were happy to hear that Rep. Nick Lampson's (D) recent heart surgery turned out well and that he will recover fully. Lampson will need every ounce of energy to hold this Houston-area seat in 2008. Lampson was perhaps the political story of 2006 -- bouncing back from a loss in 2004 to win the seat vacated by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R). But with the controversial DeLay out of the picture, Republicans believe this seat will revert to form. The two most oft-mentioned candidates are Sugarland Mayor David Wallace and Harris County Tax Assessor Paul Bettencourt.

By Chris Cillizza  |  March 30, 2007; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  House , The Line  
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Comments

car transport, auto transport, auto moving, car moving, car shipping

Posted by: cartransport-cartransport | April 13, 2007 4:41 AM | Report abuse

All I can say is change is a coming so get real and face the facts, we have deficits out of control, We owe the Chinese, unfair trade policies dominate our so-call trade partners, Americans jobs being given to illegal workers here in our country because of illegal immigration has not been dealt with properly, pension funds are going bust, American Automobile Industry is in trouble, education in America is failing behind what Employers expect workers to know, The cost of living in America has gone up while we do not have a "living wage policy, health care is unaffordable and harder to keep insurance, small business development are harder to finance, Education is too expensive for average Citizen to consider seriously without going deep into debt by the time they finish a degree, States cannot keep up with public safety cost, Drugs are destroying communities that had never been touched by meth, and to say the least, "Katrina" has not been handled properly with all the misplaced New Orleans "citizens" not refugees being able to return to their home state.

Posted by: dardan313 | April 4, 2007 5:45 AM | Report abuse

All I can say is change is a coming so get real and face the facts, we have deficits out of control, We owe the Chinese, unfair trade policies dominate our so-call trade partners, Americans jobs being given to illegal workers here in our country because of illegal immigration has not been dealt with properly, pension funds are going bust, American Automobile Industry is in trouble, education in America is failing behind what Employers expect workers to know, The cost of living in America has gone up while we do not have a "living wage policy, health care is unaffordable and harder to keep insurance, small business development are harder to finance, Education is too expensive for average Citizen to consider seriously without going deep into debt by the time they finish a degree, States cannot keep up with public safety cost, Drugs are destroying communities that had never been touched by meth, and to say the least, "Katrina" has not been handled properly with all the misplaced New Orleans "citizens" not refugees being able to return to their home state.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 4, 2007 5:43 AM | Report abuse

Mitt might just be a stronger candidate than anyone thinks if he goes head to head with Thompson. Mitt is Mormon, but he's squeaky clean. There are strong rumors, based on the ex-husband of an East Tennessee County Republican Chairwoman that Fred Thompson fathered a baby with his wife that resulted in the ending of their marriage. Fred Thompson strongly desires to be President, has it not occurred to anyone why he is holding back? Fred knows the risk involved, if discredited in public, he might lose his acting career and his political career. Well, maybe not acting, somehow these things seem to boost an acting career. Politically in a party that has a "Moral" base, this will be hard to overcome, even for an actor.

East Tennessean


What's most puzzling is that Thompson is liked by Republicans who say the war on terror is the single most important issue facing the country. They claim they understand the reality of the threats we face and that Democrats don't. And yet Thompson's security résumé is puny compared to his potential rivals. He has no executive experience and the wars he's fought have all been in the movies. Sure, you can argue that experience is overrated--after all, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld had plenty of it. The problem is that Thompson's supporters like Cheney and Rummy.

"The myth behind the Thompson quasi-candidacy is a dangerous one that bedevils both parties: If we just get a better communicator, people will love our policies. But once Thompson enters the race, he will have to either embrace or distance himself from GOP policies, which will either ruin his chances in the general election or hurt him with his conservative supporters. In short, he'll become just like any other candidate--something he might not like after such a big buildup. Thompson also has a reputation for not enjoying the grind of campaigning."

Posted by: | March 30, 2007 08:55 AM

Posted by: East Tennessean | April 3, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Chris, hopefully you'll be as accurate about the dems as you were about Georgetown. Go Florida; go dems.

Posted by: Dr. Jerry W. Reeves | April 2, 2007 6:34 PM | Report abuse

The list, as before, seems still built on the premise that mid-term Democratic victory in Congress is a temporary glitch and not a more permanent realignment. Thus, in this scenario, the seats most likely to change parties are those in districts where Democrats defeated Republican incumbants.

I'm not sure that's the case. I would look much harder at some of the GOP districts where the incumbant barely held on. I see a near absence from the list of GOP seats in the interior West. In Wyoming and Idaho, as discussed before, GOP incumbants barely held on.

Western Democrats are seeing a regional revival of the popularity of the western populist genre. It remains to be seen whether that continues to be the trend, but the 2006 election results seem to support that idea.

Posted by: Alan in Missoula | April 2, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I want to leave an irrelevant comment too!

Posted by: IntrepidTroll | April 2, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Chris, You need to get out more particularly from DC. You need another road trip to take the pulse of the country. Some Republicans may get elected in 08 but they will have to change the name of the party to Whig, Tory, Nationalist or some other name that might be catchy. This is because the brand, Republican has become synonymous with corruption, incompetence, the party of the fat cat oligarchs and low testosterone chubby little cherubs. Every sorry actor who appears in font of Congress as a witness so far looks like a squeaking, diminutive, unhealthy, pasty, Petri dish cross, between Carl Rove, Roberto Gonzales, Jerry Falwell and Dick Cheney. It is becoming abundantly clear the high pitched round little spawn of these characters like Kyle Sampson are mentally defective as they can not remember anything, especially when put under oath. Geez! My grandmother was forgetful but she was 97.

Posted by: Redman | April 1, 2007 11:35 PM | Report abuse

And we are cutting the pay of the soldiers overseas.


http://www.theabsenteeballot.com

Posted by: rmarin | April 1, 2007 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Steve Kagen in Wisconsin's Eight District is a huge disappointment to Democrats in this area. It is amazing how he has pissed off and disappointed core party leaders and activists. In Madison and in the district he is now considered a "dead man walking". He has zero personal political skills, he has made absolutely no effort to broaden his base of support in the district, he has actively alienated potential supporters, and has generally embarrassed himself. He has compounded his problems by taking a very weak campaign staff and transfered large numbers of unqualified twenty year olds to his D.C. staff. This district has a very strong tilt towards the GOP, and Kagen will find himself facing a well known, well funded opponent in 2008, with little or no enthusiasm from his base voters, loyal Democrats. This view is universally held by both party activists in the district and by leaders in the Democratic party in Madison. People voted for him in the last primary, not because he was the best candidate, but because he had the money needed to run a competitive race. This is a sad commentary on the state of our political process, when money counts for so much more than ability, knowledge, or experience.
In a "wave" election, he just barely beat his opponent. If he hopes to have any chance of winning, he needs to take stock, make some significant changes in his operation, and reach out, both in D.C. and in the district, to people with both knowledge and expertise. Right know, he has neither the respect nor the support of people who will be vital to his efforts to get reelected.

Posted by: disappointed in the 8th | April 1, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

As the third of four members of the Cuyahoga (Cleveland) County Board of Elections resigns under pressure from Ohio's new Secretary of State, additional potential illegalities in Hocking County have resurfaced with new weight against a GOP executive director already under serious fire.

On March 27, Sally D. Florkiewicz, a Republican, became the third to depart the board. Her departure leaves just Robert Bennett, the BOE chair, clinging to his position. Bennett also chairs the Ohio Republican Party, and has long been one of the state's most powerful politicians, with close ties to the White House. Many believe Bennett was the key point person, along with then-Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, in the theft of Ohio's 2004 presidential election. Karl Rove is widely believed to have personally persuaded Bennett to stay on at the Cleveland-area BOE through the election.

Bennett's position mirrors that of Tom Noe, former chair of the Lucas County (Toledo) BOE, once known as northern Ohio's "Mr. Republican." Like Bennett, Noe had close personal ties to George W. Bush and Ohio Governor Robert Taft. Taft, who left office earlier this year after his public approval ratings sank as low as 7%, pleaded no contest to four misdemeanors involving favors taken from Noe. Noe has since been convicted of a wide range of crimes ranging from illegal campaign contributions to the mishandling of state funds. He is now in prison.

Posted by: OHIO | March 31, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Race to The Bottom for US Wages: Circuit City to fire 3400 and rehire lower wage workers

US Economy Leaving Record Numbers in Severe Poverty

U.S. Income Gap widest since Great Depression

Subprime Crash Threatens Bond Markets

Will Companies Go the Way of Sub-Prime Home Borrowers?

US Trade Deficit Balloons to $182 Billion

Risk of a Boomer Bust Grows

Total Consumer Debt climbs from $1.9 trillion to $2.4 trillion

Can Economic Collapse be Avoided?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 31, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

We are witnessing today the clear and present warnings that another day of reckoning in the offing. Nevertheless the early signs that the end is near for this cycle of business excess abound, at least for those willing to pay a bit closer attention.

Just listen the next time Federal Reserve Chief, Ben Bernanke, goes before Congress and whistles past the graveyard, soft-peddling the impact of such major disturbances in the force now impacting one of the economy's central supports -- new and existing home sales. And imagine the impact of an ongoing war that requires America to borrow $12 million an hour, every hour, everyday. Imagine that! Now try to imagine that kind of borrowing by your government for non-productive spending will not, at some point, impact the economic health of our economy. You'll need quite an imagination to pull that one off.

Watch the US stock market. The DOW now spends its time crashing one day, then clawing it's way back up a wall-of-worry the next, only to crash again when investors reach the top of that wall are terrified by what they see on the other side. It's a classic see-saw chart pattern we've seen before just before the bottom falls out. The market rises as institutional investors sitting on large positions prop up the market just long enough to dump their positions. On who? Onn ordinary smucks who, every time, fall for their clap trap that, "it's just a market correction," and that "a down market is really just a buying opportunity." You would think the smucks would be suspicious when big investors are more than happy to sell them their shares. ("Hey buddy. Take my shares -- please!")


WE ARE BORROWING 12 MILLION DOLLARS AN HOUR TO FUND THE OCCUPATION

Posted by: the coming crash | March 31, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Matthew is right. Ca 11 has almost completely turned over its population from owners of huge ranches to family subdivisions people by folks from places like SF. Pombo's gone for good.

Posted by: californian | March 31, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

You're not quite right about CA-11; or, at least, your analysis is incomplete. CA-11 has seen rapid demographic change and is much "bluer" now that it was even in 2004 - let alone 2000.

There has been major, major development around the Tracy area, which was once dominated by ranchers and the like (like Pombo himself). The vast majority of the growth in the district is from people from San Francisco and the East Bay moving further out to find more affordable housing prices (affordable being a relative term pretty much anywhere in California!).

Posted by: Matthew Schmidt | March 31, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

'As an employee of a hospital, we must take anyone and everyone having a medical need.'

and that costs taxpayers a fortunne. you undermined your own argument.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 31, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Andrew - Interesting what you say about Gillibrand. She is speaking in London to the democrats abroad group next week. I'd love to go along and listen but given I'm not a US citizen I'm not allowed :-(

Posted by: Aussie view | March 31, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I won't pretend I know a lot about the US health system, but as an outsider I do find it astonishing that you don't have universal health care. As someone who has lived in three countries all with universal health care, whilst it has it's faults, it has to be better than what I am reading about in this blog. Drindl's $30,000 debt scenario would be truly frightening. To those who are so anti universal health care, why does the US, with apparently the best medical facilities/doctors etc in the world, have close to the lowest life expectancy in the western world and the highest infant mortality rate, yet spend the highest % of its GDP on health? These are staggering figures. Something is clearly wrong.

Posted by: Aussie view | March 31, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Feel free to remove NY-20 from your endangered species list next time you rank them.

Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand is a star in the making.

