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The Line: Rays of Hope for Senate Republicans?

Senate Republicans haven't had much to smile about in the 2008 election cycle. But over the last few weeks they've seen some positive developments in key contests like Colorado and Oregon that give should give GOP strategists at least some reason for hope.

That doesn't mean that Republicans are positioned to make a serious run at reclaiming a Senate majority (they're not). Rather, in the incremental world in which The Fix resides, the sun is shining a bit brighter on the GOP of late.

Right now there are six races that seem almost certain to be competitive next November; the remaining contests still have unresolved questions that hinge on either the status of an incumbent or the recruitment of a challenger. To illustrate this gap, we are leaving the seventh slot on The Line open (but fudging with a tie for No. 8).

As always, the No. 1 race is the most likely to result in a party switch. The Line is meant as a conversation starter, so have at it in the comments section below.

To the Line!

10. Montana: Until we hear Rep. Denny Rehberg (R) say "no," it's hard not to find a place on The Line for this race. From everything we hear, Rehberg isn't likely to run. But if he does perchance get into the race, his candidacy would make Montana one of the most-watched races of the cycle. Sen. Max Baucus (D) has proved resilient despite the state's Republican tilt; he won a fifth term in 2002 with 63 percent of the vote. In a race against Rehberg, however, Baucus would be pushed to his limit. The political junkie in us is rooting for it, but the pragmatist says it's not likely. (Previous ranking: N/A)

9. New Mexico: Sen. Pete Domenici (R) has weathered the initial storm over his role in the dismissal of former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias. But the issue remains in the news, and there is the distinct possibility it will rear its head again in New Mexico. Could the swirl of controversy combined with Domenici's health problems over the last few years make the incumbent decide against a seventh term? We think so, and for that reason keep this seat on The Line. (Previous ranking: 8)

8. South Dakota (tie): Things are starting to get back to normal in the South Dakota political world -- six months after Sen. Tim Johnson (D) nearly died from a brain hemorrhage. It remains an open question whether Johnson will seek reelection; a final decision won't be made until the fall. If he runs, it will be tough to find a serious Republican to challenge him. In an open seat, Republicans would have an immediate advantage due to the GOP lean of the state. Gov. Mike Rounds (R) would likely run in an open seat. Democrats are doing everything they can to create the perception that Johnson is ready to run for a third term. What we don't know is whether or not Dems are engaged in wishful thinking. (Previous ranking: 9)

8. Virginia (tie): We were expecting Sen. John Warner (R) to make an announcement about his reelection plans this summer, but last week he decided to postpone that decision until September. Ugh. He also said he was "still very interested" in serving another term in the Senate. It's tough to know what Warner will decide, although we still tend to think he will retire. An open seat would make for a terrific race, as former Gov. Mark Warner (D) seems ready to run and would immediately become the frontrunner. Rep. Tom Davis (R) is itching to get into the Senate, but it's not clear that he can avoid a primary fight against a more conservative candidate (Jim Gilmore anyone?). (Previous ranking: 7)

7. Vacant: See introduction.

6. Oregon: Democrats may have been slightly overeager in talking up their chances against Sen. Gordon Smith (R) to date. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D) was heavily and publicly courted by national Democrats to make the race before saying no. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D) removed himself from consideration earlier this week, a far smaller blow to the party than DeFazio's no-go; state Treasurer Randall Edwards (D) apparently isn't a likely candidate either. Democrats argue that they have plenty of time to find a candidate but won't offer any names. The Fix is waiting... (Previous ranking: 5)

5. Minnesota: There's no question that Sen. Norm Coleman (R) is vulnerable next November. But a new independent poll makes us wonder whether either of the two Democratic candidates in the race are the right person to take advantage of Coleman's weaknesses. The survey, which was conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, showed Coleman leading comedian Al Franken 54 percent to 32 percent and holding a 52 percent to 29 percent edge over 2000 primary candidate Mike Ciresi (D). Far more troubling than the head-to-head numbers, however, were the favorable/unfavorable scores of the three candidates. Forty-three percent felt favorably toward Coleman while 25 felt unfavorably. Compare that to Franken's 29 percent/32 percent score and Ciresi's 18 percent/13 percent. When challengers start out with fav/unfav numbers like those, it doesn't bode well for the rest of the campaign. Coleman is a strong campaigner and will have all the money he needs at his disposal. This will still be a very tough race for the incumbent, but Franken and Ciresi appear to enter it with significant liabilities of their own. (Previous ranking: 3)

4. Maine: After several months of doubt, Rep. Tom Allen (D) made his Senate candidacy official last week. That announcement coincided with the release of an independent poll that showed Sen. Susan Collins (R) leading Allen 57 percent to 30 percent statewide. There's no question that Collins is popular in the state and that Allen faces an uphill bid. But if the political landscape in November 2008 even closely resembles where things are today, Collins faces a tough fight. Allen seems set on focusing much of his time talking about his early opposition to the war in Iraq -- a sound strategy given Maine's Democratic tendencies. Collins will have to find ways to continue to distance herself from President Bush on the issue. (Previous ranking: 6)

3. Louisiana: This race moves up a slot on the Line despite the fact that Republicans still don't have a top-tier candidate. Why? Because the more we look at the demographic trends in Louisiana, the more convinced we are that this state is becoming less and less friendly for Sen. Mary Landrieu (D). After 121 years of Democrats holding the two Senate seats in Louisiana, Sen. David Vitter (R) was elected in 2004. And now Rep. Bobby Jindal (R) is a frontrunner to win the gubernatorial race this November; if he does it will provide a nice boost of momentum for the party's activists and serve as a dry run for the Senate contest. This race won't stay ranked this high unless Republicans find a strong candidate. Party strategists promise that once the state's legislative session ends -- no later than June 28 -- their candidate recruitment will pick up. The clock is ticking. State Treasurer John Kennedy, who is currently a Democrat, is getting the most attention from GOP recruiters. (Previous ranking: 4)

2. New Hampshire: Can you say "holding pattern"? That's where we are these days when it comes to trying to analyze the state of this race. Until former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen (D) decides whether or not she wants to run, it will be impossible to properly rank this race. We believe Shaheen is seriously thinking about it, and we know that Sen. John Sununu (R) is in a tough spot given the strong anti-Iraq sentiment that swept both of New Hampshire's GOP congressmen out of office in 2006. Republicans believe the political environment won't (and can't) be as bad for Sununu as it was last November and argue that he is already working hard to better his chances. If Shaheen runs, this is a marquee race. Without her, Sununu's reelection chances improve, but he is far from home free. (Previous ranking: 2)

1. Colorado: Republicans (finally) have their man. Former Rep. Bob Schaffer quietly announced his candidacy last week and all indications are that he will have the Republican primary field to himself. Democrats quickly sought to portray Schaffer as a conservative extremist, citing as evidence some of the positions he advocated during his three terms in Congress in the late 1990s. There's no question that Schaffer is more conservative than the average Colorado voter, but he also built up a grassroots following based on the "straight-shooter" reputation he maintained during his tenure in the House and before that in the state legislature. In our mind, Schaffer's biggest problem is fundraising. When he ran in the GOP Senate primary in 2006, he was never able to compete financially with beer magnate Pete Coors in the primary and wound up losing badly. Assuming the party is lined up behind him this time, Schaffer may benefit from a slew of national GOP money. Rep. Mark Udall will be the Democratic nominee. Expect Republicans -- Dick Wadhams we are looking at you -- to try and paint him as a "Boulder liberal" in the months to come. (Previous ranking: 1)

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 18, 2007; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Senate , The Line  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Wag the Blog: Hillary's Iraq Headache?
Next: Kerik on Giuliani

Comments

Baucus vulnerable? You are dreaming. Rehberg is not going to risk his house seat for a long-shot tilt at Baucus.

As to Rehberg's reelection in in 2008, one of the major possible contenders, two term Attorney General Mike McGrath, has announced a run for Chief Justice of the Montana Supreme Court.
With State Auditor John Morrison already taking himself out of the running for any office in 2008, that leaves only State School Superinendent Linda McCullough as a proven statewide campaigner on the Democrat side and she has said nothing about 2008. All three of these Democrats are term-limited out for 2008.
It looks like Rehberg is most likely to be challenged by someone without a state-wide profile who will have a long uphill battle to even achieve name recognition. Rehberg's last challenger, state legislator Moncia Lindeen, was still unknown to 25 percent of the electorate on election day.
Thus Rehberg's reelection chances, while, not necessarily in peril before, are now much brighter. It appears that only an unforseen strong challenge from an unknown will keep Rehberg from retaining his seat in 2008.

Posted by: Alan in Missoula | June 11, 2007 6:24 PM | Report abuse

So you think there is a "ray of hope" for the republicans? Not a chance. They are losers and so are you for suggesting there is a national desire for the continuation of fascism. We are Americans and we've had enough Bushco and his minions.

Posted by: sinderdj | May 21, 2007 10:22 PM | Report abuse

So you think there is a "ray of hope" for the republicans? Not a chance. Their losers and so are you for suggesting a desire for the continuation of fascism.

Posted by: sinderdj | May 21, 2007 10:19 PM | Report abuse

are a lot of angry people out there...


that is not a problem if you have the focus that is needed rather than an explanation...


talking to honest people here, who are uncomfortable not responding to DISHONEST FRAMING...


POINT OF FACT:
Iraq is destroying the economy, unless you live in Washington DC...

nothing is being manufactured in the United States...the middle class is nearing extinction... unless you call people working three peoples jobs that got downsized, or making cuts intheir benefits for fear of being outsourced...


Sheets for Brains, George Wetbottme Bush, has everyone focused on that...

Wanto win the election before you get there????


Make it about NATIONAL SECURITY...

JOBS, INFRASTRUCTURE, GLOBAL WARMING, ECONOMY ASONEISSUE.


GET A TEAM TOGETHER, coordinate efforts with other candidates, you dont have to cover the same issues but you need to burn the brush before you take office...

and whoever doesnt win needs to see themselves as part of a team...

GORE NEEDS TO BE INCLUDED... from the GET GO... HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN PRESIDENT IN 2000,

and would have been if not for levels of electoral fraud...

HE HAS ALREADY SPOKEN ON SOME KEY ISSUES, LIKE the AMERICAN PETROLEUM INSTITUTE

playing the same game as BIG TOBACCO...

why should we let them use OUR MONEY TO CONTROL US...

IF THEY WANT TO SPEW OUT DISINFORMATION, maybe they need to be NATIONALIZED OR SUED????


WE CAN USE THAT MONEY TO REBUILD AMERICA!!!


WHY WORRY ABOUT GAS OLINE PRICES WHEN IT IS REBUILDING AMERICAs future...


STOP OUTSOURCING, CRUSH THE _ILLEGAL_ ALIEN ISSUE, BY sidestepping it and arresting the sponsors and instigators of it... ARRESTHEEMPLOYERS OF _ILLEGALS_

quit chasing packs, arrest the lead dog...


Arrest the Employers of _ILLEGALS_ , _this_ is an issue for EVERY AMERICAN...


AMERICAN MIDDLE CLASS, BRING BACK OUTSOURCED JOBS.... IT IS A MATTER OF NATIONAL SECURITY...

HOUSING INDUSTRY IS IN THE DUMPSTER...


AMERICANS CAN NOT AFFORD TO OWN A HOME... FOREIGN BUYERS ARE TAKING AMERICA AWAY FROM AMERICANS...

SUE THE CORRUPT EXECUTIVE BRANCH AFTER YOU HAVE PROVEN THAT BUSH DIDNT WIN, AND THAT HIS APPOINTEES need to be flushed....

Or as one brilliant postersaid....p:

TURN THE CURRENT DRIVE TOWARDS: occupation of another country to steal from an indigneous population their oil, marginalization of USA CITIZENs, legalization of poverty, and the current drive towards treating people inhumanally, AROUND...

if the people OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA , _knew_ that all that they needed to turn their lives around was to understand that: they had a choice and that they were being lied to on a constant basis by the media and the people that they trusted to act in AMERICAs BEST INTERESTS...

IF your ordinary blue collar (former middle class) now odd jobbing, temp worker at two jobs knew that they could vote themselves a new life....

if they could just _frame_ what they needed to say...

if they knew that all that they needed to turn their lives around was to understand that:

"We have been seriously underminded by our fellow citizens who engage in illegal hiring and their corporate entities."

IF they could comprehend just two things, these facts would change their lives back to the being well-off and having healthcare, benefits and a good life for all citizens...

I think they would go for it, and can be taught well enough to vote on it EFFECTIVELY... a remove the current layer of obfuscation called, COMPLICIT, with elitists interests and against the common good of the country, CONGRESS... we could have a fair and just government.

what do they need to understand to turn their lives around?, teach them these two things:

1. corporations are not acting in the best interests of citizens that they are claiming as their country of origin, and need to have their _favors_ rescinded...

a. outsourcing needs to be regulated

b. companies that move their physical
operations overseas that call
themselves American aren't, and should get
treated as foreign competitors.

c. we need to bring back manufacturing
jobs to the United States, and
reestablish our blue-collar/trade
based, middle-class...so that
opportunity exists for everyone that
is a citizen. There used to be blue collar
jobs that were a ticket out of the ghetto class.

2. hiring of "illegals" moves money out of the country, displaces American workers in the service sector and blue collar sector.

Further:
Our marginalized need to be reclaimed, brought back into a productive society, we need to intervene and that costs money.

a productive society is one that exists to include the citizens of the entire spectrum of wealth, not just the upper .5%.

we don't need to go back to the 19th century mindset that has a wealthy class and a serf or peasant class.

.

YOU WANNA TALK ABOUT IRAQ???


then you should know who April Glaspie is to SADDAM HUSSEIN and George H.W. BUSH..

you should also know the connection between IRAN CONTRA and IRAQ

search on John Negroponte, zmag, Honduras

then search on GARY WEBB, GEORGE H.W. Bush, Parry, and look at the Letter of Understanding with CIA and the Justice Department....it allows drug trafficking in Afghanistan by CIA people with no oversight....think a couple of keys of pure heroin could go missing???

know the connection between PNAC, AEI, JINSA, CHENEY , Douglas Feith, Richard Perle...

Search on CHENEY AND BLACKWATER... learn how the Bush STORMTROOPERS SS TROOPS are being paid for with taxpayer money...without accountability, they can murder with impunity....even if it is _REALLY_ MURDER...they have an exemption by law... maybe they could order them to purge the Democratic Hopefulls...

think they wouldnt??? then you are really kind of stupid...these people are the same ones that invested in NAZI death camps while we were at war... doubt me??? GOOD, then search on BUSH CRIME FAMILY, NAZIS...look at Prescott and Walker... they should have been imprisoned, and yet today, GEORGE W. BUSH HAS A TRUST FUND FROM AUSCWITZ SLAVE LABOR...direct lineage... anyone suing him for recovery of that money??? THEY SHOULD BE... make a great headline...

sportsmanlike behaviour???

show me a good sportsman in the EXECUTIVE BRANCH...

learn to finish with _them_ bleeding or dont run...

.



Posted by: there | May 21, 2007 8:39 PM | Report abuse

The smart play for the Democrats in Maine might be to get Susan Collins to switch to their party. If so she can argue she can do more for Maine in the majority than spend millions to be irrevelant. Allen could be offered say a run for the governorship. Or he can try a primary run.
Arlen Specter of Pa. and Olympia Snowe could be longer shots, but they like Collins face being in the minority trying to defend policies they didn't want for a party that doesn't want them. Some cushy assignments even chairmenships could sweeten the deal.

Posted by: Franco | May 21, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

You are a brave partisan if you want to go there, VAppy, but you forgot a few things:

Iraq war = bad
Increasing the deficit = bad
Corrupt government = bad
Disenfranchising minorities = bad
Alienating our traditional allies = bad
Not going after Osama = bad
Claiming that Iraq sought nuclear material from Africe, even after this had been disproven = bad
Allowing Valerie Plame Wilson to have her cover blown to retaliate against her husband = bad
Turning Iraq into a training ground for terrorists = bad
Withdrawing from NPT = bad
Ignoring July 2001 PDB entitled "Bin Laden determined to strike in U.S.", which mentioned airplanes = bad
Ignoring the advice of the 9/11 Commission = bad
Ignoring the advice of Baker/Hamilton = bad
Ignoring the advice of 'generals in the field' = bad
Ignoring the advice of his father and Colin Powell = bad
Ignoring requests from New Orleans to repair levees before Katrina = bad
Ignoring New Orleans post-Katrina, after having used it as a photo op = bad
"Looking into Putin's soul," yet not seeing his ambition to reconstitute the Soviet Union = bad
Sacrificing 3300+ American lives = bad
Issuing color-coded terrorist alerts timed for political advantage = bad
Allowing Karl Rove the last word on anything = bad
Choosing Dick Cheney as VP = bad
Choosing Gonzales as AG = bad
Making the US poorer, less secure, more confused, and more nervous = bad

I could go on, but you get the idea.

"Next time, do a little research."

http://whyinthehellwouldyouvoterepublican.com
http://dontvoteplutocrat.com
http://heyvapatriotdragyourheadoutofyourbuttandsmellthecoffee.com

Posted by: Mr. T | May 20, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

It appears the Democrats will continue on their 2006 strategy of: Iraq War Bad, Bush Bad, All GOP = Bush, Therefore Vote Dem. They won not by nominating stronger candidates, but by working against any success in the Iraq War and tying Bush and the GOP to an unpopular war.

So far the Democrat Congress hasn't done much except for getting on TV daily with a one liner to attack Bush. Minimum wage? That's stuck in conference waiting to be attached to a must pay bill. Funding the Iraq War? Nope. Drafting an illegal alien amnesty bill with racist organizations, check. Drafting legislation to grant unions undemocratic power as a thank you for the $500 million in campaign donations, check. Added $20 billion in domestic pork to an Iraq War funding bill, check.

Hopefully voters come November 2008 will realize the true harm the Democrat Congress poses and will see through the lies of Pelosi, Reid, and the media that serves at their press secretaries and vote to return the Republicans to power.

http://dont-vote-democrat.blogspot.com

Posted by: VA Patriot | May 20, 2007 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Walter Reed is what happens when you have socialized medicine. Governments should not be administering schools or hospitals.

Posted by: Howdy From Houston | May 20, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

fyi: As usual, folks try and say what I have not said. I am not trying to get anyone to vote for Hillary simply because I plan to. Each of us should check and get information on each of them that we are interested in, and then make up our minds. I have done this, and have said so many times.

Posted by: lylepink | May 20, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

'Large swaths of Baltimore could be declared emergency areas subject to heightened police enforcement - including a lockdown of streets - under a city councilman's proposal that aims to slow the city's climbing homicide count.

The legislation - which met with a lukewarm response from Mayor Sheila Dixon's administration yesterday, and which others likened to martial law - would allow police to close liquor stores and bars, limit the number of people on city sidewalks and halt traffic in areas declared "public safety act zones."

Posted by: umm, what country is this again? | May 20, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Sexual abuse and perversion and illegally incarcerating kids. and it continues in Guantanomo.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- The agency that runs the Texas state juvenile prison system said it will release 226 inmates after a review found their sentences were improperly extended.

Advocates for Texas Youth Commission inmates and their families have complained that sentences are often extended inconsistently or in retaliation for filing grievances.

Jay Kimbrough, who is heading an investigation into allegations of physical and sexual abuse at the agency's facilities, formed a panel to review the records of nearly all inmates with extended sentences. The six-member panel, which included community activists and prosecutors, reviewed the cases of 1,027 inmates whose sentences were extended.

"For the youth we're releasing, we did not find that the extensions were warranted," agency spokesman Jim Hurley said Friday. "The others will be reviewed on a regular basis."

Hurley said the 226 inmates will be released on parole as soon as guardians can pick them up or they can be transferred to an interim halfway house.

Kimbrough said in March that the panel would review the documentation on each inmate's sentencing extension and discuss whether the decision was just and appropriate, and then refer their recommendation to a retired judge.

The review is one of many ongoing reforms to the state's juvenile system after the disclosure of allegations of sexual abuse of inmates by staff and a possible cover-up by agency officials. The commission incarcerates about 4,700 offenders ages 10 to 21.

Posted by: The Bush legacy | May 20, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

In response. . .I'm not a Harkin staffer and I just checked my pulse since I am an Iowa voter. I have voted for Harkin and Grassley in the past. While Grassley wins more overwhelmingly than Harkin, they both have won consistently. Iowans enjoy having senior senators in both parties, and I believe they will continue to send these two back to Washington as long as they continue to run.

Posted by: Fredrick | May 20, 2007 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Lylepink, you trippin', dawg. Why do you say "shame, shame" on me? All I did was to point out your inconsistency - you accused me of posting "bs" when actually it was relevant information, having to do with the history of the Sunni / Shiite rivalry in Iraq.

In case you haven't been paying attention to the news for the past five years, Iraq is a major topic... and the self-styled "kingofzouk" was denying that this was an issue. I was pointing out his (chronic) lack of understanding, and I thought the best way to do that was to refer to a respected news outlet as a source of information. Hardly "bs" - this is one of the most important issues that whoever the next president is will have to address.

You, on the other hand, posted yet another of your daily droolings over Mrs. Clinton... I will admit that whatever chance there was that I would vote for her has been lessened due to my distaste for your uncritical fawning and REFUSAL TO DISCUSS HER POSITIONS ON THE ISSUES. i.e. why do you like her? Everyone else take note - if Lyle answers at all, he will do so only by saying something simplistic like "IMO she is our next POTUS." Lyle, you're not doing her any favors by refusing to discuss and defend her platform, and you're not helping her cause.

If you really want to be Mama Hillary's good little boy, tell me why I should vote for her and not someone else. I'll listen. Just saying (basically) "because I said so, because she will win" is absolutely simplistic and will not win her any friends. Your behavior is antagonistic and because of it, at the moment I am inclined NOT to support Hillary for president. Give me some hard facts that will change my mind. And please, no abbreviations.

Posted by: fyi | May 19, 2007 11:27 PM | Report abuse

JEP and Frederick:
Regarding you're assessment of Senator Harkin's strength in Iowa, either you're Harkin staffers or you just don't understand what's happening in Iowa. Check the pulse of today's Iowa voters.

Posted by: Whatever | May 19, 2007 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Colin,

You don't take two elections and make sweeping generalizations about any state--especially when the 'blue trend' is merely a parallel to that of the nation as a whole. Colorado's turn to the Democrats happened because Latinos got turned off by whackos like Tom Tancredo and the tough national climate for Republicans nationally spilled over into Colorado.

But it's still a conservative state. The votes on marriage and civil unions still demostrate Colorado's core conservatism--even if they don't always vote reliably conservative.

Also realize that the two Dems to win statewide--Salazar and Ritter--are hardly 'blue' Democrats. Ritter ran as a pro-life centrist and Salazar often appeared to the right of Coors on the death penalty and the war on terror. And, of course, just about anyone could have beaten Coors and Beauprez with anaemic campaigns like that.

Colorado is very unpredictable and if you've got a good, centrist Democrat who can pretend to fit the state's conservative image he can win. But Udall is very liberal and represents a very liberal district. Schaffer is likeable and is close to Colorado's conservative character and will win because of it.

Posted by: Chris | May 19, 2007 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra: I have thought about how our military has been used since WW11 and have been unable to come up with a single time that our national security has been threatened, and to futher confuse the folks, each action taken was against those that we had supported in the past, or simply made up for the profit of the "Military Complex" Ike spoke about in the 1950s.

Posted by: lylepink | May 19, 2007 5:32 PM | Report abuse

So Chris, I noticed you chose not to respond to the fact that Colorado has been trending blue for multiple election cycles, preferring to simply state - without support - that Colorado is "conservative." To repeat, Dems now control both houses of the state legislature, won the most recent senate race in an otherwise strong GOP year, and picked up a GOP held senate seat. Oh, and also won the governor's mansion in a walk.