Treadwell is a retread part of the failed Pataki administration. He many be independetly wealthy but that is all he has going for him. He was a dismal failure as chair of the state GOP and owns a large share of the blame for the disaster that is the New York State republican party.

Gillibrand will toast Treadwell.

Posted by: Andrew C. White | March 31, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

eb, i think you may either be missing some of my concerns or not finding them worthy of addressing. bear with me:

"For profit companies in many cases outperform not-for-profits in terms of costs."

-of course they do. money is what they're about.

"we can safely say that most people are already taken care of in that sense."
-is "most people" enough? what percentage of the population can we "safely" allow to remain uninsured? how safe does that make them feel?

"who gets turned away from receiving medical care?"

-when my dad was dying - an upper-middle class educator - his HMO made arbirtrary decisions about the level of care he could and could not receive, based on what it would cost vs. the lesser span of years it would have allowed him, as opposed to a younger recipient. at no time was my family consulted in these decisions. so no, he was not "turned away" from receiving the kind of care the HMO was willing to pay for, but there was a definite limit on what he could expect, and it was determined on a cost basis. you ask "who cannot get medical attention in this country?" and then answer yourself by saying "no one." the example you give to show this is telling, however - of course no one is turned away from an emergency room. but how about the poor person with a chronic skin condition, or someone surviving a car accident who requires physical and psychological therapy? i find it hard to believe that those resources would be available to a lower income patient on a more than perfunctory basis, and certainly not at the "best" hospitals and clinics. in your statement, you yourself implicitly acknowledge the commoditization of health care... but as is true in any aspect of the market, in order for it to work, i.e. to deliver the highest quaity care at a competitive cost, there must be winners and there must be losers. are we willing to allow the less-privileged among us to lose out in order to enable the wealthy to take advantage of cutting edge care?

"Government programs are plagued with mismanagement, corruption, wasteful spending, and--most importantly when it comes to health care--poor results."

-that is true of any organized human effort. it's human nature. look at enron, look at worldcom, disney, hewlett-packard, look at the canadian media mogul on trial (in today's paper)... for that matter, look at the department of justice under gonzales.

"removing the incentives to improve, compete, and remain affordable."

-must all incentives be financial? for that matter, i have heard that the lion's share of the cost of services is the insurance that hospitals and physicians must pay. with the companies out of the game, how does that not go down? in any case, doesn't anyone become a doctor for the love of science, or the desire to be of service to others, anymore? what does that say about our culture?

"Loss of best medical talent to other countries where competition creates better opportunity and incentives... namely the United States (you had conceded that the US has quality care)"

-so... i don't understand how this argues against the establishment of single payer here, in 'the united states' - ? who will we lose our doctors to?

"let me first say that the US Constitution has already been stretched beyond its limitations on this matter, and in that regard, the US Government has no place in assuming the role of Nanny-State for everyone, considering so many people have at least decent coverage now"

-see above. everyone does not have decent coverage, and those who do are paying an unnecessarily high price for it. as far as the constitution goes, it guarantees "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." so: 'life' is obviously relevant here, although 'liberty' is ambiguous. but 'the pursuit of happiness' could be construed in no other way than to mean a right to go after what makes you happy. good health makes everyone happy, yet our current system places obstacles in the way of those without means as they pursue it.

Posted by: meuphys | March 31, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Let me add that the mentioning of examples of hard-luck cases being brought into hospitals were not meant to stereotype homeless people, but draw from actual observations of actual people I've had during my tenure at a hospital.

And MJordan, sorry for being off thread. And sorry to Chris, too, I guess.

Posted by: EB | March 31, 2007 2:22 AM | Report abuse

Roo-

For profit companies in many cases outperform not-for-profits in terms of costs. The For-Profits have to look at their bottom line, and in order to get certain contracts, especially with city and county governments, they have to provide A) low cost and B) quality service. If they fail at either, they will be replaced.

You suggest that nationalized health care comes out ahead, but I respectfully disagree. In a country that already has a majority of its citizens enrolled in some form of private health care plan--either of their own or through an employer--we can safely say that most people are already taken care of in that sense. Now, that said, I must concede to you that the quality of these plans may differ, but who gets turned away from receiving medical care? Though costs become an issue, the national government and the states subsidize health costs for those who cannot afford it, and even for those who can. The US spends more money in the Dept. of Health and Human Services than on ANY OTHER dept., including the Department of Defense. It's a complete opposite from 1957. Who cannot get medical attention in this country? The answer is No One. As an employee of a hospital, we must take anyone and everyone having a medical need. A 'John Doe' brought into the ER for apparent diabetic complications. A homeless man brought in for alcohol poisoning... etc,. etc. They all receive the same treatment as someone who is insured and financially secure.

I challenge you on the thought of placing this care in the hands of a taxpayer-paid national plan that essentially monopolizes the field removing the incentives to improve, compete, and remain affordable. You mention there are flaws to nationalized health care. Let's be specific. Long waiting periods (weeks or months in many cases). Loss of best medical talent to other countries where competition creates better opportunity and incentives... namely the United States (you had conceded that the US has quality care). High government costs with little quality assurance... it's very easy to spend other people's (taxpayers') money and not worry about the return on your investment. (note: my citations above are primarily anecdotal coming from relatives in Canada, primarily around Windsor and Toronto.) If given the option, people come to the United States to receive medical treatment (I recall King Abdullah of Jordan coming in the 1990s).

Government programs are plagued with mismanagement, corruption, wasteful spending, and--most importantly when it comes to health care--poor results. Roo, you mention the For-Profit vs. Not-for-profit... I say that either is better than government programs. But there is one great way to get government health care: military service... from personal experience, it was probably the best health plan I've ever had.

On a less sensitive note, let me first say that the US Constitution has already been stretched beyond its limitations on this matter, and in that regard, the US Government has no place in assuming the role of Nanny-State for everyone, considering so many people have at least decent coverage now. Secondly, maybe this should be our ploy to our high school students: "You need to study hard and work hard in school or in the military so that you can get a skilled-labor or knowledge-industry job that provides employer-subsidized health care plans, or else you wind up stuck with your own medical bills like you hear grown ups complaining about" (we won't tell them that even in that case there is US and State-based assistance)

What do you think?

Posted by: EB | March 31, 2007 2:18 AM | Report abuse

How is it that so few people seem to follow the thread, but instead give us a rambling, off-topic, wild tangent rant. Can this be better monitored at WaPo so we don't have to waste our time trying to sift through, in some cases, hundreds of nonsensical, self-important tantrums???

And why is it so hard for reasonable people to make or accept an honest assessment about the upcoming election? Just because Republicans lost big in 2006 does not guarantee a repeat. As gerrymandered as districts are, there should be an expectation of a bounceback in what ARE heavily Republican districts, especially once removed from both DeLay and Bush (and Ney and Foley, etc.). Chris, you are spot on. Those districts that are most in play are those that were won by Democrats in an off-year election marked by Republican scandal and lack of desire to continue the war. But I repeat what has been stated. I earlier wondered how reasonable people can't accept this assessment, let alone recognize such analysis for themselves. I suppose my answer is that they are not reasonable, and suffice it to say their tirades that the Republicans are finished forever as a result of their evil hearts and corrupt actions serve as evidence to the point. Those people are still caught up in emotion rather than reason. I implore them to begin using their minds, not their feelings of hatred and animosity.

As a former Democrat-turned-Repubican, I wish to vouch for my new party that we are not evil nor do we wish ill-will on anyone. We have a philosophy of government that differs from liberals that we would like to see implemented. This may come as news to many on this blog as they seem to think this is a war to completely annihilate and eradicate the other. It is not. It is an ongoing debate that stretches back generations now, and will continue into the future. It ebbs and flows with circumstances and events that shape history. So do not write off the Republican Party so easily. Much of the Democratic gains, especially in those districts Chris points out, are a result of Republicans themselves sifting out the chaff. Republicans who were not conservative enough. Or Republicans who, once in power, tried to use their power to advance their own agenda and expanded government in the process. Republicans who betrayed Republican principles were weeded out in many cases. I fully expect the rebound that Chris predicts. This is not the folly of (Repubican Party) pride. It is the careful analysis of weighing the factors and influences on an off-year/lame duck election rife with trouble for the incumbent majority.

Posted by: MJordan, IL | March 31, 2007 1:33 AM | Report abuse

I know that other disagree, but I would put Pittsburgh area Reps. Jason Altmire (D) and Tim Murphy (R) on the watch list.

Former US Rep Melissa Hart is said to want a rematch against Altmire. Two other Republicans -- State Rep. Mike Turzai and former Allegheny County Councilman Ron Francis -- are thought to be giving serious consideration to running for Congress in the Fourth District of Pennsylvania.

Murphy lucked out that no well known Democrat chose to run against him in 2006. The Iraq situation isnt too popular in his district and Murphy's problem with staff could make him vulnerable.

Posted by: Conan The L:ibrarian | March 30, 2007 11:54 PM | Report abuse

C'mon Chris. . .21 Republicans made it into congress, either through re-election or retention of an open seat, with 51% of the vote or less. . .In CO, Marilyn Musgrave grossly out-financed her opponent, and was returned with just 46% of the vote. There are two R congressmen in NYS--Walsh and Kuhl--who will be swamped by any presidential race coattails. And there are a bunch more. With all of that, you put only Wilson and Hayes on the list. . .I don't buy it.

Posted by: BeardDenver | March 30, 2007 7:48 PM | Report abuse

roo -- this is one of the things that I am concerned about. Globalization has changed entirely the landscape of the market system. Citizens of countries with high standards of living, like ours, have to compete for jobs with citizens of other countries with much lower standards.

Why not outsource your call centers to India, where the cost of living is a 1/4 of what it does here, and people will work for a 1/4 of what they will here? Or even if they come to work here temporarily, they will work for less and send the money back home.

it's the same with giving tax breaks to corporations. Sure, they MIGHT use it to create jobs, but where? Why should citizens of one country subsidize a global corporation?

Posted by: drindl | March 30, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Valid points. But wouldn't you agree that with the indictments and guilty pleas to felonies I think the voters will give Domenici and Wilson a pass? I think 90% of voters are not going to fault a legislator who inquires about a someone who ends up convicted of a felony and stealing $4 million in taxpayers money. They can't be accused of creating dirt, the dirt turned out to be real. It won't matter that they may have been trying to get something on the airwaves. The convictions and ongoing trial are now the story in the state of New Mexico (where the voters are), not Domenici's and Wilson's inquiries.

Posted by: tarheel | March 30, 2007 6:22 PM | Report abuse

JD--With actual experience in living in a nationalised healthcare system I can tell you that it is not without its faults but, overall, comes out ahead.

The U.S. is indisputably the leader in healthcare technologies but the highest levels are only available for the most affluent. Broadly speaking, the average consumer has access to about equal treatment in both systems.

As an independent/libertarian economist you of course understand that all other things being equal, a non-profit organisation is ALWAYS cheaper than a for-profit one.


JD--"what you see as wages falling through the floor due to globalization, I see as the wages seeking their natural or market-based level after the decline in the influence of the unions."

This is absolutely incorrect because we are dealing with different existing wage levels and standards of living. The 'natural market-based level' is only meaningful within a homogenous market.

I am actually VERY concerned about what happens when the corporations run out of places to go for ever-cheaper labour.

Posted by: roo | March 30, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Tarheel - JimD is correct. I don't think that anybody ever said that Iglesias wasn't pursuing this investigation, it was that Wilson and Domenici simply inquired (wink, wink) as to whether or not indictments would be handed down before Election Day

That's what their defense will be, and they'll probably get a slap on the wrist from Congressional ethics committees.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | March 30, 2007 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Dan W: Be glad to discuss health anytime. My RX's run about $1,000.00 a month, and mostly paid for by Medicare and Mecicaid. Count in Xrays, ct-scan or pet-scan, and blood work about every three months and estimate the cost.