Schaffer was too conservative for the party in '04. Traditionally, he's been a poor fundraiser. 2008 is looking as if it will be, at worst, a neutral year for Democrats. In that context, I agree with basically every pundit -- who favor Udall.

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

WASHINGTON -- The new U.S. Embassy in Baghdad will be the world's largest and most expensive foreign mission, though it may not be large enough or secure enough to cope with the chaos in Iraq.

The $592 million embassy occupies a chunk of prime real estate two-thirds the size of Washington's National Mall, with desk space for about 1,000 people behind high, blast-resistant walls. The compound is a symbol both of how much the United States has invested in Iraq and how the circumstances of its involvement are changing.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 19, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

'A recent tally by McClatchy Newspapers underscored this point: Thomas has spoken 281 words since court transcripts began identifying justices by name in October 2004. By contrast, Thomas' neighbor on the bench, Justice Stephen Breyer , has uttered nearly 35,000 words since January.

A new book about Thomas, "Supreme Discomfort," by Washington Post reporters Kevin Merida and Michael Fletcher, devotes an entire chapter to Thomas' courtroom reticence, calling it "one of his signature characteristics as a justice and a subject of ongoing fascination -- both in the legal community and among the public at large."

all he does is vote whichever way scalia does

Posted by: Anonymous | May 19, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

'NEW YORK What a difference a couple of little letters can make. In a front-page article on Thursday profiling Michelle Obama, New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Jeff Zeleny covered the tensions and aftermath surrounding the decision by her husband, Sen. BarackObama, to seek the presidency. The climax came in a fairly explosive quote, with a friend of the pair revealing that the couple had "fought long and hard about this decision before they made it."

One problem: apparently the friend said "thought," not "fought."

The full correction -- it's not known if the interview was taped or why the Times changed its mind -- that ran on Saturday declares:

"A front-page article yesterday about the role that Barack Obama's wife, Michelle, is playing in his presidential campaign rendered incorrectly a word in a quotation from Valerie Jarrett, a friend of the Obamas who commented on their decision that he would run. She said in a telephone interview, 'Barack and Michelle thought long and hard about this decision before they made it' -- not that they 'fought' long and hard."

Mind-bogglingly sloppy 'journalism' -- or deliberate sabotage?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 19, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

But I think we can all agree that what is alleged against Klaudt is so disgusting that it clearly is the work of a deeply disordered mind who really shouldn't be out in the general public. But this scandal brings up loads of questions, (like how he could live with himself as probably the most obvious). But the most puzzling of all is how he could persistently seek legislative office (and he tried for the Senate but failed) and not only that but go out of his way to sponsor this legislation, given his propensities.

And I think it may be fair to raise a more general question, whether an obsessive concern with regulating abortion and defining marriage has more than just a casual association with sexual perversion. I'm talking about someone who, like Klaudt, gets all proactive about it, deliberately trying to legislate morality, trying to build a career on it.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 19, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I just learned about the arrest of S.D. Republican Ted Klaudt on rape charges. The charges are revolting: He duped foster children in his care into letting him perform "exams" on them to see if they qualified as egg donors.

A little googling turns up this list of bills sponsored and you could predict that among them would be things like:
establish certain legislative findings pertaining to the health and rights of women, to revise the physician disclosure requirements to be made to a woman contemplating submitting to an abortion, and to provide for certain causes of action for professional negligence if an abortion is performed without informed consent.

provide for recognition of certain valid nonresident permits to carry a concealed pistol.

provide for confidentiality of certain firearms information.

establish a task force to study abortion and to provide for its composition, scope, and administration.

prohibit the performance of abortions, except to save the life of the mother, and to provide a penalty therefor and to provide for a delayed effective date.'

why is it that so many so-called 'conservatives' are obssesed with sex, with abortion, with gun ownership, [and that is sexual in itself, because inadquate men and impotent men are more likely to be fearful and want to own a macho gun] and/or sexual perversion?

is sexual inadquacy and failure and obssession about it requirements to belong to the republican party? sure looks that way.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 19, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

thanks fyi.... and more:

'What has been overlooked is that Paul based his position on the effects of the 1953 ouster by the CIA of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh.

An excellent account of this story is revealed in Stephen Kinzer's alarming and revealing book, "Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq," where he writes that Iran was establishing a government close to a democracy. But Mossadegh wasn't happy that the profit from the country's primary resource -- oil -- was not staying in the country.

Instead, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now known British Petroleum, or BP) was getting 93 percent of the profits. Mossadegh didn't like that, and wanted a 50-50 split. Kinzer writes that that didn't sit too well with the British government, but it didn't want to use force to protect its interests. But their biggest friend, the United States, didn't mind, and sought to undermine Mossadegh's tenure as president. After all kinds of measures that disrupted the nation, a coup was financed and led by President Dwight Eisenhower's CIA, and the Shah of Iran was installed as the leader. We trained his goon squads, thus angering generations of Iranians for meddling in that nation's affairs.

As Paul noted, what happened in 1953 had a direct relationship to the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in 1979. We viewed that as terrorists who dared attack America. They saw it as ending years of oppression at the hands of the ruthless U.S.-backed Shah regime.'

Posted by: Cassandra | May 19, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Iowans are pretty content with their senators, with seniority in both parties, in Harkin and Grassley. These men will keep their seats as long as they want them.

Posted by: Fredrick | May 19, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

JEP.... Let's just see how things shake out. Harkin has always avoided the broadside, but this is a different world. A world where ultra-liberals are vulnerable, especially in purple Iowa.

My remark about a new face is just wishful thinking, just like your hoping Delay's stink hangs around. Neither is likely. Especially when there are so many other pols out there exuding their foul odors.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | May 19, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Good point, reason. If you don't have the backing of the national party you can't win primaries. Everyone knows that. And in 2003 Pete Coors was the national and local favorite--and he had much more money than Schaffer. Next year Schaffer will not be burdened by a primary, he'll have a very liberal opponenet in a conservative state, and he'll have plenty of money (though it may take away from other state's funding).

Schaffer will win as long as he runs a smooth campaign. Colorado is pretty conservative and there's a heavy GOP registration advantage. Schaffer keeps Colorado red.

Posted by: Chris | May 19, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

you misspelled "exremental"

So did I... let me correct it

"excremental," i.e., "where the sun rarely shines..."

So how is it the sun is shining brighter in there? After watching the R's debate, it actually seems downright impacted.

Posted by: JEP | May 19, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Truth Hunter, you are going to pay hell getting Iowans to jump off Harkin's battleship, it is one of the most sea-worthy vessels on the political seas right now.

But it is always curious, watching how Harkin suffers these inevitable perrenial broadsides and remains afloat, enmerging from the heavy cannonfire unscathed, then cruising on to the next campaign without so much as a dent.

And just what young Iowa Democrat do you think might be able to beat Harkin?

I would guess they will more-likely run that person against their nearest Republican Congressman.

Since Iowa's R's (Delay clones all) are eternally stuck wearing indelible Delay cologne (eu de-skunk), any young up-and-coming Iowa politician who might give Harkin a run for his corn would be more likely to go after one of the pernicious culprits, and not one of the true heroes of our democracy.

Posted by: JEP | May 19, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

"Rather, in the incremental world in which The Fix resides, the sun is shining a bit brighter on the GOP of late."

you misspelled "exremental"

This is just grasping at straws and pretending they're gold rings...

Posted by: JEP | May 19, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I remain more convinced than ever that Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa is vulnerable.

He's striking out on his pet land management projects in his own party-led Ag committee, and is on the wrong side of immigration for most Iowa voters.

His star is fading. The Dems need a new, younger more vital face than he offers.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | May 19, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

fyi: Shame, SHAME on you for stooping to the lowest of levels by trying to blame someone else. My favorite, Hillary is going to be the next POTUS, so you can just put that in your pipe and smoke it along with whatever else you may have.

Posted by: lylepink | May 19, 2007 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Nobody even knew who John Kerry was in 2003, and nobody really knew anything about George W. Bush in 1999.

Almost every poll is useless right now, especially with 20%+ undecideds. Favorable/unfavorables are not that reliable yet, at least until policy initiatives start being presented in larger numbers. Even the IA and NH numbers are fairly sketchy. Too many people are undecided for these to matter. Wait until October/November, when people really have to start making up their minds.

Posted by: JamesCH | May 18, 2007 11:59 PM | Report abuse

It's cute that Chris writes these columns once every while to try to make his party still look relevant, but here are how the prospects for "GOP Control of Senate in 2008" currently look like at the political futures trading site intrade.com:

https://www.intrade.com/aav2/trading/tradingHTML.jsp?evID=65264&eventSelect=65264&updateList=true&showExpired=false

Bid price: 15%
Ask price: 20%
Last: 17.5%

These are people who put real money on the outcome (thousands of dollars in some cases) - so they research the situation trends to the n-th degree. Right now, nobody will pay money to be more than 15% optimistic for the GOP's chances. (The Dem control contract sells conversely, at about 85% likelihood right now.)

Gee, do ya think this could have something to do with 22 of the 33 seats under contest being currently GOP-held seats??? Did Chris forget to mention that? I'm sure it was an oversight.

Posted by: B2O | May 18, 2007 11:54 PM | Report abuse

well, Lylepink, I was going to advise you to add a little more BS to your post, but on a second reading, you were able to fit in more than enough. My entry, on the other hand, was a response to the kingofzouk's whiney refusal to acknowledge a historical reality without seeing it in print. What a hypocrite you are, and all in the name of Her Bagginess...

Posted by: fyi | May 18, 2007 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | May 18, 2007 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Just a thought about recent polling and how they vary around the country. Ok. has Hillary with a 62% negative, yet she is tied with Edwards for the dem primary with Obama a distant third with only single digit support. Most of the southern states polling I've seen have Hillary with over 50% negative and still beats all the repubs in the general. East and West coast have Hillary winning both the primary and general, as do the middle and north east. I think this info is important in that all areas of the country have Hillary leading, and yet as we all know, polling at this time means little.

Posted by: lylepink | May 18, 2007 11:16 PM | Report abuse

The only real news is from Colorodo. Shaffer vs. Udall. Conservative vs. liberal. I think this is probably to Shaffer's advantage. In 03', you had a family man from poor roots vs. a rich man attempting to appeal to the Christian right who made his fortune getting people loaded with liquor, Salazar vs. Coors. No wonder they lost that race! Udall vs. Shaffer will be the traditional liberal vs. conservative race, and I think the advantage, assuming no primaries, goes to Shaffer.

Other than this, we just have to wait to see who's running and who's retiring before making predictions of any kind.

Posted by: reason | May 18, 2007 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Very hopefully there are no rays of hope for senate republicans.

Posted by: sinderdj | May 18, 2007 8:57 PM | Report abuse

fyi: Try and get a little more bs in your post.

Posted by: lylepink | May 18, 2007 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Shh, Colin, you'll disturb Chris. He finally has it all figured out, and the doctors said it was healthier to let him think he's right.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Crazy how that "GOP State" has been electing Democrats all over the place. It's almost as if..."chris"...is simply saying what he'd LIKE to be true rather than analyzing reality.

Seriously, Dems took over both houses of the state legislature and the governor's mansion last cycle. The previous cycle they elected a US Senator and took out a GOP congressional seat. In contrast, Schaffer couldn't even win the GOP primary in '04 against Pete Coors. Yet the race is going to be a gimme? That's just silly. It's a purple seat, so I expect the race to be close, but just about all the pundits right now give Udall a slight lead.

Posted by: Colin | May 18, 2007 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Chris, Colorado voters are apprarently a lot more conservative than you'd like to believe. Schaffer is a mainstream conservative and much more in line with Colorado voters' politics and values than uber-liberal Mark Udall. It's a GOP state and Schaffer wins. Colorado stays red.

Posted by: chris | May 18, 2007 7:21 PM | Report abuse

here you go, Zouk. (I know Google is difficult for you.) Remember to get out a dictionary for the long words.