Posted by: lylepink | March 30, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

tarheel,

If Iglesias wasn't pursuing these cases the indictments would not be ready now - corruption investigations take months if not years.

Posted by: JimD in FL | March 30, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Chris, I got Florida this weekend. The good question will be what will Senators Voinivich/Brown owe Nelson/Martinez at the end of the championship game?

I remember back when UNC won the ntl. championship 2 years ago, Dole/Burr won some dining on that Ill. cheesecake from Durbin/Obama.

Posted by: reason | March 30, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Jury indicts Aragon in alleged kickback scam, by Steve Terrell, The New Mexican (freenewmexican.com), March 30, 2007. http://www.freenewmexican.com/news/59414.html#

A former Democratic Senate leader and three others face charges of conspiracy, mail fraud, and money laundering in a courthouse corruption probe. Manny Aragon for decades was one of the most powerful figures in New Mexico state government. Today the Albuquerque Democrat stands accused, along with three others, in an alleged scheme to cheat the state out of more than $4 million in the construction of the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court House.

The U.S. attorney also unsealed plea agreements, secured earlier this year, from three others: lobbyist and former Democratic Albuquerque Mayor Ken Schultz, architect Marc Schiff and subcontractor Manuel Guara. Each pleaded guilty to felony counts of conspiracy and mail fraud.

Interesting. This was the case fired U.S. Attorney David Iglesias was not pursuing. Maybe Iglesias wasn't doing his job. Plus, Heather Wilson and Pete Domenici now look like that were inquiring about some actual crooks, not fishing for dirt. Notice that several of the Democrats have already pleaded guilty.

Posted by: tarheel | March 30, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Drindl: Brain surgeons may not be competitive but health care plans are.

Posted by: Dan W | March 30, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Drindl: There is subsidized support for up to 3 times the median income. Above that you are on your own. If you make too much to get assistance but still cant afford health care they take away your tax deductions as a penalty.

Mass Law does not allow for preexisting conditions either.

Posted by: Dan W | March 30, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Dan W -- how does that work, anyway? what if you can't afford it or have, say, a pre-exisitng condition that insurers won't cover?

the other point, JD, is that healthcare is not like any other service or good. You don't shop for a cheaper doctor when your kid needs surgery, when it might cost him his life, do you? You always go for the best. And brain surgeons are not going to compete with each other for your business, because they are never going to have to. People will always need them and they will always pay. Becuase they know if they don't, they will die.

So can you not agree that healthcare is honesstly not like other services and should be not be subject to market forces?

And just on the basis of fairness, do you honestly believe that the child of stockbroker deserves healthcare, while the child of a firefighter doesn't? Of course they will have healthcare because of the UNION --oops, bad example. Okay, say a self-imployed carpenter or plumber?

Posted by: drindl | March 30, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

The Pundits keep saying the Democrats want to win the White House in 2008. A handfull have spoken out against Bush's Mexican Truck Deal which will bust the salaries of every USA Truckdriver in the USA. Their salaries are spent in the USA and benefit the local grocer, laundry, church, school, etc. Why does the Democratic Party, which once was the Party of the Working People, shill for foreign nationals illegally here and say precious little for the Americans whose Union Dues fund their party? The Guiterezz/Flake Bill is an example. Pelosi and the Dems are in lock step with LaRaza and the USA Chamber of Commerce on that one. Guiterezz being the LaRaza Part, citizenship plus entitlements plus all of their families come in and Flake is quite a case. In the first 100 days of this congress he voted against a minimum wage for American Workers. He voted against reducing the cost of college loans for USA students but the DREAM ACT, instate tution for illegal aliens,is in the bill. He voted against negioating for cheaper drug prices for a strapped USA public. Every bill that would have thrown a crumb to citizens of the USA, he voted against. So Guiterezz and Flake have crafted a bill that the Democrats swoom over. If they vote for that bill, write their names down. They think you are so stupid you will forget by 2008. I think not. Term Limits would have stopped this arrogant mess a long time ago. Any Democrat who votes for this bill is NOT voting for the American Working Public. Kick them to Mexico and let them run down there. And Flake? If the citizens of Arizona don't take him down, then it is Mexizona. It is disgusting to watch our politicans sell us out. A protest rally is being held on April 22 outside of the Capitol at 3pm. Radio Talk Show hosts are talking about it. It is 'Hold their feet to the Fire" If you live near D.C. and you have had enough, you might think about going for a few hours. Apparently only mass mobs of people impress our elected leaders and yes, our terrified illegals who shiver and hide in the shadows because USA people are such brutes and so cruel will take over our major cities again on MayDay. That is why they are trying to ram this Amnesty stuff down our throats. If they have to wait until MayDay, and we see the Terrified 'Guests" marching around with American Flags upside down, or Mexican flags on top of American Flags, or the Flags of Mexico, Costa Rica, China, India, Bolivia, Peru, Guatemela (pretty shade of blue...see it a LOT), El Salvadore (MS-13) and on and on, well the Stupids who pay their bills get upset and complain. And I forgot the pictures of Che and Hugo Chavez the drowntrodden masses march around with on the International Communist Day Holiday. How Nice. And then we get to read the Media's sob stories about how they marched so sweetly and just want to come our of the Shadows. How nice.

Posted by: Teka | March 30, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Blarg: I live in Mass. I don't have the option to not have insurance. By Mass law, all people are required to have insurance.

Posted by: Dan W | March 30, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Drindl, your post reminds me of something I meant to reply to in JD's earlier post, but my post was already long enough.

JD: "you buy healthcare like you would any other product or service. Or don't, it's your choice."

That model doesn't work well for health insurance. Insurance is about distributing risk over a large pool of people. That requires having low-risk people in the pool.

In Drindl's post, she described having a pre-existing condition, which makes her health insurance expensive. I don't have that problem; I'm young and relatively healthy, so I can get cheap insurance. If I'm in the insurance pool, then my presence reduces the overall risk of the pool, thus lowering costs for everyone. But if I opt out of getting insurance because I don't think I need it, then the risk level of the pool goes up, and insurance is more expensive for everyone who has it.

So if healthy people decide not to buy insurance, that makes insurance worse for everyone. That's why insurance isn't something that you should be able to choose to ignore. If everyone were part of the insurance pool, the risk would be more spread out, and costs would be lower for everyone. That's one of the advantages of universal care.

Posted by: Blarg | March 30, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Meuphys: When my company didn't like the increase with BCBS, we went to Tufts HMO for a similar service at a lesser rate.

Lylepink: Lets not start the SS discussion late on a friday afternoon. I'd love to have the discussion but lets start it earlier in the day/week.

Posted by: Dan W | March 30, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Tarheel, most of the Republicans that lost did so because they were in marginal or Democratic leaning districts. The only incumbent that lost purely because of scandal was Don Sherwood in PA-10.

Posted by: Jay | March 30, 2007 3:34 PM | Report abuse

JD--right now we have more than 40% uninsured.

Here's a good example of the kind of thing that might make you change your mind, if it happened to you. And it could. I worked for 20 years in the corporate sector. I had very good healthcare. But I was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer... and ended up $30,000 in debt. But both my husdband and I were working and we paid it off, wihtout losing everything. We were lucky -- luckier than many.

But in my mid-ffities I was laid off and turned to freelance, as it is nearly impossible to be hired in marketing at that age. Just jdon't happen. I do well, but I pay $2000 a month for health insurance, because my husband is also self-employed. I get it through my former employer who has been kind enough to make an arrangement.

If I have to take out private insurance, because of the pre-eisting condition, I have been told I will pay from $5,000 up a month. I had a neighbor with the same condition who had a recurrence and ended up with an insurance bill for $35,000 -- a month. She died shortly afterward but they lost their house and the husband and daughter were left bereft.

Even successful middle-class people are vulnerable to this-- very few can save enough to weather this kind of storm. And it happens all the time - I in 8 women are treated for breast cancer, for instance.

There are many many countries where people get much more out of their tax dollars than we do. And as faar as corporations, I rose pretty high up. And I can tell you that most corporations are bloated, bureacratic, top-heavy and inefficient, that they raise the prices of goods and the cost of lviing expoentially. You cannot imagine how often YOU pay for execs to spend days on end at the country club golfing or getting manicures and other [ahem] services.

And in any case, the 'free market' is neither free nor benign nor fair. It is full of cronyism, price fixing, favoritism, backroom deals, corruption, and bad faith.

Much like the Bush administration.

Posted by: drindl | March 30, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Dan W: SS is without doubt, is the most successful program, for the most people, this country has ever had.

Posted by: lylepink | March 30, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Yabba-dabba-doo!

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 30, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

dan w, as i said, it can't be used as a model for the u.s. unfortunately. but think of this, though - you are absolutely unwilling to pay more to the government (which for all its faults does represent and serve every citizen, at least on paper) but are willing to shell out a far greater sum of $$ to private insurers, who are primarily interested in profit. how is that better? at least when the gov't screws up - and i agree that they do - you have a senator and representative who on paper at least are supposed to advocate for you. with a private company, which makes no pretense at putting your needs first, you got nothing. no, i'm not naive. yes, corruption exists in government - my point being that human nature being what it is, it exists everywhere there is money to be had, most certainly including the for-profit health insurers.

Posted by: meuphys | March 30, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

JD and others -- the anonymous poster is zouk, in case you haven't figured it out.

At least all the anonymous posts with drool on them.

Posted by: drindl | March 30, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Lyle, I don't recomend using SS as a viable funding solution...

Posted by: Dan W | March 30, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

WRT Sweden: Including central government, the top rate is 60%. Capital gains tax is levied at a general rate of 30%. Value-added tax (VAT) applies to the sale of all goods and most services. The basic rate is 25%, with reduced rates of 12% on food and 6% on items including books, magazines and personal transport.

http://www.economist.com/countries/Sweden/profile.cfm?folder=Profile-FactSheet

I am NOT willing to pay tax rates upwards of 60% on top of a 25% VAT.

Posted by: Dan W | March 30, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

The cost of adequate health care could be greatly reduced in so many ways that I will only mention the obvious. Single pay is critical, in that the system now has so many loop holes that $$'s cannot even be estimated to even be in the ballpark of the actual fraud. Medicare and Medicaid are being ripped off, primarily for emergency room care, A $3,000.00 bill for a visit is common. Every person working would pay a portion of their wages into a fund such as SS. You folks skilled in math can easily see how this would work.

Posted by: lylepink | March 30, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

dan w, the swedish system is generally seen as fair and good quality by the public. (i have two friends who grew up in sweden and spend a month or two per year in stockholm.) granted, sweden isn't a good model for us because their economy is structured so differently, but their health care is universal and high quality, from what i've been told.

Posted by: meuphys | March 30, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

jd, a couple more points. 1, where is it written that healthcare HAS to be expensive? it is, only because it is market-driven. if it were federalized, maybe things would change. i know that's an incomplete comment but all i have time for now...

also, the average health plan costs anywhere from $400-800 per month. that's $4800-9600 annually, and i doubt very much that a tax increase to fund a national health plan would run the average taxpayer that much...

Posted by: meuphys | March 30, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Blarg: I have never heard of a single payer system being better than the US. I have only heard of unavailabilities and people coming to the US for treatment.

The problem with a minimalist solution for all who need it is that 1) what is the definition of minimal that is acceptable to all and 2) what do you do for the taxpayers that make too much to qualify for the assistance but don't earn enough to get a policy of their own.

And why is this a federal issue? Many states have been coming up with their own solutions. Isn't this a state issue?

Yes I am a small government independent and it shows.

Posted by: Dan W | March 30, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

JD and Sean, it's true that most Americans have health insurance. But that doesn't mean that most Americans can afford the "best healthcare in the world" that's theoretically available in this country.

A lot of people who have insurance are covered by government plans, Medicare and Medicaid. They can't afford good healthcare on their own, so the government subsidizes them. If you're against government subsidies of healthcare, then citing Medicare and Medicaid recipients doesn't help your case.

More importantly, most insurance just isn't very good. It's not uncommon for a patient with large medical bills to go bankrupt, even if they're insured. Some insurance plans have such high deductibles that they're nearly worthless. Others cap benefits so that if you have severe medical problems, the insurance doesn't help much. So while most of the population has some form of insurance, that doesn't mean they're able to get very good medical care. That's why the average citizen of Canada or the UK has much better healthcare than the average American.

Posted by: Blarg | March 30, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

jd - i would rather live in a society where everyone got "pretty good" care than one in which excellent care is affordable only by the wealthy (or by going into deep debt.)

tarheel - you have made your point. local politics is as corrupt as national politics. i would only add that human nature being what it is, it is somewhat disingenuous to lay the blame primarily on the democrats, when both parties are equally responsible. until we get money out of politics, we will not make an apppreciable dent in the motivation for corruption.

Posted by: meuphys | March 30, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

"What good does it do to have the best care for everyone that can afford it, if so few people can afford it?"

Um, if by "so few people" you mean over 90% of the populace, then you have a point. Well, no you don't, but you'd be closer.

Posted by: Sean | March 30, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Blarg, #1 how nice it is to converse with an adult. You should give lessons to your fellow lefties on this site.

#2 - I understand your position, but I'd take issue with 'so few people can afford it'...I thought that the uninsured was something like 30%, which means most people actually can afford it.

Once you go the universal healthcare route, something has to give - either we go to an all-HMO solution (taking away a lot of choice...and I thought liberals liked pro choice LOL), or ration healthcare, or drastically (and I mean big-time) increase taxes. Just doing the tort reform will help, but it won't get us even halfway there.

Personally I've always been one to have government stay out of my business (as I told drindl, I'm libertarian), and since I don't see healthcare as Government's purview, I'll go the personal responsibility route. I know, easy for me to say, I'm smart and employed and insured. But still, it seems to make the most sense vs a socialist approach; you buy healthcare like you would any other product or service. Or don't, it's your choice.

It's not a perfect system, and if it was easy, we'd have solved it by now.

Posted by: JD | March 30, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

What good does it do to have the best care for everyone that can afford it, if so few people can afford it?

If the only universities in the US were Ivy League schools that cost $40K per year, we'd have the best higher education in the world. But it would be out of reach to all but the very wealthy, so it wouldn't actually do us much good as a country. The quality of the best education would be very high, but the quality of average education would be terrible.

That's why there are public universities in every state. These schools are subsidized by the government so they don't need to charge Harvard prices. Is the education as good as you'd get at Harvard? That's debatable, but the answer is probably no. Still, it's better to get a decent and affordable college education than not be able to afford a college education at all.

If you want to pay extra, you can still go to Harvard. The existence of the public system doesn't put the private system out of business. But the point of public education is to serve the 90% of the population that can't pay that extra amount. The same goes for healthcare.

Posted by: Blarg | March 30, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Folks, all politics is local. A recent survey showed 87% of North Carolina voters believe the Democratic Party in North Carolina is corrupt due to the Jim Black and Frank Ballance scandals. These are the types of sentiments that will affect voting in North Carolina and other states with similar scandals. The most recent survey on the U.S. Attorney firings showed 81% of Americans aren't even following it and, of those few that are, 60% believe the Democratic Party is using it for political gain. It's a Beltway fixation only.

It amazes me how in each election cycle the impact of local politics is ignored by most of us (me included) amateur pundits. Most of the Republicans that lost had personal scandals (Sherwood) to deal with or were replacing a candidate who resigned. The replacements for people like Ney, Foley, and DeLay had too much to overcome during that election cycle. In some cases their names weren't even on the ballot. They were swept up in local perceptions and sentiment, not national ones. But the next time around the candidates will be running on their own records and will actually have their names on the ballot. Look to the local and state political atmosphere to get a feel for how the voters are leaning.

Posted by: tarheel | March 30, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

dudes, lay off the long posts - give us a link and maybe a sentence if you must post such off-topic stuff, but long posts don't even get read by us.

that said, Chris - why nothing on how WA-8 is going to dump Reichardt in 2008? The guy is totally out of sync with his district and it's just getting worse every day.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | March 30, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I should clarify that I am Jason P since there is at least one more poster that uses the name Jason. If you see something posted under that name that tilts right-wing--it's not me!

Posted by: Jason P | March 30, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I haven't checked his recent voting record, but Rep. Mike Ferguson (R-New Jersey), who didn't make CC's list is in a very similar situation to Rep. Robin Hayes who did make the list. Rep. Ferguson barely survived the last cycle against Linda Stender even though his race wasn't targeted by the DCCC and the district is a suburban-type district that I think the Republicans will continue to have a lot of trouble with.

Posted by: Jason | March 30, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I grant that there are definitely some efficiencies to a single payer system, especially when you don't have the slip-n-fall types (sorry Edwards backers) looking to sue at the drop of a hat...leading to tons of defensive medicine (extra tests, 2nd opinions, etc.).

It's my understanding, though (and let me say I DO NOT KNOW FOR SURE, this is just what I've heard) that the best surgeons and hospitals are here in US (for those who can afford it of course).

So Blarg, is the question at hand that we have 100% ability for those who can pay (the rich and employed with health ins.),and catch as catch can for everyone else, or do we have the 75% capaability for everyone, the egalitarian solution.

Obviously the answer depends on where you are now.

Posted by: JD | March 30, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

JD, healthcare is such a huge part of our economy because our system is extremely inefficient and expensive. In countries with nationalized healthcare, healthcare expenses are a much smaller percent of the economy, and the overall quality of medical care is higher as well.

Posted by: Blarg | March 30, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

off topic here but this anon poster has got to knock it off. go to craigslist and post there!

but looking over the list cc posted, im gonna have to say puhlez! at the very least at least 10 to 15 repubs are in danger in 2008. especially the ones that one 51-49 or razor thin wins. instead of watching the hoya's lose to ohio st. tomorrow, maybe you should try going to some of those districts.

Posted by: spartan | March 30, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

{ignoring anonymous postings}

Posted by: JD | March 30, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JD | March 30, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Zouk is tormenting me. he is to blame for all evils. Stop him before he kills again. why won't he respond. he is a coward.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

JD - you must know that consumers are idiots and just buy that stuff they don't need because of O'Reilly and Limbo. corporations make it and line their pockets. Once pelosi gets to be generallissimo and presidente, our consumer choices will be made by her and no profits will be allowed.
yeah - armando was me too. see how smart I am!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

LOL

Armando, assuming you speak English, let me try to explain the difference to you.

Corporations operate within the constraints of the free market, and are subject to those laws. Unions try to circumvent that market; in fact, it's their raison d'etre.

When you say corporations benefit the owners *at the expense* of the consumers...how so? If they sell a product you don't want, um...is there something from keeping you from buying it elsewhere? Or doing without it?

I'm assuming you're not referring to monopolies here, since they have different rules (and usually Government regulation as well).

I'd explain this further, but it's time to go back to my Wal Mart greeter job.

Posted by: JD | March 30, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

no-name poster

Thanks for your eloquent demonstration on how we got stuck with the Guy in the Whitehouse.

I assume you were part of the gullible 51%?

Posted by: zippy | March 30, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Sally is me, fool

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Hoya Saxa mpp!

Posted by: zippy | March 30, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

If you don't like me without a name, I can invent many others

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Sally. You are right on.

The no-name poster must have forgotten to take his meds today and spent the morning reading Krauthammer......Or maybe they left the office door open at the security desk of the asylum and he was able to log on to an unattended computer.

Anyway. Wouldn't life be boring without zouk and drindl verbally jousting?

But you gave me an idea for a new desert. "Zouk Flambe". It would be red. Covered with market restricted sugar, and really greasy since it would be loaded with oil.

The oil ignites when light is shone on it and it melts down into an inedible mess. The waiter comes over and consoles you saying "Oh. Mistakes were made. Then he signals the kitchen for 'more of the same' and tells them to 'Stay the Course' instead of fixing the recipe"!

Posted by: poor richard | March 30, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey, JD, you moron, corporations are a business structure that benefits the few (owners) at the expense of the many (consumers).

How's that different from a union?

Now what don't you get back to your greeter's job at Wal-Mart?

Posted by: Armando Samuel | March 30, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

JimD, good point. Sad (that the unions need illegals to bolster their ranks because more and more Americans are turning away from them), but probably true.

Posted by: JD | March 30, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

If Freddie Mitchell had only known that a loudmouth's team usually does not win the Super Bowl, maybe he would not have popped off about not knowing the names of most of the Patriots' defensive backs. Maybe he would not have promised "something" for Rodney Harrison, the strong safety. Mitchell, an Eagles wide receiver who is even noisier than Terrell Owens, thought he was being facetious last week in an ESPN interview, but Harrison didn't think it was funny. Neither did the Eagles' coaches. The reigning champion Patriots will pose enough problems in Super Bowl XXXIX on Sunday without Mitchell creating more motivation for them. As Mitchell now realizes. After choosing his words carefully for another television crew yesterday, Mitchell shook his head as he stood up to leave the Eagles' interview session at the Sawgrass Marriott. "Tough week?" somebody said. "It has been stressful," he said. As only Super Bowl stressful can be. Unless the Eagles win, Mitchell will be remembered as the latest Super Bowl loudmouth whose team lost the game. Not necessarily because of whatever, in retrospect, he wished he hadn't said, but because some people will blame him no matter what. Of all the Super Bowl loudmouths over nearly four decades, only Jets quarterback Joe Namath didn't have to eat his words. Reacting to a heckler at the Miami Touchdown Club dinner, where he was being honored as the 1968 pro football player of the year, Namath held up a napkin-wrapped glass containing Johnnie Walker Red and proclaimed, "We're going to win, I guarantee you." And three days later in Super Bowl III, the Jets, a 17-point underdog, beat the Baltimore Colts, 16-7. But the other loudmouths' teams all lost, beginning in Super Bowl I with Chiefs cornerback Fred Williamson, who was known as the Hammer. "If Boyd Dowler or Carroll Dale or any of those other guys catches a pass in my territory," he said, referring to Packers receivers, "they're going to pay the price. I'm going to lay a few hammers on them." And as the Packers won, 35-10, the Hammer was seldom seen until he was knocked unconscious in a pileup. When Vince Lombardi, the Packers' coach, was later asked why it took so long for the Packers to confront the Hammer, Lombardi said, "It took him that long to come up to make a tackle." Before Super Bowl VI, even President Nixon emerged as a Super Bowl loudmouth. During a congratulatory phone call to Coach Don Shula after the Dolphins qualified to oppose the Cowboys, Nixon, a Redskins fan who was apparently hoping to assure a Cowboys loss, suggested that Shula use a play in which quarterback Bob Griese would throw a pass to wide receiver Paul Warfield on a down-and-in pattern. But when Griese finally threw that pass, it was batted away by Cowboys defensive back Mel Renfro in what would be a 24-3 rout of the Dolphins. Before Super Bowl X, Cliff Harris, a Cowboys safety, questioned Steelers wide receiver Lynn Swann's wisdom in returning from a concussion two weeks earlier. "I'm not going to hurt anyone intentionally," Harris said, "but getting hit again while he's on a pass route must be in the back of Swann's mind. I know it would be in the back of my mind." Swann seethed, responding that Harris "can't scare me or the team." As the Steelers won, 21-17, Swann resembled a circus acrobat in producing 161 yards on only 4 receptions, including a dazzling 64-yard touchdown on a pass from Terry Bradshaw that produced what proved to be the winning points. But the Cowboys didn't learn their lesson. Before the Super Bowl only three years later, the Cowboys' loudmouth linebacker, Thomas Henderson, whose nickname was Hollywood, playfully questioned Bradshaw's intelligence. "Bradshaw couldn't spell cat," Henderson barked during the week, "if you spotted him the 'c' and the 'a."' In the Steelers's 35-31 victory, Bradshaw threw four touchdown passes. When he was later asked about his performance, he mentioned how he had to learn to relax, that he had often been as "nervous as a cat." "How do you spell that?" he was asked. With a smile, Bradshaw said, "C-O-T." During the final weeks of the 1990 season, Bruce Smith, the Bills' defensive end, bragged that he had succeeded Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor as the dominant player in pro football. After the Giants and the Bills qualified for Super Bowl XXV, Smith continued to declare his superiority. But in the game, Giants offensive tackle Jumbo Elliott neutralized Smith as the Giants won, 20-19. The next morning, at Coach Bill Parcells's news conference, one question started with, "Bruce Smith said. " "Is he still talking?" Parcells said sarcastically. "Tell him to come over and talk to Jumbo about the game." So unless the Eagles win, Freddie Mitchell would be wise to keep quiet after Sunday's game. Unless the Eagles win, he's already talked too much.