NPR.org, February 12, 2007

The division of Islam into Sunni and Shia branches goes far back in Muslim history to the aftermath of the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Its repercussions have rippled through history, with periods of peace and periods of war. With the recent turmoil, the conflict between Shia and Sunni is once again a driving force behind events in the Middle East. Read a chronology:

570: The Prophet Muhammad is born.

598: Ali, who will become the fourth caliph and the first Shiite Imam, is born.

610: The year Muslims cite as the beginning of Muhammad's mission and revelation of the Koran.

613: The public preaching of Islam begins.

630: The Muslims, led by Muhammad, conquer Mecca.

632: Muhammad dies. Abu Bakr is chosen as caliph, his successor. A minority favors Ali. They become known as Shiat Ali, or the partisans of Ali.

656: Ali becomes the fourth caliph after his predecessor is assassinated. Some among the Muslims rebel against him.

661: Violence and turmoil spread among the Muslims; Ali is assassinated.

680: Hussein, son of Ali, marches against the superior army of the caliph at Karbala in Iraq. He is defeated, his army massacred, and he is beheaded. The split between Shia and Sunnis deepens. Shia consider Ali as their first Imam, Hussein as the third Imam.

873: The 11th Shiite Imam dies. No one succeeds him.

873-940: In the period, known as the Lesser Occultation, the son of the 11th Imam disappears, leaving his representatives to head the Shiite faith.

940: The Greater Occultation of the 12th or Hidden Imam begins. No Imam or representative presides over the Shiite faithful.

1258: The Mongols, led by Hulagu, destroy Baghdad, ending the Sunni Arab caliphate.

1501: Ismail I establishes the Safavid Dynasty in Persia, and declares Shiism the state religion.

1900: Ruhollah Khomeini is born in Persia.

1920-1922: Arabs, both Shia and Sunni, revolt against British control of Iraq.

1922-1924: Kemal Ataturk abolishes the Ottoman sultanate and the Turkish Sunni caliphate.

1925: Reza Khan seizes power in Persia, declares himself Shah, establishing the Pahlavi dynasty.

1932: Iraq becomes an independent nation, under King Feisal, a Sunni Arab.

1935: Persia is renamed Iran.

1941: Reza Shah abdicates throne in favor of his son Mohammad Reza Shah. British and Soviet military forces occupy Iran.

1953: A joint CIA/British intelligence operation in Iran keeps the Shah on the throne and ousts nationalist Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh.

1963: Amid widespread protests in Iran against the Shah, Ayatollah Khomeini is arrested, then exiled to Najaf in Iraq.

1967: Israel defeats Egypt, Syria and Jordan in the Six Day War.

1968: The Baath Party seizes power in Iraq.

1973: Israel defeats Egypt and Syria in the Yom Kippur War.

1978-79: Widespread protests force the Shah to abdicate and flee Iran. Ayatollah Khomeini returns to Iran to lead the revolution.

1979: Saddam Hussein seizes power, becomes president of Iraq. Iranian revolutionary students seize the U.S. embassy in Tehran and take diplomats hostage. They are released in January 1981.

1980: Saddam Hussein orders the Iraqi army to attack Iran.

1980-1988: Iran-Iraq war. Hundreds of thousands die on each side and the war ends in a stalemate.

1982: Israel invades Lebanon, seizes Beirut. Hezbollah is formed in Lebanon.

1983: Suicide truck bombers, believed to be Hezbollah, kill 241 American servicemen in Beirut.

1989: Ayatollah Khomeini dies in Iran.

1990: Saddam Hussein orders his army to seize Kuwait.

1991: The U.S. military ousts the Iraqi army from Kuwait. Shia of southern Iraq rebel against Saddam Hussein, who puts down the rebellion brutally. Thousands of Shia are killed.

1991-2003: Iraq is placed under economic sanctions. U.N. weapons inspectors destroy most of Iraq's nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs.

2001: Al-Qaida, led by Sunni Muslim fundamentalists, mounts attacks in the United States, killing 3,000 people. The United States invades Afghanistan and ousts the Sunni Taliban government.

2003: The U.S. military invades Iraq, topples Saddam. An Iraqi insurgency erupts, led by Sunni Baathists and al-Qaida.

2005-2006: Iraqi elections bring Shiite political parties to power in Baghdad, backed by Iran. Sunni-Shiite sectarian violence intensifies.

2005: Hard-line fundamentalist Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is elected president in Iran. Iran pursues acquisition of nuclear technology.

2006: War breaks out between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon. The U.N. Security Council imposes economic sanctions on Iran in response to nuclear activities.

2007: The United States sends additional troops to Iraq.

Posted by: fyi | May 18, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Frank, let me guess, your MOS does not begin with 11_ _ _ . Right?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

zouk, zouk
he's a kook
posting all day long
no life
no brain
just the same old song...

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Zouk Projection - still waiting to hear from you how you "served your country."

The silence is deafening whenever that comes up.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Frank! Jump!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 6:26 PM | Report abuse

"you obviously have no interest or knowledge about the military. " - On the contrary, Frank. I was on the front lines.

I know from whereof I speak; which seems to more than you do with your the "Sky is falling at DOD" post.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Frank - Get real! DoD is playing the Close Down the Washington Monument game, that the National Park Service plays when threatened with budget cuts. DoD has plenty of money that can be restructured within DoD.

Other government agencies have hiring freezes regularly as budgets get tight. Maybe DoD has had it too good, for too long.

Leader Reid and Speaker Pelosi have told the Drunken Sailor (see J. McCain) that he can't spend like a Drunken Sailor anymore; that he's going to have to be responsible.

That's actually showing some leadership.

Get your head out of the trough!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 6:17 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP: You are correct in that I cannot grasp your attempt at humor. Please explain.

Posted by: lylepink | May 18, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP: You are correct in that I cannot grasp your attempt at humor. Please explain.

Posted by: lylepink | May 18, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse

loudon: your idiocy really doesn't qualify as thinking. have you ever posted anything meaningful here?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Loudon - could you be any more trite if you tried? another in the long line of idiocy. LOL - aka ignorant coward - if you hate america so, leave. although France and Germany and England and Australia and Poland and Denmark and Korea and Japan won't have you insulting scum. Maybe spain will still take you. You're hate oozes from your being like cigars from an intern.

Posted by: Trotsky | May 18, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

jonathan: your wishful thinking really doesn't qualify as informed analysis.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | May 18, 2007 6:00 PM | Report abuse

the Democrats will always distort in what it perceives as it's own best interests - they're not an objective reference source on why they are anywhere.

Posted by: Mr Projection | May 18, 2007 6:00 PM | Report abuse

proud: I'm sure be posting the same about Walter Reed if this happened when Bill Clinton was president.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | May 18, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

'Walter Reed has provided and continues to provide excellent medical care for soldiers.'

gawd how brainwashed are these R freaks? It really is shocking.

Posted by: LOL | May 18, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I wish I was as smart as you, sitting there blogging nonsense all day long. don't speak for us about what we know. you obviously have no interest or knowledge about the military. We prefer to keep you morons out of it.

Posted by: Frank | May 18, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

proud - Troops on the ground are the least likely to understand the true reasons why they are anywhere. Their focus tends to be very narrow. Plus they are subject to the propaganda delivery systems of the Pentagon - It doesn't make any difference whether or not the Administration is Republican or Democrat, the Pentagon will always distort in what it perceives as it's own best interests -

It's become worse with the all-volunteer military. The troops' mindset now is already set to ask "How high, Sir?" when ordered to jump.

God love these guys, but they're not an objective reference source on why they are anywhere.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 5:54 PM | Report abuse

did you know there is a DoD wide freeze on contracts and hiring right now, until this is resolved. We will be laying people off next week. this is not some political game to benefit Pelosi's reign of terror. this is the grown up world. It is clear the Dems aren't prepared to lead.

Posted by: Frank | May 18, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

blarg - Welcome to government health care. can't wait for hillary to do it to the rest of us.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight: You read the articles about the horrible living conditions at Walter Reed. The articles described how soldiers were living in squalor, drinking themselves to death, and not getting the physical and mental therapy they needed.

Your response to those articles is to be angry at the Washington Post for publishing the truth. And you say that the management of Walter Reed, who led to those terrible conditions for our wounded soldiers, are doing "an outstanding job."

Are you serious?

Posted by: Blarg | May 18, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Walter Reed - the result of defending your nation against killers

Planned parenthood - killing those in our nation who are defenseless.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

lylepink - I apologize if my attempt at humor was too complex for you to grasp.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 18, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

You got a much better chance of survival at walter Reed than at Planned Parenthood, where only half the patients come out.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Walter Reed is a fine example. blarg- Walter Reed has provided and continues to provide excellent medical care for soldiers, and were it not designated for closure under BRAC then the money to fix problems would have been there. I've been there, and the medical staff and care they provide is first-rate.

Since it is an old facility, of course there are upgrades and fixes needed, but BRAC shut down that process. WaPo articles do a disservice to those committed medical folks there who do an outstanding job for our soldiers.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 18, 2007 5:30 PM | Report abuse

VA - I think that John Warner will retire and Jim Gilmore will win the seat.

AR - Hopefully Mike Huckabee will drop out of the presidential election and run for the Senate - either against Pryor this cycle or Blanche Lincoln next cycle. He would win either election.

LA - Mary Landrieu is going to lose.

SD - Tim Johnson would probably lose if he ran for re-election, even to a weak Republican challenger. People want actual represenatation in the Senate - it's not a feel-good vote. If Johnson doesn't run, Mike Rounds takes the seat against Herseath, and the GOP picks up her Congressional seat, also.

NH - down to the wire, but I think Sununu will hold it.

CO - We'll see what Schaffer can do. I think he can win. A lot is going to depend on the political environment in November 2008 and if the GOP presidential candidate can excite the base into coming to the polls. I suspect that a Fred Thompson at the top of the ticket would pull Schaffer over the finish line.

MT - Rehberg will probably wait to take out freshman senator Tester. The GOP's best hope this year would be RNC Chair and former Governor Marc Raciot. If Raciot ran, the GOP could possibly pick this seat up.

Posted by: Jonathan from Houston | May 18, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

proud-
If the president hadn't vetoed the troop funding bill, the troops would still be stuck in the hot, dusty desert while the rest of America enjoys a three day weekend.

And, by the way, were you all up-in-arms about the lack of funding last year when Congress waited until June to fund the war?

Posted by: bsimon | May 18, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Ask anyone in Walter Reed where they'd rather be, and their answer is "not in Walter Reed". Not a great example.

But you're right. Congress shouldn't take time off while soldiers are still in Iraq. Congress should work overtime on their bill to make sure that the soldiers don't stay in Iraq. That would make you happy, right? Because if not, your complaints are very badly phrased.

Posted by: Blarg | May 18, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP: A slight correction for you, Hillary will be sworn in on 20 Jan 2009 as POTUS. bsimon: A few days ago I mentioned folks that had not talked to me about politics had registered to vote for Hillary. The same thing is happening from info I get from various folk I know and what they tell me. Frankly, I am suprised that what I call "The Hidden Vote" is such a factor. This is coming mainly from repubs that will be supporting Hillary in the general, should she win the primary.

Posted by: lylepink | May 18, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

blarg - Military members understand the high stakes of war, this one in particular. Soldiers know that our vital national interests are at stake, and that even though war is hell, we should not abandon the Iraqi people who still look to us with hope.

Ask any wounded soldier at Walter Reed where they would rather be, and they will tell you they'd rather be back with their unit, fighting the fight and doing their job with their buddies.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 18, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Trotsky -- I assume that means you've signed up and are on your way over then, right? Or are you on the Chenye, Bush, Plan? You know, "other priorities..."

Posted by: Colin | May 18, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Some people take their jobs seriously. they want to win before leaving. Otherwise what's the point? you're concept of "most people" covers Democrats but not soldiers. They understand sacrifice, you don't.

Posted by: Trotsky | May 18, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I've never understood that logic, proud. Why would the troops be upset that Congress wants to bring them back home? Most people would rather be at home than be at risk of dying in a desert halfway around the world.