Posted by: Reynoldo Gort | March 30, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

hey drindl....well, I don't have time to teach you econ, and I remember you're a tech writer anyway, but a quick 101 version:

what you see as wages falling through the floor due to globalization, I see as the wages seeking their natural or market-based level after the decline in the influence of the unions. You seem to think that there is no economic harm when prices are artificially high due to unions' restraint of labor function...actually, all of Americans pay that price in the form of higher prices for goods, or a higher trade deficit and inflation due to reduced exports. This obviously leads to less jobs in the long run; if you don't believe me, go ask the car companies.

Long story short, unions are a labor structure that benefits the few (employees) at the expense of the many (consumers). Most people who know economics (and I have 2 degrees in it) get this.

I grant that there's a limited government health care obligation wrt vaccines and public health. The answer, though, isn't to take it to the extreme and nationalize 1/7 of our economy, health care.

Posted by: JD | March 30, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

The meltdown of the republican party has caused this zouk character to finally lose it completely and stop taking his meds.

CC, I think it's time you ban no-name posters...

Posted by: Sally | March 30, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

CC, my fellow member of the Nutmeg Diaspora: Why is The Line silent about potential GOP retirements (Regula, Hastert, Tom Davis) that might put some (R) seats into play? While none of these seats would fall into the top 10 now, you might want to hedge in the intro and acknowledge that this dynamic will likely shape The List in the not-too-distant future. Saxa hoya, baby!

Posted by: Vinny | March 30, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

JD

The unions are supporting immigration rights groups because they are aggressively trying to unionize the service industries dominated by immigrants. Union membership has declined precipitiously over the last 30 years and the unions see the underpaid workers in these jobs as prime candidates for unionization. Unions have been a declining influence in recent years and are seeking to regain influence by increasing their numbers.

I do not think it is wrong to project freshman Democrats who defeated incumbent Republicans as vulnerable. The identity of the presidential nominees will have a major impact on these House races. I believe that Senator Clinton as the Democratic nominee would be a real drag on the chances of Democratic candidates in red states. There is no other candidate who would so strongly motivate the Republican base to turn out in droves.

Posted by: JimD in FL | March 30, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/Political%20Tracking/Issues/CongressionalRatings20070329.htm
Twenty percent (20%) of Americans give Congress a good or excellent rating these days. The latest Rasmussen Reports survey found that 41% say the nation's legislators are doing a fair job while 38% say poor.

Bleak as those numbers are, they represent an improvement since the Democrats have taken power. In December, just 11% gave Congress a good or excellent rating while 47% say they were doing a poor job. That was the last survey conducted while the GOP was in charge. Democrats are currently trusted more than Republicans on a variety of issues including how to handle the situation in Iraq. However, ratings for Congress remain far lower than for the President

ill take fair,for the time being.
also from Rasmussen poll

Election Polls 2008: Democratic Presidential Primary Contenders
Date Clinton Obama Edwards
3/26 37% 25% 17%

Election Polls 2008: Republican Presidential Primary Contenders
Date Giul. McCain Ging. Romn.
3/27 35% 15% 11% 8%

Looks like Edwards surging due to the annoucement of his wife's cancer returning and McCain in stagination.But with 10 months left till the first primaries, with both the frontrunners stay out in front?

Which political party do you trust more to handle the situation in Iraq?
Republicans 38%
Democrats 50%

Which political party do you trust more to handle national security?
Republicans 44%
Democrats 46%

If the Dems can nominate someone with strong national security credintals(wes clark maybe?) they can take this in a walk.

Posted by: spartan | March 30, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Is that peanut crack aimed at carter? He is my hero and the greatest president ever. the way he stood up to those moolas makes me tingly. take it back. I think we should always quit when challenged.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Hi I am a Veteran who Votes. Please tell your friends. Registed Vote. There may be hope yet.

Posted by: Raymond James Thibault | March 30, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

people who don't post their handles should stay seated in the peanut gallery.

Not superior. Quite the opposite.

Just noting the obvious. Regardless of what your political position, the quality of comments here suggest too many passengers in the airplane are counting the swimming pools in people's back yard while the Pilot-in-Chief is flying the plane headlong into the ground.

Of course he never did get recertified when he was allegedly protecting the skies over Texas and Mississippi from the Viet Cong...did he?

Posted by: poor richard | March 30, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

you're a dodo

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Sigh -- another forum going the way of the dodo thanks to juveniles.

CNN.com chatrooms
Yahoo news discussion boards
and pretty soon WaPo.com blog comments

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | March 30, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

If elected, I promise to ruin the economy, raise the defict, lose the wars, use the troops as stage props, control womens bodies, destory the middle class, bribe all politicians, lie about everything, create more scandals, line my pockets, block all helpful legislation, pork out every bill, take long vacations and ruin any honest politicians reputation. mission accomplished!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Sigh -- another forum going the way of the dodo thanks to juveniles.

CNN.com chatrooms
Yahoo message boards
and pretty soon WaPo.com blog comments

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | March 30, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Oh...one more thing:
GO GATORS!!!!! G-town sucks...

Posted by: mpp | March 30, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I learned how to cut and paste. I told you I was smart.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

His serious aviation habit means he is hardly the best person to lecture others on the environment. But John Travolta went ahead and did it anyway. The 53-year-old actor, a passionate pilot, encouraged his fans to "do their bit" to tackle global warming. But although he readily admitted: "I fly jets", he failed to mention he actually owns five, along with his own private runway.

Posted by: we are all hypocrites | March 30, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Will we see a GOP majority Congress after '08 with a Dem POTUS? It's an intriguing possibility.
http://political-buzz.com/

Posted by: mpp | March 30, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

If elected, I promise to ruin the economy, raise the defict, lose the wars, use the troops as stage props, control womens bodies, destory the middle class, bribe all politicians, lie about everything, create more scandals, line my pockets, block all helpful legislation, pork out every bill, take long vacations and ruin any honest politicians reputation. mission accomplished!

Posted by: G.Dubya Bush | March 30, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

If elected, I promise to ruin the economy, raise the defict, lose the wars, use the troops as stage props, control womens bodies, destory the middle class, bribe all politicians, lie about everything, create more scandals, line my pockets, block all helpful legislation, pork out every bill, take long vacations and ruin any honest politicians reputation. mission accomplished!

Posted by: G.Dubya Bush | March 30, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

the Dems' "Contract With al Qaeda"[hi folks its me zouk] undercuts the progress our troops have been making since the arrival of Gen. David Petraeus[im gonna totally ignore the fact that my president bush ignored the iraq study group] (the Dems tossed him the keys to the car, but won't give him money for gas). For all too many politicians, our 2008 elections are more important than the fate of our soldiers or the Iraqi people.[its toally safe to walk the streets of bagdad,ask john mccain and joe liberman]

They're doing all they can to guarantee failure.[because the gop really dont have a plan] After a year of tragic setbacks, our new tactics in Iraq have brought real signs of progress.[i call a shia/sunni civil war progress.]

thank you donkeys for fighting this war for us.[rather than chasing after us in afganastan] We at "the base"[zouk] wish you luck in losing for all yellow-bellied americans.[mr president i wish i could have another tax cut, the troops really dont need that body armor] we will honor you by chopping off your heads first in the great victory.[im so lonely i have no friends]

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

If elected, I promise to ruin the economy, raise taxes, lose the war, humiliate the troops, abort all babies, shut down industry, bribe all politicians, lie about everything, create false scandals, line my pockets, block all helpful legislation, pork out every bill, take long vacations and ruin any honest politicians reputation.

Posted by: General Pelosi | March 30, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Chris-

While I like the Fix and agree that Lampson, Mahoney and Carney are probably among the most endangered representatives but I have some problems with this, namely the blind reliance on 2004 election returns.

The fact is, this is no longer 2004 and while the results should be at least considered, they should NOT be the sole benchmark for determining some one's reelection chances.

I think McNerney is in better shape than you give him credit for whereas Hayes was 300 votes away from losing to a badly underfunded opponent.

Where's Michelle Bachmann? I don't think she's earned any favors with her antics. What about Jean Scmidt and her insulting Walter Reed article?

What about the California corruption duo of Lewis and Doolittle. Those aren't going away and they are gathering traction.

It all comes down to the presidential candidates, if the Dems have someone who inspires, then I think they will gain seats.

Posted by: Zach | March 30, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

the Dems' "Contract With al Qaeda" undercuts the progress our troops have been making since the arrival of Gen. David Petraeus (the Dems tossed him the keys to the car, but won't give him money for gas). For all too many politicians, our 2008 elections are more important than the fate of our soldiers or the Iraqi people.

They're doing all they can to guarantee failure. After a year of tragic setbacks, our new tactics in Iraq have brought real signs of progress.


http://www.nypost.com/php/pfriendly/print.php?url=http://www.nypost.com/seven/03302007/postopinion/opedcolumnists/inviting_attack_opedcolumnists_ralph_peters.htm

thank you donkeys for fighting this war for us. We at "the base" wish you luck in losing for all yellow-bellied americans. we will honor you by chopping off your heads first in the great victory.

Posted by: Sand flea | March 30, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Unions are the catch 22 in the world of politics. Over the years I would give them the edge for safety, working conditions, and the power to bargain. At times they go to far and actually cost jobs. This is a touchy situation and I know from personal expierence, being in both positions as employer and employee.

Posted by: lylepink | March 30, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Isn't welfare great. I actually get paid to do this by you.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I know things

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

E.J. Dionne writes in today's Post:

"After the failures of the Bush presidency, the country is veering away from the kind of conservatism that has defined the party for a quarter-century."

That's why The Fix's list of endangered incumbents will turn out to be quite wrong next year. That analysis and conventional wisdom dwell on the fact that so many freshman Dems won in districts that have voted Republican in the last few presidential elections. But the war continues to be an albatross around the necks of Republicans, so the 2008 election will be more like 2006 than 2004. That means a lot of marginally Republican districts (e.g., Ferguson in NJ, etc.) will become Democratic pick-ups.

Posted by: Progressive | March 30, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

richard, stray off the liberal farm and I will taunt you again.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

See, I am smart. you can be smart and still stay back a few times.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

because you are so superior, aren't you poor richard/

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I hope we all remind Chris of this stupid, shameless column when the Dems sweep most of the remaining Republican Reps out of office next election cycle...

I loved seeing them all of them standing behind the Chimpmaster when he condemned the Dem's Iraq War bills...

They seem to be willing to go off the cliff with GW, rather then represent the will of the American people, who are overwhelmingly against this illegal and horrifying war!

Posted by: wagonjak | March 30, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Amazing the quality of commentary today....

Alot of second fiddles playing in Nero's violin band.

Why don't we discuss angels on heads of pins?

Posted by: poor richard | March 30, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

'restricting the market (ie the supply of labor, to artificially increase the cost'

'redistribution of wealth through welfare, medicare/medicaid, and other social programs, universal healthcare, etc..'

These are such old red herrings they make me weaary.

All of this is about maintaining a middle class and a decent society where you don't have legions of the poor lving on every streetcorner -- or roaming the streets spreadig typhoid. It is in the public interest that everyone have access to healthcaare so we don't have plagues and epidemics as we used to. And so that we have a healthy working population to remain competetive.

Remiaining competetive is also about maintaining an educated middle class as a workforce. This means earning enough to put youur kids through school. What happens if we just let illegals and foreigners compete for our jobs and wages drop through the floor, as is happening in many industries now?

True, all these things can be misused. But they are in the long run the only lthings that stand between a democracy and fiefdom. with only international martket forces and no national public policy constraints, you very quickly get a totally polarized population -- a small segment that is incredibly wealthy entirely controlling the serfs -- the rest of us, who because of poor health, lack of education, etc, have no possibility of upward mobility, just like in many banana republics today.

But that is precisely what some people want.

Posted by: drindl | March 30, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Having contributed a small sum to Lampson's campaign in Texas in 2006, and having continued to follow events in DeLay land, I can report that there is reason to think that Nick's next race will be upstream against the current, as suggested by Chris.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | March 30, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I think I see your points drindl. I remember last year, though, Sweeny (sp?) and other union muckety mucks were demonstrating in favor of the immigration rights groups. And you'll agree that the unions almost exclusively support dems (endorsements, money, volunteers), and the dems seem to be the softer of the two parties on building fences and taking hard lines (but not by much these days). I never could figure that out - why would the unions, who are all about restricting the market (ie the supply of labor, to artificially increase the cost), want to create more competition for themselves? I thought at the time it was mainly to hurt their opposition, you know the old 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend' routine. Seems shortsighted, but hey they didn't ask me for strategic advice...

as for the gov services - come on now, drindl. You're smart, you must agree that many dem positions involve the increasing of redistribution of wealth through welfare, medicare/medicaid, and other social programs, universal healthcare, etc.....these are the services I mean. The natural constituency is the poor, including the recently immmigrated (and undocumented).

If you think that's a talking point, well maybe it is. But is it untrue?

Posted by: JD | March 30, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

bsimon

They are endanged because of what I said.

They were elected in what amounted to a popular revolt to the corrpution and incompetence of the Current Occupants and his administration.

The Democratics seem to be content in making believe they are the Republican congress elected in the 2000...pigs at the trough as it were.

Even though I am a moderate, and a democrat, if they don't do what we sent them there for,we will find candidates who will step up in '08 and throw the '06 generation-whether democrat or republican- out on their collective butt.

Two months sworn in and in danger? In a few words...You betcha.

Posted by: poor richard | March 30, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

mommy told me if I stay in my room all day and don't break anything I get ice cream.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Who am I? I always get so confused. am I me or am I you? someone is out to get me.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

drindl, just let me make all your decisions for you. you can trust me.

Posted by: Hillary | March 30, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

but you'll play with me, won't you zouk? coz you don't have a job, do you?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

someday I hope to marry rosie. I am considering gender reassignment but can't figure out what I am now.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

JD,

I'm a dem and I don't want the illegals here either, my friend. Nor does anyone I know. The unions [whom I support, as my brother is a firefighter and my sister is a nurse] don't want them here either. Don't even get them started on it. And the idea that dems want voters who are dependent on gov't services -- please, that's the oldest R talking point in the world, and it's utterly false. You listen to too much R media.

Why would we want to rile the unions? You contradict yourself. No, this is all about appeasing corporations and you know very well which party they are the constinuency of. Come on, you know the answer.

Dems do it too although not to the same extent -- but the point is, we need to change the campaign financing system so that none of them have to depend on these foreign entities for money--it undermines American security, among other things.

Posted by: drindl | March 30, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

this is the same thing that always happens on the playground. why won't anyone play with me?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

someone please respond to my posts. I have offered hundreds of ideas and no one responds. what is wrong with me? I am smart.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

The Reps have been sworn in for, what, 2 months, and they're already endangered in the next election? Surely there's something more interesting to talk about today.

Posted by: bsimon | March 30, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

oimgod... this is too funny. where have we heard this before?

ith Barbara Walters, former New York City Mayor and presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani said that if elected president, he would have no problem allowing his wife Judith Giuliani to sit in on cabinet meetings, "If she wanted to. If they were relevant to something that she was interested in. I mean that would be something that I'd be very, very comfortable with," he said.

He also tells Walters that he welcomes his wife's involvement in policy decisions during the campaign "to the extent she wants to be...I couldn't have a better adviser." When asked if she will sit in on policy meetings, Judith said: "if [Rudy] asks me to, yes. And certainly in the areas of health care."

Posted by: drindl | March 30, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Hello drindl. Let me respond to your posting.

1) I'm not a Republican, I'm a conservative (liberatarian, actually) independent. I'm sure you'll agree there's a difference.

2) I find the progress, or lack thereof, on controlling illegal immigration absolutely scandalous. The left want the illegals here so they'll vote for them and create a natural dem constituency (dependent on gov services), and the right want them here for cheap labor and to break unions. A pox on both houses.

3) to answer your last question, I think the Republican leadership is working for the same reason the Dem leadership is working - to get themselves re-elected. Pursuing an agenda is secondary to both sides; only if it serves their grander purposes.

Is that too cynical? Are there no true patriots left? After we won the Revolutionary war, they wanted to make George Washington king, but he refused the job. I'd love to make that same offer to the current crop of presidential candidates, on both sides. Which one of them would refuse it?

Posted by: JD | March 30, 2007 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Is that you dave?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 10:38 AM | Report abuse

The voices

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

TRENTON, N.J. - A once-powerful New Jersey lawmaker was indicted Thursday on corruption charges tied to a state medical school job that a federal monitor said paid him up to $40,000 a year to do little more than read the newspaper. State Sen. Wayne Bryant, a former chairman of the budget committee, also is accused of using that job and two others where he did little or no work to fraudulently triple his state pension. The Democrat was charged with mail fraud, wire fraud and bribery.


Crooked Dems aren't even news anymore. It is almost a daily occurence.

Posted by: Sean Penn | March 30, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

This is a given. All freshmen are targets in their first reelection bid, except those that replaced a member of the same party due to retirement or death. The dems are in good shape now to pick up seats in both houses as well as The White House.

Posted by: lylepink | March 30, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Hoya Saxa Chris

This is a year when the Democrats could blow a golden opportunity if they insist on pursuing poprk and politics as usual.

There are times in nations' histories when competence is demanded. It is one of those times that the Founding Fathers crafted the Constitution for. Times like this call for governance.

The Current Occupation and his administration have been corrupt and incompetent. Corruption comes and goes. It is survivable It is one end of the political pendulum's arc. The other end is self righteousness and piety. Both have been part of politics forever.

Incompentence though, is deadly. It has cost the lives of 3200 very brave Americans and the number of Iraqis known only to whatever Supreme Being one prays to.

Adding arrogance, and there has been no shortage of that in the past six years, to incompetence has historically been the downfall of civilizations. Sadly, this administration doesn't seem to take the lessons of History to heart, that is, if they learned them at all in seventh grade.

The Democrats must step up and lead. It is unrealistic to expect that from the Current Occupant in the next two years.

Posted by: poor richard | March 30, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

"Boyda is relatively unproven"

??????

Boyda is a quickly rising star already, much like Iowa's Braley, and while your slanted pontification may create some conservative comfort in the delusional post 06' beltway, you can't convince proud Iowans or Kansans that these new stars aren't going to continue to shine, and writing it on your blog simply doesn't make it true...

No doubt, this propaganda is getting some serious snickers among those who are actually "in the know."

So much for the "top poundit" title...

Posted by: JEP | March 30, 2007 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, there's nothing much to say about this topic. I don't know anything about any of the House members mentioned in the article.

I find it funny (and by funny, I mean sad) that CC never cares about what elected officials do in office. These Congressmen are endangered because of what party they belong to and how their district normally votes. There's no concept that people might vote for someone based on accomplishments or personality, just party. There were articles about endangered Democratic House members before they were even sworn into office!

Posted by: Blarg | March 30, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Chris, Chris, Chris....
your Politico skirts are showing again...

Posted by: JEP | March 30, 2007 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Here's something real to write about, CC-- actual political news:

'Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on Thursday dropped some names of potential running mates in the 2008 race, but added such speculation is a bit premature.
Among those Romney mentioned for the second slot on the Republican ticket were three Southerners: South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.'

Posted by: Saya | March 30, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

It's such a silly column... who could comment on it? Right, things looking really bad for Dems -- I don't think so. Here's something to talk about... who could this possibly appeal to? I mean, I'm a Dem, I hate it. You're a Republican, but does this make you happy?

Illegals still get to stay here to work for corporations on the cheap, thery still get to be citizens, but they have to pay a fine? So they'll work here and earn the fine, then become citizens? Kind of sounds like a gift to the [foriegn and global] corporations that operate here, doesn't it?

Doesn't it make you wonder who the republican leadership is actually workinng for?

'WASHINGTON (AP) -- A White House plan devised in weeks of closed-door meetings with Republican senators would grant work visas to undocumented immigrants but require them to return home and pay hefty fines to become legal U.S. residents.'

Posted by: drindl | March 30, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Well, so much for on-topic postings today...

Must be the nice weather.

Posted by: JD | March 30, 2007 9:39 AM | Report abuse


Back in 2000, did Patriot Act-appointed US Attorney Tim Griffin really say he makes the bullets in the war against Democrats? Stay tuned.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Nuking the Political Scene is The New Republican Senate Bill. Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation has just finished a study that makes the White House plan for big increases in low-skill labor sound like a plot to bankrupt America.

The study looked at households headed by high-school drop-outs.

It found high school drop-outs accounted for about:
9% of native-born Americans
25% of legal immigrants
50% of illegal aliens
The new Bush/Republican Senator plan would dramatically increase the number of legal immigrant drop-outs and make sure that millions of illegal drop-outs stayed in our country.

The cost to Americans will be staggering.
Rector found that the share of federal, state and local costs for each of these high-school-dropout households is around $43,000 a year.

But he subtracted out their share of defense and interest on debt, concluding that:
THE INCREMENTAL FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL EXPENDITURES FOR EACH HOUSEHOLD HEADED BY A HIGH-SCHOOL DROPOUT IS AROUND
$32,000 a year
in government support

The Heritage Foundation scholar then painstakingly dug through government data to find every kind of tax that these households pay. He even included money spent on lottery tickets ($686 per year) and excise taxes, as well as FICA and property taxes and many others.
He said he was a bit surprised to find that these high-school-dropout households pay more taxes than he expected:
Nearly $10,000
a year in taxes

Nonetheless, the bottom line is that these households require:
$22,000 each year
in net taxpayer subsidies

Why would our elected officials want to import foreign workers who require such huge infusions of taxpayer cash?
And why would they be proposing increasing that flow?
Even more astounding is that they want to force American taxpayers to continue to subsidize those who have come here illegally or broken our laws to stay.

Why would the Senate and House Democratic leadership -- and now the White House and most Senate Republicans -- want to keep these lawbreakers -- every one of whose households will cost Americans an average net of $22,000 a year?

Rector's study indicates that these total households headed by foreign-born high school drop-outs are costing taxpayers a net of around:
$100 BILLION a year

Yet, the new White House/Republican Senator immigration plan would ensure that all the illegal aliens getting that subsidy would remain to keep collecting ...
... and that we would add large numbers of new households every year so that the total subsidy could grow much higher.

This Heritage Foundation Study makes it devastatingly clear that our current immigration policies amount to
BIGGEST UNFUNDED MANDATE ON LOCAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS

Now, President Bush and apparently the majority of Republican Senators want to radically increase immigration's costs for local and state governments (and their taxpayers)!