Posted by: Blarg | May 18, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

What is wrong with these people? Dems acknowledged after the May 1 veto that the withdrawal dates would have to be dropped, and yet they keep stalling the process by refusing to follow through.

Now what? They're gonna go on vaca for memorial Day while our troops are sweating their asses off in the desert with NO support from Congress back home. That's just great.

Democrat leaders are stuck on this withdrawal language are are taking time off now, and our troops are over there doing their job in Iraq 24/7.

Tommorrow is Armed Forces Day.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 18, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Amar Bakshi | American flags fill our streets, our grocery stores -- do they stifle criticism of government?

Because there is so little criticism of government. I sure do miss it.

Posted by: Dem editorial | May 18, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I do beleive that cheney himself poisoned 129,000 pounds of beef. He did it while between gas stations, fixing prices to profit himself. He also stole my tricycle.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

That was him posting that not me.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

'OK zouk or whoever you are. I had no idea how easy it was to make me look foolish. I give up. Please stop.'

he's soooooo nuts.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

That S of a B, Cheney. I told him to poison the beef, but not to get caught.

Posted by: PoisonPack | May 18, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

OK zouk or whoever you are. I had no idea how easy it was to make me look foolish. I give up. Please stop.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP notes
" why do you think that harkening back to the Clinton I years will be good for Hillary's chances? The mere thought of Bill pitching his pup-tent on the White House lawn in anticipation on Jan 19th is enough to drive even reluctant Rs to the voting booth."

This effect should not be underestimated by Dem primary voters. The problem is, I think some Dem voters realize this & might not even think Hillary is the best candidate for the job - but there's a subconscious urge to just stick it to Republicans and nominate her anyway. Such an approach would only hurt the qualitity of political dialogue...

Though that's all just pop-psych analysis not unlike that referenced above...

Posted by: bsimon | May 18, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

(CBS/AP) A meat company is recalling 129,000 pounds of beef products in 15 states because of E. coli contamination, the US Department of Agriculture said.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

yawn.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday I heard about Rush's encounter with Bill. It seems Bill was mainly interested in Rush's date. Same old willy. I look forward to him trying to hide this while his wife twists in the wind.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Someone said:

"The senior science editor at Newsweek magazine has suggested that President Bush is mentally ill -- writing that he is "in a state of denial" over the Iraq war."

An equally idiotic remark was made by someone (Bay Buchanan?) about a supposed Hillary "diagnosis" for something.

There is a some basis in pop psychology to "diagnose" everyone with something, because the abnormal behavior diagnosed by real psycologists is merely an extreme type of behavior that is exhibited by everyone at some point.

There is enough garbage in politics already without adding pop psychology diagnoses to the pile.

Posted by: Razorback | May 18, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

"The asset Hillary has in Bubba cannot be denied"

(kind of reminds me of a SNL sketch about George Michaels..."look at my bum! it has it's own solar system, it cannot be denied!")

hey, it's five o'clock somewhere...

lylepink - why do you think that harkening back to the Clinton I years will be good for Hillary's chances? The mere thought of Bill pitching his pup-tent on the White House lawn in anticipation on Jan 19th is enough to drive even reluctant Rs to the voting booth.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 18, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Murdock is doing what all businesses do, trying to save money. These computations change as energy prices change and as technology improves.

For example, compare 2 light bulbs that will last the same length of time. One, called the green bulb, costs a dollar more, but reduced energy consumed by 20%. All Murdock is doing is comparing the energy savings he gains to the increased price which he loses.

So Murdock does the math and chooses not to buy the more efficient bulb.

Then electricity prices double, or GE, who makes the bulb, improves it so that it now reduces energy consumed by 40%.

Now, for the same reason Murdock did before (cost effectiveness) he now buys the green bulb. Except Rupert is pretty smart, so he just doen't buy the bulb, he puts out a press release to get a little PR hit about how he is "going green".

Posted by: Razorback | May 18, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Following the sudden death of theReverend Jerry Falwell -- an anchor on MSNBC quoted from a satirical article posted on the Web site whitehouse.org -- which is described as an anti-Bush parody site. The anchor said that Falwell's considerable influence on the current administration was backed up by his defacto role as Executive Director of Domestic and Global Policy for the White House.

After a few minutes the anchor pointed out that the official White House site is whitehouse.gov -- but didn't mention that the information from the other site was false.

Posted by: Dem press coverage | May 18, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

The senior science editor at Newsweek magazine has suggested that President Bush is mentally ill -- writing that he is "in a state of denial" over the Iraq war.

Sharon Begley offers as proof the president's insistence the war will succeed, despite what she calls "setback after setback." She continues: "While it's always risky to psychoanalyze a politician from afar, a few things in his past are consistent with the capacity for denial."

She offers up the fact that as a seven-year-old boy, the president tried to comfort his mother after his baby sister died of leukemia.

But Begley has no formal education or training in the field of mental health that we could find. She holds a Bachelor's degree from Yale -- in combined sciences.


Posted by: Dem science | May 18, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I agree that clinton is a much better ex-president than he was president. I am sure hillary will be a much better ex-candidate and ex Senator.

Posted by: Trotsky | May 18, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

wow -- a complete meltdown. impressive.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Zouk made me do it blarg. He really gets to me. I see him everywhere.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP: Bubba has made a statement on one of the Hillary sites a friend sent me a few days ago, quite good. The asset Hillary has in Bubba cannot be denied, for as best I can determine, he is the most popular pol in this country, as well as the world. Sorry, I can't give you the exact cite.

Posted by: lylepink | May 18, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse

The wit and wisdom of ignoRANT coward. All this in just one day. Impressive!

Chris is desperate to find some positive about the Republican prospects in 2008. Give it up! The Republicans will be thrown out of office and the WH in 2008.
To the 'concern troll' -- cut the crap. Everyone knows anyone who signs 'concrned' this or that is a gop troll, OK? Get over it, you ain't fooling anyone.
Looks like it might end up being a race between the two Beauty Shop Boys -- Mitty and Johnny.
Who said hair doesn't matter in America -- maybe it all goes back to sampson.... virility and all.
Oh, the b*tch is seething -- she has just as much hubris as Paulie Wolfnuts himself. Or Leona Helmsley. How dare anyone treat them like Little People? How dare anyone say they have to play by the rules?
Let's stop the hyperbole. The Gang That Couldn't Fire Straight is doing enough damage to themselves. There's no need to distort their actions.
You didn't happen to work at the polls in Florida in 2000 did you?
koz hasn't arrived yet. i'm sure he'll be here shortly, with his crazed hate-filled rants about "Libs' and Pelosi and Reid and global warming....
I am the only one here allowed crazed hate-filled rants. you should not be concerned with Pelosi or Reid, you should be obsessed with koz, like me. and global warming is settled, not open to debate.
Kill the priest! Kill the priest!
or how about
Have you checked the children?
or
It puts the lotion in the pan, or else it gets the hose again!
Heeeeeeere's Zouky!!
look at all the crazed rightwing comments starting at noon, blarg.... it's just like i predicted: at noon koz comes on and starts ranting about 'surrender monkies' global warming, harry reid, pelosi and dems in particular. and right on schedule, there he is, with a lot of names, but the exact same rants that he does every single day.
why bother to argue, blarg? he's insane.
'There is some irony in looking back at the Ashcroft Justice Department, now seeing that we didn't know how good we had it.'
Yeah he was great -- arrested an american citizen, tortured him and kept him locked up for 5 years without any evidence or charges against him.
Those were the days.
it's still koz, blarg. it's got the trademark rants
You see, I am ignorant coward and my opinion substitutes for facts everywhere I go. I do suffer from paranoia and megolomania, but that doesn't mean they aren't out to get me because I am so great.

Still wondering if Zouk becomes indignant at himself when he posts as me
Am I me or am I zouk? the confusion is starting again. If it makes sense it must be zouk posing as me. If it is mindless, it is me. Just so you know. BTW, this is me.
'no facts, we're Dems' signed by 'Mitch'. 100% KOZ. i think the election has driven him truly insane... now he's frothing AND drooling.
zouk must be minority leader. He is also oreilly/coulter/limbaugh/razor/proud/bush/cheney/condi
I am truly obsessed. I can't even think straight, although that is not new.
I think all cons are insane but I still think bush knew about 911. as do all of my followers who I know love and respect me.
my guess is, after reading his every 3 minute posts which become more insane every day, that he gets disability payments for his mental illness. Eithr that, or he's on welfare.
CC is part of the washington post propoganda machine. Look up how Washington post helped lead this country to war. CC is nothing but a bushie and a cronie. this site is garbage
'this site is garbage'-- then go away, KOZ.
Don't you mean in the delusional DC bubble world in which The Fix resides, CC?
i might point out that only zouk uses this --'ignoRANT coward.'
you know, you really are freakin nuts. you are a sick monkey.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

anonymous coward writes
"sounds like Al gore and clinton."

Clearly then, you won't be surprised when the tactic fails this time, much like it did last time.

Posted by: bsimon | May 18, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Anonymous guy who (probably) isn't zouk: Stop pointing out what posts you think are zouk. It's obnoxious. Other people here are capable of thinking for themselves; we don't need you repeatedly pointing out the obvious.

Anonymous guy who definitely is zouk: I don't see bad news or TRUTH coming from you. I see a bunch of meaningless article snippets. Then I see people pointing out the various logical flaws in your posts. Then I see you post another article instead of defending the garbage you've posted. It's easy to respond to your crap; you're the one who can't respond to the TRUTH.

Posted by: Blarg | May 18, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

'Rather, in the incremental world in which The Fix resides, the sun is shining a bit brighter on the GOP of late.'

Don't you mean in the delusional DC bubble world in which The Fix resides, CC?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

'Still obsessed with zouk eh coward. Can you post one item that is zouk free or is your obsession overcoming you? the best way to clean up the garbage would be to take you out - ignoRANT coward.'

i might point out that only zouk uses this --'ignoRANT coward.'
you know, you really are freakin nuts. you are a sick monkey.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Murdoch, now that you have joined our religion, all is forgiven.

the greens

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

You might want to see what Rupert Murdoch has to say about going green and business, razorback:

'You're known for making business-savvy decisions. What's your bottom-line argument for your climate program?'

Whatever it costs will be minimal compared to our overall revenues, and we'll get that back many times over, by running a more efficient company and by growing morale among our employees.

'What's the business logic of weaving the climate issue into yourcontent?

From what we see within our own company and from reading polls, the younger generation gets the issue of climate change completely. I think it will grow our appeal to younger audiences and bond our programming to them.

'What opportunities does it present from an advertising perspective?'

There will be a lot of national and international marketers who will want to take advantage of the public mood around climate change. Car manufacturers are going to want to compete on fuel economy, for instance. It may not be the main thrust of their marketing, but we are certainly hearing from advertisers that they want to reach audiences on this issue.'

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/05/17/murdoch/index.html

Posted by: drindl | May 18, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

'this site is garbage'-- then go away, KOZ.

Still obsessed with zouk eh coward. Can you post one item that is zouk free or is your obsession overcoming you? the best way to clean up the garbage would be to take you out - ignoRANT coward.

so much bad news for Dems today. this site is swimming in it. It is difficult to repond to all that TRUTH.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

perform a complex dance that distances themselves from the Bush legacy, without appearing to run

sounds like Al gore and clinton.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Razorback - The consumer is going to have to pay the piper some day. Developing solutions is not screwing the consumer.

Failing to develop alternatives to a non-renewable finite source of energy would be screwing the consumer.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee said Thursday that he expects the investigation into the firings of federal prosecutors will lead to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' resignation.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

'this site is garbage'-- then go away, KOZ.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

lylepink -the thing to watch for is Bill Clinton attempting to convince liberals that it's unfair for Sen.Obama to be regarded as more antiwar than Mrs. Clinton.

According to Bill, "This dichotomy that's been set up to allow him to become the raging hero of the antiwar crowd on the Internet is just factually inaccurate" .


Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 18, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

lylepink writes
"The thing to watch for is how the repubs run as far as they can from GW"

Even more, the thing to watch is how soon the repubs start running. Senator Coleman (R-MN) is warming up; yesterday he joined the growing ranks of Republicans calling for AG Gonzales' replacement. But thus far his steps away from the President have been tentative, at best. He - like many Republicans - has to perform a complex dance that distances themselves from the Bush legacy, without appearing to run.

Posted by: bsimon | May 18, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee said Thursday that he expects the investigation into the firings of federal prosecutors will lead to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' resignation.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Andy R: We are pretty close today. I think Susan Collins has done a good job and hope she wins. Dole, to me, should be #1 for the Meet the Press fiacso. The atty issue could be big trouble for Pete. This immigration proposal doesn't make sense from the info I have been able to get. The thing to watch for is how the repubs run as far as they can from GW, while the spin will continue to be GW is not running in 08, the thought will be any repub that has supported GW is about the same as him.

Posted by: lylepink | May 18, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Bill Richardson, presidential candidate, said today:

"He said the most important step is pushing low- and zero-petroleum plug-in cars, which he estimates would save 2 million barrels a day. He said he would hold a "two-day White House plug-in summit with automakers, utilities and labor" within 30 days of taking office."

http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/richardson-seeks-to-earn-label-of-energy-president-2007-05-17.html

This would require an enormous investment in new power plants and transmission lines, and cars will have to be much smaller than they currently are.

When "automakers, utilities and labor" all get together, you know who is about to get screwed: The consumer.

At least Richardson understands that if you believe in the more draconion descriptions of the global warming problem then your proposed solution must be equally draconion.

Posted by: Razorback | May 18, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

No immiration debate? Didn't Bill O'Reilly say last night this bill WILL DESTROY the republican party? But the title is a new ray of hope for Republicans?

CC is part of the washington post propoganda machine. Look up how Washington post helped lead this country to war. CC is nothing but a bushie and a cronie. this site is garbage

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Mitch...KOZ...whoever you are today. Those are some fun numbers, other than the fact that Democras are going to extend the cuts you mentioned and simply not renew the tax cuts for the wealthy. Nice try though.

Also, pretty sad you've changed your name. I guess you must have been ashamed at the stuff you wrote in the past? If that's it, I suppose I understand your decision. What campaign are you working for these days anyhow?

Posted by: Colin | May 18, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

'So in other words, no evidence of your claim.' you don't understand, KOZ doesn't look things up. He might stumble across an actual fact, and that would be too scary.

my guess is, after reading his every 3 minute posts which become more insane every day, that he gets disability payments for his mental illness. Eithr that, or he's on welfare.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

he who shall not be named writes
"So in other words, no evidence of your claim."

Who is this masked (wo)man? Will (s)he/it ever reveal their true identity? Or would it be too embarrassing to put a name to their ignorance?

Posted by: bsimon | May 18, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

"Yes, as Murdoch said in an exclusive interview on his climate plan, even Fox News' right-wing firebrand Sean Hannity can be expected to come around on the issue."

That's just wrong.

I'm no fan of Hannity. But that quote from Murdoch implies that he's going to force Hannity to "come around" on global warming. It implies that everyone who works for Murdoch has to believe everything that Murdoch believes, or at least pretend to.

I applaud what Murdoch is doing, in general. It's good that he's going carbon-neutral, and persuading his audience to join the cause. But I really hope he doesn't force his TV hosts and newspaper columnists to back a cause they don't believe in. I'm fine with him refusing to give an outlet to global warming deniers. But I don't want Murdoch to make Hannity parrot his beliefs on global warming.

Posted by: Blarg | May 18, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

PRINCETON, NJ -- A substantial majority of the American public favors the expansion of federal hate crime legislation to include crimes against people based on their gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The U.S. House of Representatives has passed such legislation, which is now being considered by the Senate. Republicans, conservatives, and religious Americans are slightly less likely than others to favor the expansion of hate crime legislation, but a majority of those in each of these conservative and religious groups favors the proposed legislation.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) has accused Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) of threatening him on the House floor and plans to force the full House to vote next week on whether to reprimand him.

A week ago Rogers offered a procedural motion to the fiscal 2008 intelligence bill that would have prevented funding for an earmark Murtha sponsored to authorize $23 million for the National Drug Intelligence Center, a government agency based in his district.

Rogers said Murtha approached him on the House floor Thursday and told him: "I hope you don't have any earmarks in the defense appropriations bills because they are gone and you will not get any earmarks now and forever."

Rogers argues that the threat is a violation of House rules, which preclude members from conditioning earmarks on a members' vote. House Rule XXIII, Clause 16 states that members "may not condition the inclusion of language to provide funding for a congressional earmark, a limited tax benefit, or a limited tariff benefit in any [legislation]."

The resolution offered by Congressman Rogers outlines a blatant abuse of power stemming from a Republican-authored proposal to cut wasteful earmark spending from legislation pending before the House," Boehner said in a statement. "...No member of Congress should be threatened or intimidated because of his or her efforts to crack down on wasteful spending and protect the interests of taxpayers.

the culture of corruption is open for business under new management.

Posted by: power drunk Dems | May 18, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

In a closed-door meeting with Bush's top aides on Capitol Hill, Democrats said they'd strip billions of dollars in domestic spending out of a war spending that Bush opposed if the president would accept a timetable to pull combat troops out of Iraq. As part of the deal, Democrats said they would allow the president to waive compliance with a deadline for troop withdrawals

Pelosi - "You can break your promises with the waiver, we do it all the time".

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

razor says: "when someone like Romney thinks that public opinion on immigration gives them an advantage over McCain, they overstate the case."

I agree with that. There's plenty of dissent on either side of the aisle, and also in the illegal-immigrant community itself who are a bunch of ingrates for the most part, imo, as evidenced by thier marches and complaints against this country and it's laws. You can't please everyone on this. I think the current bill is an improvement over last year's because it mandates the border security upgrades first, before anyone gains legal status.

Getting hung up on semantics will only bog down this effort.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 18, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

"It is not my job to repair your ignorance. But since I've bothered with this much, go to wikipedia & read up on the history of Persia, the Shia, the Sunni and Islam in general. Knowledge is power."

So in other words, no evidence of your claim.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Immigration is a lose-lose situtation politicly for both sides. If they pass this law then the right will scream about 'amnesty' and the left will claim that it is too restrictive.
If they don't pass this bipartisan law then the Dems will get labeled as do nothing and the Republicans will be labeled as obstructionists. Not to mention the fact that MOST of the people in this country just want this problem dealt with without too much trouble.

The best thing to do if you are a politician in Washington is get this law passed now so that if people get riled up about it they will have forgotten it by next November.

Posted by: Andy R | May 18, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

check this out -- big surprise...

May 17, 2007 | When Rupert Murdoch, the cantankerous and conservative owner of Fox News, enthusiastically joins the fight against climate change, you know we're past the tipping point on the issue. Think landslide.

Last week, the media mogul pledged not only to make his News Corp. empire carbon neutral, but to persuade the hundreds of millions of people who watch his TV channels and read his newspapers to join the cause. Messages about climate change will be woven throughout News Corp.'s entertainment content, he said, from movies to books to TV sitcoms, and the issue will have an increasing presence in the company's news coverage, be it in the New York Post or on "Hannity & Colmes." Yes, as Murdoch said in an exclusive interview on his climate plan, even Fox News' right-wing firebrand Sean Hannity can be expected to come around on the issue.

Murdoch's climate conversion marks a major turning point for a man who has made campaign contributions to numerous conservative Republicans, including recently ousted Sens. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., and Conrad Burns, R-Mont., both of whom have expressed skepticism about the reality of climate change. Now, a willingness to address the climate challenge will be a "litmus test" in his political giving, Murdoch said.

Still, Murdoch is hardly a sentimental do-gooder. "Acting on this issue is simply good business," he said during the launch of his climate plan last week.'

teehee -- hannity forced to deal with 'going green' ...

Posted by: drindl | May 18, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

JimD writes
"Do not kid yourself that the bulk of this anti-immigrant feeling is mostly from Democratic union members. This is an issue that does split the usual left-right coalitions."

Indeed. The most virulent anti-immigrant rhetoric I've seen has come from the right, not the left.

Posted by: bsimon | May 18, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

"bsimon, what about the other 1400 years? even assuming we give you that one."

It is not my job to repair your ignorance. But since I've bothered with this much, go to wikipedia & read up on the history of Persia, the Shia, the Sunni and Islam in general. Knowledge is power.

Posted by: bsimon | May 18, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Seniors benefited from short term gain?

The think about seniors is that the short term and the long term begin to merge.

Posted by: Razorback | May 18, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Razor

There are a lot of conservatives who are virulently anti-immigration. Some of the anti-immigrant feeling in the population is driven by old-fashioned nativism and it is ugly. I have had a number of e-mails forwarded to me by very conservative friends and acquaintances railing against immigration and non-English speakers. Do not kid yourself that the bulk of this anti-immigrant feeling is mostly from Democratic union members. This is an issue that does split the usual left-right coalitions.

Posted by: JimD in FL | May 18, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Razor

There are a lot of conservatives who are virulently anti-immigration. Some of the anti-immigrant feeling in the population is driven by old-fashioned nativism and it is ugly. I have had a number of e-mails forwarded to me by very conservative friends and acquaintances railing against immigration and non-English speakers. Do not kid yourself that the bulk of this anti-immigrant feeling is mostly from Democratic union members. This is an issue that does split the usual left-right coalitions.

Posted by: JimD in FL | May 18, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

"What they rarely mention is how much seniors benefited from those (tax) cuts"

Seniors benefited in more than one way. They not only got the short-term gain, but the bill for that gain was foisted off onto succeeding generations.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

oreilly/coulter/limbaugh/razor/proud/bush/cheney/condi????

What about Hoffa and Elvis? They even came to our weekly meeting last night.

Posted by: Razorback | May 18, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Louden Voter.

Think Iraq with troops on the ground going into the election.
Think mortgage baloon bust closing every Home Depot and Menards.
Think someone finding finding a back up of Karl Rove's emails on his NRC provided computer and Blackberry. (That is by the way also a violation of federal ethics, him even having already admitted that those existed)

If I were the republicans, I would be very worried even with the level or poor political strategy in play on the Democrat side.

God forbid if the Democrats had a stategist who was as cut throat as Karl Rove directing their operations.

Posted by: poor richard | May 18, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZWJjODhlYTQ5MWYyZmQ1ZjQ5M2NhODEwZWM1ZTJmNjA=

zouk must be minority leader. He is also oreilly/coulter/limbaugh/razor/proud/bush/cheney/condi

I am truly obsessed. I can't even think straight, although that is not new.

I think all cons are insane but I still think bush knew about 911. as do all of my followers who I know love and respect me.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Duncan Hunter may need to speak to his campaign staff, and tell them to stop giving ammo to his son Duncan D. Hunter's opponents in the GOP primary for his House seat: His Presidential campaign site says of the younger Duncan: "Duncan D. and his wife, Margaret, have three children, Duncan Lee, Elizabeth Grace and Sarah Louise, and reside in Boise, Idaho." Duncan D. Hunter is running for the elder Hunter's House seat from San Diego.

Posted by: Kevin | May 18, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

'no facts, we're Dems' signed by 'Mitch'. 100% KOZ. i think the election has driven him truly insane... now he's frothing AND drooling.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

The immigration issue is a unique political issue.

Usually when the public thinks one thing and the political class thinks another, an enterprising member of the political class will enhance their standing with the public by agressively taking the public's side of the issue, and by bashing the political class.

Because the typical coalition of the left and the typical coalition of the right are both split on immigration, the normal political strategy will not work.

The left is divided because some on the left associate immigration restriction with racism, but unions see immigration as a job issue. The right is divided because nationalist types see anti-immigration as a cultural preservation issue, and other business types want lower cost labor.

So when someone like Romney thinks that public opinion on immigration gives them an advantage over McCain, they overstate the case. This is because much of the opposition to immigration comes from union types, who wont be voting for McCain or Romney anyway.