LOUSY RESULTS EMERGED FROM LOUSY PRINCIPLES


The White House sales pitch begins with a slide titled "FIRST PRINCIPLES."
It isn't so much what is stated but what is unstated that makes the principles so lousy.

Nothing about protecting the earning power of American workers and their ability to provide for their families.

Nothing about serving the national interest.

Nothing about protecting against taxpayer subsidies.

Nothing about keeping incentives for businesses to engage in productivity-enhancing innovation instead of relying on cheap labor.

Nothing about learning what the American people want and how immigration policies affect quality of life.

Nothing about protecting American students' ability to seek careers in high-skill occupations.

As Sen. Jeff Session (R-Ala.) told the American Legion earlier this month: Most immigration proposals are nothing more than a collection of special-interest requests that have nothing to do with the national interest.

BOTTOM LINE ANALYSIS:
.................
The plan would radically increase immigration numbers and forced population growth, congestion, chaos and regimentation on American communities and their residents.

It would impose astronomical costs upon the taxpayers in order to subsidize the businesses that make use of the foreign labor.

If you look forward to being crowded with a HALF-BILLION U.S. residents and trillions of dollars of extra government costs, remain silent. Otherwise, make some phone calls."
www.Heritage Foundation. www.numbersusa.com (both non profit. Non partisan. Which is why they are very poor.)
Write some e-mails. Send some faxes. Speak out and participate in the poltical process whether they want you to or NOT.

Posted by: Teka | March 30, 2007 9:22 AM | Report abuse

"And at the center of it is one Julie A. MacDonald, appointed by Bush to be the deputy assistant secretary for fish and wildlife and parks at the Interior Department. The very ugly details of her malfeasance have been exposed by an inspector general report.

Ms. MacDonald, whose job is to oversee policy decisions on endangered species and other wildlife, sent internal agency documents to industry lobbyists (e.g. she twice sent "internal Environmental Protection Agency documents -- one involving water quality management -- to individuals whose e-mail addresses ended in 'chevrontexaco.com,") and generally ran roughshod over agency scientists.

Here's how she works: MacDonald just made stuff up. If scientists recommended a certain action, MacDonald would alter the recommendation or simply ignore it if it threatened industry or landowners in any way.

Some examples of her scientific method:

MacDonald tangled with field personnel over designating habitat for the endangered Southwestern willow flycatcher, a bird whose range is from Arizona to New Mexico and Southern California. When scientists wrote that the bird had a "nesting range" of 2.1 miles, MacDonald told field personnel to change the number to 1.8 miles. Hall, a wildlife biologist who told the IG he had had a "running battle" with MacDonald, said she did not want the range to extend to California because her husband had a family ranch there.'

Posted by: ANOTHER ONE! | March 30, 2007 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Nuking the Political Scene is The New Republican Senate Bill. Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation has just finished a study that makes the White House plan for big increases in low-skill labor sound like a plot to bankrupt America.

The study looked at households headed by high-school drop-outs.

It found high school drop-outs accounted for about:
9% of native-born Americans
25% of legal immigrants
50% of illegal aliens
The new Bush/Republican Senator plan would dramatically increase the number of legal immigrant drop-outs and make sure that millions of illegal drop-outs stayed in our country.

The cost to Americans will be staggering.
Rector found that the share of federal, state and local costs for each of these high-school-dropout households is around $43,000 a year.

But he subtracted out their share of defense and interest on debt, concluding that:
THE INCREMENTAL FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL EXPENDITURES FOR EACH HOUSEHOLD HEADED BY A HIGH-SCHOOL DROPOUT IS AROUND
$32,000 a year
in government support

The Heritage Foundation scholar then painstakingly dug through government data to find every kind of tax that these households pay. He even included money spent on lottery tickets ($686 per year) and excise taxes, as well as FICA and property taxes and many others.
He said he was a bit surprised to find that these high-school-dropout households pay more taxes than he expected:
Nearly $10,000
a year in taxes

Nonetheless, the bottom line is that these households require:
$22,000 each year
in net taxpayer subsidies

Why would our elected officials want to import foreign workers who require such huge infusions of taxpayer cash?
And why would they be proposing increasing that flow?
Even more astounding is that they want to force American taxpayers to continue to subsidize those who have come here illegally or broken our laws to stay.

Why would the Senate and House Democratic leadership -- and now the White House and most Senate Republicans -- want to keep these lawbreakers -- every one of whose households will cost Americans an average net of $22,000 a year?

Rector's study indicates that these total households headed by foreign-born high school drop-outs are costing taxpayers a net of around:
$100 BILLION a year

Yet, the new White House/Republican Senator immigration plan would ensure that all the illegal aliens getting that subsidy would remain to keep collecting ...
... and that we would add large numbers of new households every year so that the total subsidy could grow much higher.

This Heritage Foundation Study makes it devastatingly clear that our current immigration policies amount to
BIGGEST UNFUNDED MANDATE ON LOCAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS

Now, President Bush and apparently the majority of Republican Senators want to radically increase immigration's costs for local and state governments (and their taxpayers)!

LOUSY RESULTS EMERGED FROM LOUSY PRINCIPLES


The White House sales pitch begins with a slide titled "FIRST PRINCIPLES."
It isn't so much what is stated but what is unstated that makes the principles so lousy.

Nothing about protecting the earning power of American workers and their ability to provide for their families.

Nothing about serving the national interest.

Nothing about protecting against taxpayer subsidies.

Nothing about keeping incentives for businesses to engage in productivity-enhancing innovation instead of relying on cheap labor.

Nothing about learning what the American people want and how immigration policies affect quality of life.

Nothing about protecting American students' ability to seek careers in high-skill occupations.

As Sen. Jeff Session (R-Ala.) told the American Legion earlier this month: Most immigration proposals are nothing more than a collection of special-interest requests that have nothing to do with the national interest.

BOTTOM LINE ANALYSIS:
.................
The plan would radically increase immigration numbers and forced population growth, congestion, chaos and regimentation on American communities and their residents.

It would impose astronomical costs upon the taxpayers in order to subsidize the businesses that make use of the foreign labor.

If you look forward to being crowded with a HALF-BILLION U.S. residents and trillions of dollars of extra government costs, remain silent. Otherwise, make some phone calls."
www.Heritage Foundation. www.numbersusa.com (both non profit. Non partisan. Which is why they are very poor.)
Write some e-mails. Send some faxes. Speak out and participate in the poltical process whether they want you to or NOT.

Posted by: Teka | March 30, 2007 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Nuking the Political Scene is The New Republican Senate Bill. Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation has just finished a study that makes the White House plan for big increases in low-skill labor sound like a plot to bankrupt America.

The study looked at households headed by high-school drop-outs.

It found high school drop-outs accounted for about:
9% of native-born Americans
25% of legal immigrants
50% of illegal aliens
The new Bush/Republican Senator plan would dramatically increase the number of legal immigrant drop-outs and make sure that millions of illegal drop-outs stayed in our country.

The cost to Americans will be staggering.
Rector found that the share of federal, state and local costs for each of these high-school-dropout households is around $43,000 a year.

But he subtracted out their share of defense and interest on debt, concluding that:
THE INCREMENTAL FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL EXPENDITURES FOR EACH HOUSEHOLD HEADED BY A HIGH-SCHOOL DROPOUT IS AROUND
$32,000 a year
in government support

The Heritage Foundation scholar then painstakingly dug through government data to find every kind of tax that these households pay. He even included money spent on lottery tickets ($686 per year) and excise taxes, as well as FICA and property taxes and many others.
He said he was a bit surprised to find that these high-school-dropout households pay more taxes than he expected:
Nearly $10,000
a year in taxes

Nonetheless, the bottom line is that these households require:
$22,000 each year
in net taxpayer subsidies

Why would our elected officials want to import foreign workers who require such huge infusions of taxpayer cash?
And why would they be proposing increasing that flow?
Even more astounding is that they want to force American taxpayers to continue to subsidize those who have come here illegally or broken our laws to stay.

Why would the Senate and House Democratic leadership -- and now the White House and most Senate Republicans -- want to keep these lawbreakers -- every one of whose households will cost Americans an average net of $22,000 a year?

Rector's study indicates that these total households headed by foreign-born high school drop-outs are costing taxpayers a net of around:
$100 BILLION a year

Yet, the new White House/Republican Senator immigration plan would ensure that all the illegal aliens getting that subsidy would remain to keep collecting ...
... and that we would add large numbers of new households every year so that the total subsidy could grow much higher.

This Heritage Foundation Study makes it devastatingly clear that our current immigration policies amount to
BIGGEST UNFUNDED MANDATE ON LOCAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS

Now, President Bush and apparently the majority of Republican Senators want to radically increase immigration's costs for local and state governments (and their taxpayers)!

LOUSY RESULTS EMERGED FROM LOUSY PRINCIPLES


The White House sales pitch begins with a slide titled "FIRST PRINCIPLES."
It isn't so much what is stated but what is unstated that makes the principles so lousy.

Nothing about protecting the earning power of American workers and their ability to provide for their families.

Nothing about serving the national interest.

Nothing about protecting against taxpayer subsidies.

Nothing about keeping incentives for businesses to engage in productivity-enhancing innovation instead of relying on cheap labor.

Nothing about learning what the American people want and how immigration policies affect quality of life.

Nothing about protecting American students' ability to seek careers in high-skill occupations.

As Sen. Jeff Session (R-Ala.) told the American Legion earlier this month: Most immigration proposals are nothing more than a collection of special-interest requests that have nothing to do with the national interest.

BOTTOM LINE ANALYSIS:
.................
The plan would radically increase immigration numbers and forced population growth, congestion, chaos and regimentation on American communities and their residents.

It would impose astronomical costs upon the taxpayers in order to subsidize the businesses that make use of the foreign labor.

If you look forward to being crowded with a HALF-BILLION U.S. residents and trillions of dollars of extra government costs, remain silent. Otherwise, make some phone calls."
www.Heritage Foundation. www.numbersusa.com (both non profit. Non partisan. Which is why they are very poor.)
Write some e-mails. Send some faxes. Speak out and participate in the poltical process whether they want you to or NOT.

Posted by: Teka | March 30, 2007 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Hey if Rudy gets elected, maybe Tony Soprano can be Secretary of Commerce!

'Ruolph W. Giuliani told a grand jury that his former chief investigator remembered having briefed him on some aspects of Bernard B. Kerik's relationship with a company suspected of ties to organized crime before Mr. Kerik's appointment as New York City police commissioner, according to court records.

Mr. Giuliani, testifying last year under oath before a Bronx grand jury investigating Mr. Kerik, said he had no memory of the briefing, but he did not dispute that it had taken place, according to a transcript of his testimony.

Mr. Giuliani's testimony amounts to a significantly new version of what information was probably before him in the summer of 2000 as he was debating Mr. Kerik's appointment as the city's top law enforcement officer. Mr. Giuliani had previously said that he had never been told of Mr. Kerik's entanglement with the company before promoting him to the police job or later supporting his failed bid to be the nation's homeland security secretary.

In his testimony, given in April 2006, Mr. Giuliani indicated that he must have simply forgotten that he had been briefed on one or more occasions as part of the background investigation of Mr. Kerik before his appointment to the police post.'

Posted by: LOL | March 30, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Today we hear from a former career prosecutor in the civil rights division, filling in another piece of the puzzle:

I spent more than 35 years in the department enforcing federal civil rights laws -- particularly voting rights. Before leaving in 2005, I worked for attorneys general with dramatically different political philosophies -- from John Mitchell to Ed Meese to Janet Reno. Regardless of the administration, the political appointees had respect for the experience and judgment of longtime civil servants.

Under the Bush administration, however, all that changed. Over the last six years, this Justice Department has ignored the advice of its staff and skewed aspects of law enforcement in ways that clearly were intended to influence the outcome of elections.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I'm just curious -- are all rightwing women this masochistic?

'At one point, Schlafly also contended that married women cannot be sexually assaulted by their husbands.