Posted by: Razorback | May 18, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Am I me or am I zouk? the confusion is starting again. If it makes sense it must be zouk posing as me. If it is mindless, it is me. Just so you know. BTW, this is me.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

The ray of hope for Senate Republicans is that it's unlikely the Dems will win enough seats to get to 60 votes.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | May 18, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse


The New York Daily News reports that Rudy Giuliani has been very supportive of third wife Judith Nathan Giuliani's role in his political work, and has been paying her a salary of $125,000 annually as an official speechwriter since before they were married.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

bsimon, what about the other 1400 years? even assuming we give you that one.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

The newly announced immigration compromise is getting a mostly negative reaction from GOP Presidential contenders. Mitt 'Romney has a press release out slamming the deal, while potential candidate Fred Thompson is also calling for rejection of the bill. Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani's campaign has a press release out that doesn't give a straight answer: "Rudy's top priority and main objective is to ensure our borders are secure and to stop potential terrorists and criminals from coming in ... We need to know who is coming in and who is going out of this country if we are going to deal with those who are here illegally." Only John McCain, himself a sponsor of the compromise, is unequivocally supportive.'

I wonder how McCain's supporters feel about this... anyone?

Posted by: drindl | May 18, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Reid Slaps McCain For Missing Votes

You may recall John McCain slapping around Harry Reid in the first debate for his comment that "the war is lost."

Reid seems to be targeting McCain for payback, by complaining to the press about McCain missing votes on Iraq.

The McCain response:

McCain's campaign quickly counterattacked. Danny Diaz, spokesman for McCain, said, "John McCain has continued to stand up for what he believes: victory in Iraq and improved protection of our nation through comprehensive immigration reform. It is unfortunate that the Senate majority leader is more focused on partisan attacks than solving the serious problems confronting our nation."

May I suggest a better response? "Unless my vote is needed to shut down your lame we-give-up proposals, I'm not even going to bother to show up for your pathetic attempts to win the approval of the rabidly antiwar 60s-acid-flashback types who celebrate our every defeat and avert their eyes when our military succeeds. You know these lets-get-out-now bills aren't going to pass, I know they're not going to pass, so why waste everyone's time with them? My time can be better spent talking with the American people, and your time can be better spent on land deals or something."

Or you know, whatever.

Posted by: John | May 18, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Everyone takes a hit. Forty-five million working families with two children will see their taxes increase by nearly $3,000 annually. They'd see the current child tax credit cut in half -- from $1,000 to $500. The standard deduction for married couples is also cut in half, from the current $3,400 to $1,700. The overall effect on married couples with children is obvious: Far from shifting the burden onto the wealthy, the Democratic budget drives up taxes on the average American family by more than 130 percent.

Seniors get hit hard too. Democrats like to crow that only the richest one percent of Americans benefit from the stimulative tax cuts Republicans passed in 2001 and 2003. What they rarely mention is how much seniors benefited from those cuts in the form of increased income as a result of lower taxes on dividends and capital gains. More than half of all seniors today claim income from these two sources, and the Democratic budget would lower the income of every one of them by reversing every one of those cuts.

no facts, we're Dems

Posted by: Mitch | May 18, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

The Hill reports that Senate Maj. Leader Harry Reid's office has attacked John McCain for missing many key votes (He has not cast a single vote since early April, including four missed votes about Iraq this year). "Sen. McCain has spent considerable time defending the president on Iraq and catering to the Republican base on immigration, but has only managed to show up for four of the last 14 Iraq votes and parachute into [yesterday's] immigration press conference at the last minute," said a Reid spokeswoman.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

In TX, despite the strong GOP lean of the state, Sen. John Cornyn is not particularly popular. But the Dems only have a shot at winning if Rep. Henry Cuellar, Myr. Bill White, or (possibly) Rep. Nick Lampson run. A DSCC poll in KY showed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell a single point ahead of Rep. Ben Chandler, the former Attorney General who lost a bid for Governor in 2003. Chandler leads McConnell 55% to 42% with Iraq included in the question. However, according to the Almanac of American Politics, when Chandler was elected to the House in '04 he supported the war. He could change his position or moderate it, but if he doesn't he could face an easier Senate race in 2010. The real question is whether this shows McConnell's vulnerability, Chandler's popularity, or the mixture of the Governor and the President's popularity acting as a lead weight on the GOP in KY (which is what happened in OH in 2006). In MT, Rep. Rehberg probably won't run, but what about former Gov. Judy Martz, Lt. Gov. John Bohliner, and St. House Spkr. Scott Sales?
Burns was written off as the loser in '06, but ended up losing to Jon Tester by only 1%. Plus, he had clouds of corruption over his head as he repeatedly made stupid remarks. Baucus has been proven an ability to hang on to his seat, but so did Burns prior to last year (though he did not have the ability of Baucus). A Presidential year increases GOP turnout in GOP states, so perhaps a well-financed candidate could do it. New Jersey's one hell of a head-scratcher as well. Sen. Frank Lautenberg is unpopular, and there's the threat of a primary challenge from 3 congressmen and a state senator. Tom Kean Jr. may run again, but may decide to run for Governor in '09 if it looks like Lautenberg will lose the primary. I think Baucus will likely neutralize opposition and cruise to reelection, but who knows who else will. In SD, when the GOP polled likely challengers, Gov. Rounds was not one of them, so we'll see if he's interested. If Johnson runs for reelection, it seems like the less campaigning he does, the better he'll do, due to sympathy for his health problems.

Posted by: J Perez | May 18, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Still wondering if Zouk becomes indignant at himself when he posts as me.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

"If the Senate (Republicans) don't block the new immigration reform w/a filibuster, they can kiss off a lot of their base, including this libertarian."

It just occurred to me that "Immigration" may be just the way for the GOP to get back to sanity and become a responsible major party again.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Rothenberg's rankings are pretty close to CC's, although he just has them in categories and not specific numbers:

http://rothenbergpoliticalreport.blogspot.com/2007/04/2008-senate-ratings.html

New Hampshire isn't as high though.

Posted by: Jose Reyes | May 18, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I just discovered that those "rants" are cut and pasted from paid columnists and Senators. I thought cutting and pasting was a trade secret only I knew.

But since I am not paid to do anything, I will be forced to admit that it is I who rant. I am just mad because all those facts don't fit my understanding of what is right. since I have no retort to any of those posts, I will continue to fault them for being posted by my arch-nemesis - Zouk. Obviuosly, anything posted by him is immediately discredited and unworthy of response - even if it is all TRUE.

You see, I am ignorant coward and my opinion substitutes for facts everywhere I go. I do suffer from paranoia and megolomania, but that doesn't mean they aren't out to get me because I am so great.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

'just the facts' writes
"Other than the Iraq/Iran war, (crazy vs lunatic, border dispute with no religious overtones) name a single conflict?"

Actually, the Iranian boys sent to the front lines in that conflict were gladly going to their deaths, knowing they would be rewarded as martyrs. The religious motivation of the Ayatollah was to regain control of mosques sacred to the Shia.

Posted by: bsimon | May 18, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I absolutely LOVE it when Republicans pass tax cut bills that expire, so they can pretend on the nation's balance sheet that they're not running up huge structural deficits, argue that failing to extend the tax cuts equals a tax increase.

You folks wrote the bill that made the original tax cuts temporary. Failure to affirmatively cut taxes again does not equal raising taxes. That just doesn't make any sense.

Also, isn't it fun that our new anonymous poster, who I believe used to rage against the "coward" who criticized him, doesn't note that most of the tax "increases" he's talking about only affect the top 1%, whereas the new Democratic Congress is working to reduce middle class taxes by fixing the AMT so it stops applying to groups other than the uber-wealthy? It's ALMOMST as if this anonymous poster is trying to be intentionally misleading. Naaah...

Posted by: Colin | May 18, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons (R) has had a few brushes with the law recently over vacationing with defense contractors and grabbing a woman in a parking garage. Now that federal investigators are bearing down on him over an alleged cash-for-contracts scheme, Gibbons is likely to remain in the limelight.

Federal investigators are probing former Republican House member Gibbons' involvement with the tiny Nevada software company eTreppid Technologies. Gibbons admits he opened doors for the company, which has secured millions of dollars in defense contracts. Gibbons has, in some instances, called gifts from eTreppid appropriate because of his longtime friendship with the company's owner Warren Trepp. Other times Gibbons has denied accepting lavish gifts. Gibbons and Trepp lived the high life together at least once on a Caribbean cruise, of which there are photos, but it's unclear who picked up the tab. At a minimum, Gibbons has accepted $100,000 in campaign contributions from Trepp, according to disclosure records.

Trepp's company nabbed at least a few "black-budget" contracts, which are those kept off the publicly-available Congressional budget. Gibbons may have helped the company secure a $100 million contract last year for work with the U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Fla. eTreppid got another black-budget contract, for $3 million.

The corruption allegations against Gibbons surfaced after a former eTreppid employee, Dennis Montgomery, sued the company saying they are wrongfully using software he created. Montgomery has given the press photos from the Caribbean cruise where, in one shot, Gibbons cradles the breasts of two women and smiles along with the other nine around him. Montgomery has said he saw his former boss give Gibbons $100,000 in cash and casino chips on the same trip.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

it's still koz, blarg. it's got the trademark rants.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse


'There is some irony in looking back at the Ashcroft Justice Department, now seeing that we didn't know how good we had it.'

Yeah he was great -- arrested an american citizen, tortured him and kept him locked up for 5 years without any evidence or charges against him.

Those were the days.

Posted by: LOL | May 18, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I don't know who Mitch is, but he's wrong. The Bush tax cuts are set to expire soon. They're temporary. Allowing temporary tax cuts to end is not raising taxes. It's restoring taxes to the level they were at before. If Republicans wanted those tax cuts to be permanent, they should have made them permanent. But then they couldn't complain about the largest tax increase in history!

I don't need advice on who I should and shouldn't talk to from someone who can't even sign their posts.

Posted by: Blarg | May 18, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

politicaljunky writes
"This is what I find funny: When ashcroft was in office liberals attacked him as a "bush crony" and "the worst AG ever." Then when he's out of office, they uphold him as the shining spectacle of the justice system so they can attack bush and gonzales."

There is some irony in looking back at the Ashcroft Justice Department, now seeing that we didn't know how good we had it.

politicaljunkie - are you arguing that AG Gonzales is an example of a perfect AG?

Posted by: bsimon | May 18, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Until Thursday, the largest tax increase had been in 1993. That's when Bill Clinton proposed a monstrous budget that even he would later admit had contained too many tax hikes. The Democrats lost the House of Representatives the following year for the first time in half a century. Clinton, speaking at a Texas fundraiser soon after Election Day, pinned the blame squarely on the hikes: "It might surprise you," he said, "to know that I think I raised them too much too."

Despite what happened to Democrats as a result of that tax hike, the budget they submitted their first year back in control of both houses of Congress -- and pushed through Thursday on a party-line vote -- provides a framework for tax hikes a full three times larger than the one that put them in the minority back then. This budget reverses more than a decade of Republican tax relief

The Democrats sounded a thrifty tune in the run-up to the November elections. They know about the tax-and-spend stereotype, so many insisted things would be different this time around. But budget season is always the most telling time of year on Capitol Hill. And as Democrats on Thursday advanced the largest tax hike in history, the story they're telling is this: The party of tax and spend is back, with a vengeance

Mitch

Posted by: just the facts maam | May 18, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

look at all the crazed rightwing comments starting at noon, blarg.... it's just like i predicted: at noon koz comes on and starts ranting about 'surrender monkies' global warming, harry reid, pelosi and dems in particular. and right on schedule, there he is, with a lot of names, but the exact same rants that he does every single day.

why bother to argue, blarg? he's insane.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

don't get between me and a camera if you know what's good for you.

Posted by: Chuck Schumer | May 18, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Cow flatulence has nothing to do with global warming. The greenhouse gases in cow flatulence come from the plants that the cows ate. While the plants were alive, they took CO2 out of the air. So cows don't contribute any net carbon to the atmosphere.