"By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don't think you can call it rape," she said.

Posted by: just wondering | March 30, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

okay gopers -- here's your talking points for the day.. thought we'd get started early:

'Playing the race card: Limbaugh, GOP's right-wing, accuse Gonzales critics of racism - Media Matters: On his nationally syndicated radio program, Rush Limbaugh claimed that Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, "the first Hispanic-American attorney general -- a minority" is "under fire by white liberal racists in the Senate." In fact, Gonzales' handling of the U.S. attorney firings has been criticized by lawmakers of both parties, and his actions have been censured by the Senate's only African-American and by one of its three Hispanic members.'

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 9:03 AM | Report abuse

--'fox jernalist'
"The 31-year-old columnist is already well known in her native Canada as an oft-accused and once-admitted stalker who made questionable rape charges of her own 10 years ago, in a case that eventually cut short the career of a university president and changed the tenor of harassment cases all over Canada. In 1999, a professor at the same university went to the police with charges Marsden was stalking him, and in 2004 she pleaded guilty to criminally harassing a former Vancouver radio host."

Posted by: just another R.. | March 30, 2007 9:00 AM | Report abuse

This Gibbons character is the same one who was charged with attempted rape of cocktail waitress during the election.. republicans still elected him --and got what they deserved.

'The wife of Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons was hired as a consultant to a defense contractor at the same time that her husband, who was then a member of Congress, helped the company get funding for a no-bid federal contract.

"Dawn Gibbons got about $35,000 in consulting fees in 2004 from Sierra Nevada Corp., of Sparks, Nev., the company said. Mr. Gibbons, a five-term Republican who served on the armed services and intelligence committees, sought funding that year for Sierra Nevada for a $4 million contract to develop a helicopter radar-landing system."

Posted by: Sam | March 30, 2007 8:57 AM | Report abuse

What's most puzzling is that Thompson is liked by Republicans who say the war on terror is the single most important issue facing the country. They claim they understand the reality of the threats we face and that Democrats don't. And yet Thompson's security résumé is puny compared to his potential rivals. He has no executive experience and the wars he's fought have all been in the movies. Sure, you can argue that experience is overrated--after all, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld had plenty of it. The problem is that Thompson's supporters like Cheney and Rummy.

"The myth behind the Thompson quasi-candidacy is a dangerous one that bedevils both parties: If we just get a better communicator, people will love our policies. But once Thompson enters the race, he will have to either embrace or distance himself from GOP policies, which will either ruin his chances in the general election or hurt him with his conservative supporters. In short, he'll become just like any other candidate--something he might not like after such a big buildup. Thompson also has a reputation for not enjoying the grind of campaigning."

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Schumer persisted, eventually asking the witness a question about Rove's role. "I don't remember," Sampson said. "I don't remember anything like that. I don't think so. I don't remember. I don't remember."

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse

6 lawyers? this is going to be even more fun than I thought.

Notice how Milbank points out what I said last week? How Sampson, like so many R's in the admin, looks like a clone of Rove or Starr?

'Walking down the center aisle with no fewer than six lawyers, some carrying heavy briefcases, the witness made a grand entrance. His hair was trim and gelled, his frameless octagonal glasses polished clean. Described in news accounts as a young version of Rove, Sampson was indeed a bit pudgy and jowly, and he spoke in a nerdy voice that sounded strange coming from a man whose combative e-mails had been released by the Justice Department in recent weeks.

Posted by: drindl | March 30, 2007 8:47 AM | Report abuse


As we watch daily hearings expose more horrors that define the Bush Administration, we are all groping for theories that explain what the regime has done to America and why the regime continues to command support from the core of the Republican Party. John Dean's book, Conservatives Without Conscience, describes an authoritarian mentality that drives allegiance to the Bush/Cheney regime and accounts for Republican acceptance of expanding government intrusions into the private lives of individuals. Glenn Greenwald, in How Would a Patriot Act, carries the theme further, cataloguing the regime's pervasive lawlessness and the theories behind it, while Sidney Blumenthal's How Bush Rules provides further insights on the ruling mentality. Three recent essays seem to confirm and expand on the main hypothesis and further reveal the monster that confronts us and still controls much of our government.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 8:42 AM | Report abuse

I farted.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 30, 2007 8:36 AM | Report abuse

This just in - women without personality who resemble horses are immune from receiving oral gratification from fat female pages!

Posted by: lylepink | March 30, 2007 8:20 AM | Report abuse

I beefed!

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 30, 2007 8:18 AM | Report abuse

better get out your bicycles, folks, soon no one will be sellin us any oil...

'RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) -- King Abdullah's harsh -- and unexpected -- attack on the U.S. military presence in Iraq could be a Saudi attempt to signal to Washington its anger over the situation in Iraq and build credibility among fellow Arabs.

The White House, in a rare public retort Thursday, rejected the king's characterization of U.S. troops in Iraq as an "illegitimate foreign occupation," saying the United States was not in Iraq illegally.

"The United States and Saudi Arabia have a close and cooperative relationship on a wide range of issues," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said. "And when it comes to the coalition forces being in Iraq, we are there under the U.N. Security Council resolutions and at the invitation of the Iraqi people."

"We disagree with them," Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns told senators. "We were a little surprised to see those remarks."

The king made his remarks Wednesday at the opening session of the two-day Arab summit his country hosted in Riyadh. It was believed to be the first time the king publicly expressed that opinion.

"In beloved Iraq, blood is flowing between brothers, in the shadow of an illegitimate foreign occupation, and abhorrent sectarianism threatens a civil war," said Abdullah, whose country is a U.S. ally that quietly aided the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.'

Posted by: so much for our 'allies' | March 30, 2007 8:02 AM | Report abuse

CC--this is not 2004. Get real. the landscape has changed. Populations have shifted--republicans have proven they are incomptent and corrupt beyond anyone's wildest dreams.

Try to get out of DC and talk to somebody real once in a while.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 7:56 AM | Report abuse


'Dobson has shown so far he's not a believer in any of the front-running Republican candidates. He gave Mitt Romney a lukewarm review and said he couldn't support Sen. John McCain or frontrunner Rudy Giuliani. It signals a split among evangelicals.

"They're looking for someone to head off Rudy Giuliani. Some evangelicals want Thompson to be that person. But others want Newt Gingrich," said Dr. Charles Dunn of Regent University.

Dobson recently had Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House, on his radio show, where the former house speaker admitted an extramarital affair.

"I asked you if the rumors were true that you were in an affair with a woman, obviously, who wasn't your wife at the same time that Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky were having their escapade?" Dobson asked.

"Well, the fact is the honest answer is yes," Gingrich said.

Dobson has not endorsed any candidates. He told "U.S. News & World Report" that he thinks Gingrich is the "brightest guy out there" and "the most articulate politician on the scene today."

Before you can run, you must have your inquisition with the Mullahs. The Dobson Taliban wants Newt - the worst among them. Some of the other Mullahs want Rudy, some want Fred.

How very amusing. When the fundamentalists start going after each other throat's, it will be like the Shia and Sunni. Nobody is more bloodthirsty than these folks.

Amusing...

Posted by: popcorn | March 30, 2007 7:54 AM | Report abuse

JD-- the US will be attacking Iran shortly and then we will be in a real war. I suggest you stop attacked che and wake up out of your sleepwalking.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Che, we're begging you. Come up from the basement now, Mommy's calling you so you can catch the school bus.

Posted by: JD | March 30, 2007 7:45 AM | Report abuse

* The Line: Dems Dominate List of Endangered House Members * Only in your dreams, Chris. It is the Republicans who are becoming an endangered species, with this one-scandal-a-day White House.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2007 7:28 AM | Report abuse

If Hillary becomes the nominee she's liable to take the White House but cost Democrats the House. Senate still looks strong for Dems.

http://intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | March 30, 2007 7:14 AM | Report abuse

For uncensored news please bookmark:

otherside123.blogspot.com
www.wsws.org
www.takingaimradio.info
www.onlinejournal.com

http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_1908.shtml

Is UK-Iran marine incident part of larger war provocation plan?

By Larry Chin
Online Journal Associate Editor

The Bush administration and its allies (notably the UK and Israel governments) have been planning to attack Iran as early as spring 2007. It is not surprising that yet another fabricated pretext is being used to set it up.

Were the 15 British sailors who were captured and detained by Iran involved in a criminal espionage operation, in Iranian waters, in the process of setting up a Gulf of Tonkin-style pretext for war? Or were they captured by Iranian forces in Iraqi waters (as claimed by London), as a defensive political maneuver, in response to American and British covert provocations that have been ongoing for months, and continuing to escalate?

While Western media coverage has done little beyond echo and embellish Tony Blair's immediate shrieking and bellicose assertions ("there was no justification whatsoever . . . completely unacceptable, wrong and illegal"), and the predictable Bush administration support for Blair (the White House "fully backs Tony Blair and our allies in Britain"), and the impending political onslaught against Tehran, little if any analysis has been devoted to the context of what has led up to this incident.

In 2003, Tehran sent a sweeping proposal to the Bush administration (via the Swiss Embassy) for dialogue and regional cooperation. White House officials confirm that this memo was widely circulated and discussed -- and rejected (top Bush administration officials profess a convenient "memory lapse").

The American and British military-intelligence buildup towards a spring 2007 attack is a known fact. Wall Street is anticipating war. The Iran-Iraq region has been brimming with increasing Western intelligence agency activity for well over a year. George W. Bush personally ordered provocative covert operations several months ago, aimed specifically at baiting Iran into a war and a nuclear confrontation. The illegal raid of the Iranian liason office in Irbil, Iraq, has been used as part of a larger case of cooked and false intelligence against Tehran. A number of Iranians, including high-ranking Iran Revolutionary Guard officials, have been captured by Western forces. A top Iranian nuclear scientist was assassinated by the Mossad. Bush also gave a "shoot to kill" order to hunt down and kill Iranians in Iraq. Iran's intelligence minister, Gholam Hossein Ejeli, claims that Iran has uncovered a network of 100 CIA and Mossad agents.

A multinational consensus has already been built in support of an attack on Iran, which is now militarily and politically encircled (a full-scale US-British military buildup is underway). In a March 28 interview on Air America Radio, Senator Carl Levin echoed the simple-minded Bush-Blair propaganda that Iran alone is provoking a confrontation with the West, alone guilty of "brinksmanship" and "nuclear ambitions." Levin repeated the popular assertion that President Ahmadinejad is insane, and that the US Congress is "uniformly" behind stopping Iran, which is "pressuring the West" (no mention of the overwhelming pressure against Iran, by the West). Levin's dim-witted and dangerous views are shared by Democrats and Republicans alike.

In a letter mailed to the Associated Press by the Iranian embassy in London, British sailor Faye Turney apologized for trespassing into Iranian waters. Western officials have quickly responded by claiming (without proof) that Turney's admission was coerced, and blasting a tape of the captured sailors (showing that they are being well treated) as "unacceptable." Meanwhile, London is rushing to provide proof that the boat crews were seized inside Iraqi waters.

It is unlikely that evidence provided by either side, or even a diplomatic exchange or settlement, will defuse the larger confrontation already underway. The incident, and the resulting political tensions, are clearly part of a larger international agenda, similar to the Gulf of Tonkin incident that set up the Vietnam War that the US government was hell-bent to start.

If an overt act of war against Iran occurs around the marine incident, is it conceivable that London will lead the charge and be joined immediately by the Bush administration and Israel.
The Blair government (MI-6, MI-5, etc.) has been among the most overt "war on terrorism" aggressors in recent years. For example, on September 19, 2005, six British armored vehicles smashed into an Iraqi jail in Basra to free two undercover SAS elite special forces commandos who were engaged in a bungled espionage operation (see the BBC report). Indeed, there are reports that a rescue operation against Iran is being contemplated.

Posted by: che | March 30, 2007 6:07 AM | Report abuse

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