The CO2 we need to worry about comes from burning fossil fuels. Fossil fuels came from plants and animals which took CO2 out of the atmosphere millions of years ago, so they aren't part of the natural carbon cycle.

Posted by: Blarg | May 18, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

This is what I find funny: When ashcroft was in office liberals attacked him as a "bush crony" and "the worst AG ever." Then when he's out of office, they uphold him as the shining spectacle of the justice system so they can attack bush and gonzales. Give me a break, the ppl concerned that gonzales went to see ashcroft in the hospital were the same people accusing gonzales and ashcroft of both being part of the same conspiracy to take away our liberty. I'm not saying that what gonzales did was not something to be concerned with, I'm just saying some people need to tone down the hyperbole.

Posted by: politicaljunky | May 18, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Democrats in Congress currently have a disapproval rating higher than the GOP numbers before the 2006 election

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

This week's attempted quashing of longstanding House procedures is a sign of serious disarray in the Democratic Caucus. The motion to recommit, on the books since 1822, is a tool for the minority to offer alternative legislation which dates to the James Madison administration. One would think that the "most honest and most open" Congress in history would need to honor it to keep its self-appellation intact. And yet, the threat this week from the House leadership, before its exposure by the minority on Wednesday, was to rewrite the rules as no Congress before it to rid the leadership of this literally ancient mechanism of accountability.

So, in that respect, this episode is a sign that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi lacks the requisite political skill to keep the majority together through conventional means. This resort to unprecedented means of thwarting Republicans would not be necessary for a speaker who knows how to call in her chits, or even has those chits to begin with.
But let no one think that this episode is primarily about political tactics. It is a sign of the divisiveness of the agenda which the House's Democratic leadership is promoting. The "100 days" is no Contract With America. From Iraq to taxation to terrorist surveillance, this leadership pushes a narrow agenda which leaves the moderate wing of the Democratic party in the lurch, to say nothing of Republicans and the few remaining conservative Democrats. This fact is made clearer each time a Republican motion to recommit cleaves off a few dozen Democrats who prefer a more reasonable approach.
In the larger picture, this resort by Mrs. Pelosi and her allies to an extraordinary and unprecedented measure is a sign of the strain of an unworkable agenda which cannot win the consensus of a majority.

http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20070517-100743-4875r.htm

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

"Iranian/Persian Shia have fought with the Arab Sunnis since the split that occurred in the decades immediately following the death of the Prophet in 632. That's a lot of history... and we want them to play nice now and become a democracy overnight."

a myth. Other than the Iraq/Iran war, (crazy vs lunatic, border dispute with no religious overtones) name a single conflict?

Posted by: no facts please, we're Dems | May 18, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Montana has no buisness on this list. Baucus is a solid campaigner and will keep his seat barring some crazy scandal.
My opinion is replace it with Dole in NC. She has a much better chance of getting thrown out then Baucus.
I also think Deminici should be moved up. This attorney Scandal isn't going anywhere and I think in the end he retires.

Also I wouldn't read too much into Al Franken's name ID. I think alot of people are in a sort of holding pattern with him. They just aren't sure if they are going to get the Funny man or the serious politician. I think given his money advatage and the fact that he is a good public speaker Franken is going to shock some folks and win the primary and the general.

Lastly, I don't see Collins losing. She is a legitimate middle of the road Republican, and say what you will but folks in Maine really like her. If she had run 06 then maybe she would have gone the way of Chafee in RI, but in 08 with the Dems already in control of the Senate I think she wins in a tight race.

Posted by: Andy R | May 18, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

The other day we were once again warned about that dire danger to our existence - cow flatulence. It just so turns out that the gaseous emissions of the bovine digestive tract account for more greenhouse gasses than all the SUVs, airplanes, trucks and cars combined. In other words, as far as global warming is concerned cows pose a greater threat to our survival than transport. And this according to the UN no less.


All those worried about the future of our planet should be asked whether they really believe that cow flatulence can lead to an atmospheric meltdown.


If you are even remotely tempted to answer in the affirmative you have a serious problem. And don't think that citing Al Gore will get you off the hook; hiding behind the foolhardiness of others is a poor way of concealing your own. The truth is that Al Gore is an unbalanced man which should be obvious to everyone with the eyes to see. That he still enjoys any credibility is evidence of just how confused we have become.


Which brings us to the rapidly growing ranks of crazies crowding the leftist loony land. To be sure, not all of them are panic-stricken followers of Al Gore. Should truth be told, the left has become a powerful magnet for the unhinged of all stripes. Lest you have any doubts consider some of the more mainstream views entertained therein:


Sucking out the brains of the unborn should be a constitutional right
It is proper for two men to become a husband and husband
Murderous Islamists are freedom fighters
Higher taxes lead to prosperity
George W. Bush had advance knowledge of 9/11
The question is how otherwise intelligent human beings - as many leftists clearly are - can believe such inanities. Many have puzzled hard over this but with little success, mainly because they tend to overlook the very thing from which it all ultimately originates.


Whatever else can be said about the left, godlessness is its cardinal trait. So much so that even the most unobtrusive and innocent tokens of religious expression unfailingly draw its ire. The Ten Commandments in a courthouse, 'one nation under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance, 'merry Christmas' in a greeting are like a red cape before a raging bull. The left is more than just atheistic; it is rabidly so.


But this is a very precarious state to be in and something that a very wise book expressly cautions against. There we learn that those who turn on God will be afflicted with 'madness, blindness and confusion of mind.'

http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/05/of_flatulent_cows_and_liberal.html

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

In a nation seized by horrific violence, it is rare for any one killing to stand out. But the case of a recent "honor killing" in Iraq has the world's attention.

The killing of a 17-year-old girl named Doa was conducted in public by members of the victim's family as retaliation for a forbidden relationship with an outsider. Doa was a member of the Yazidi tribe, a subsection of Kurds that practice a discreet religion that forbids marrying outsiders.

The killing was captured on video by cell phone and the graphic images were soon distributed around the world through the Internet. Though revenge killing is a longtime practice in this region, this particular crime's capture on video meant that the gruesome tradition was put on international display as the United States is desperately trying to forge a stable future in Iraq.

The killing occurred a full two months before the video surfaced, and though there is now an international outcry for justice from human rights groups, including Amnesty International, the incident initially went unnoticed by authorities even though the video shows Iraqi police officers present during the killing.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=3161082&page=1

Posted by: look at all the 'good news' | May 18, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Kill the priest! Kill the priest!

or how about

Have you checked the children?

or

It puts the lotion in the pan, or else it gets the hose again!

Heeeeeeere's Zouky!!

Posted by: kingofzouk | May 18, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

The Justice Department has acted equally cavalierly. It insists its probe of Berger was thorough. But Berger's willingness to give up his license to practice law to avoid questions from the Board on Bar Counsel is a strong sign there's more to this case.

Why did Berger avoid going before the Bar? Why has he not taken a polygraph test, as required by his misdemeanor guilty plea? Did he take more stuff? Did anything he filched hold information that would be damning of Clinton's anti-terrorism efforts?

With all these questions unanswered, it's hard to be confident in Justice Department assurances that national security was not jeopardized by Berger's actions.

As with so much during Clinton's presidency, this stinks. The theft and destruction of classified documents merits more than the $50,000 fine and 100 hours of community service Berger got in September 2005. He'll regain access to classified material next year -- maybe just in time for a new Democratic administration.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

'koz hasn't arrived yet. i'm sure he'll be here shortly, with his crazed hate-filled rants about "Libs' and Pelosi and Reid and global warming....'

I am the only one here allowed crazed hate-filled rants. you should not be concerned with Pelosi or Reid, you should be obsessed with koz, like me. and global warming is settled, not open to debate.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Mark in austin -- the problem with Biden-Gelb is that our allies [like saudi arabia--you get the allies you have, not the ones you necessarily want and btw, they are all Sunni] don't want Iraq to be partitioned, because they are afraid the Sunnies will get the short end of the oil stick, among other things.

A big part of the quandry there is that the Iranian/Persian Shia have fought with the Arab Sunnis since the split that occurred in the decades immediately following the death of the Prophet in 632. That's a lot of history... and we want them to play nice now and become a democracy overnight.

Posted by: drindl | May 18, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

With a sleepy monkey in a camouflage outfit and white handkerchiefs on flagpoles, a small group of pro-war activists Thursday gathered outside the federal courthouse that houses Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's Las Vegas office, decrying what they said was a policy of surrender.

"Even though my son paid the ultimate sacrifice, I still support the president. I support what we're doing over there, and I support our troops," said Debbie Lee, a Phoenix-area mother whose son, a Navy Seal, was killed in Iraq last year. "I want Harry Reid to hear my voice today. I can't believe he would say we've lost the war. What a defeatist attitude."

The anti-Reid demonstration was organized by a national group, Move America Forward, and most of the protestors were from out of town. They said they wanted to bring their message home to the Nevada Democrat, whose work in the Senate to set deadlines for troop withdrawal they said was irresponsible.

The "surrender monkey" the group used to draw attention to its action was a hired gun -- a Dallas-based performing monkey named Hobo who has appeared on television and in movies. Hobo gripped a miniature white flag and waved it briefly before stopping to gnaw on the dowel.

Reid this week backed a largely symbolic bill that would have required troops to begin pulling out of Iraq within 120 days and would have ended war funding by March 31, 2008. That measure failed, getting just 29 votes.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

While Baker-Hamilton is only tenuously connected to this topic, I promised to get back to ProudToBeGOP after she graciously stated the crux of her position against it.

B-H strongly OPPOSED precipitate withdrawal, Proud. It assumed a long troop commitment to the area, including troops in Iraq. What it brought to the table was the dual notion of pressing the Iraq government to accommodate its people and heavy duty diplomacy in the area on a continuing basis. To me, the only ground for opposing B-H was the oft stated refusal of the Admin to negotiate with Iran and Syria.

The tie-in to this topic is that I believe that Rs who strongly back the three pronged approach gain traction with the voters in most places.

Proud, I'll tell you what I liked about Gelb-Biden later. Unfortunately, for me, work calls.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | May 18, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

The daily Iraq violence report is compiled by McClatchy Newspapers in Baghdad from police, military and medical reports. This is not a comprehensive list of all violence in Iraq, much of which goes unreported. It's posted without editing as transmitted to McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

Baghdad-

- A mortar shell hit Abo Disheer neighborhood south Baghdad around 10,00 am. No human casualties reported.

- 1 civilian was killed when a mortar shell hit Al Shurta Al Rabi'aa neighborhood south west Baghdad around 5,15 pm.

- A civilian was killed when a mortar shell hit Al Nahrawan district south Baghdad around 5,15 pm.

- 8 civilians were injured when a mortar shell hit Al Qahira neighborhood north east Baghdad around6,30 pm.

- 3 civilians were killed when a mortar shell hit Jamila neighborhood east Baghdad around 6,30 pm.

- 2 policemen were killed and 1 was wounded when gunmen opened fire targeting their patrol in Bob Al Sham district north east Baghdad around 6,40 pm.

- 3 civilians were wounded in clashes with the Iraqi army in Al Bayaa neighborhood south Baghdad around 7,00 pm.

- 30 anonymous bodies were found in Baghdad today.25 bodies were found in Karkh, the western part of Baghdad in the following neighborhoods (6 bodies in Amil, 4 bodies in Doura, 4 bodies in Bayaa, 3 bodies in Jihad, 2 bodies in Adil, 2 bodies in Ghazaliyah, 2 bodies in Saidiyah, 2 bodies in Shoula.) 5 bodies were found in Rusafa, the eastern part of Baghdad in the following neighborhoods (2 bodies in Jorf AL Naddaf 1 body in Palestine street, 1 body in Al Jumhuriyah street and 1 body in Adhemiyah.)

all in one day.

Posted by: fyi baghdad today... | May 18, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse


'Note the relativly more civil tone of the discussion today.'

koz hasn't arrived yet. i'm sure he'll be here shortly, with his crazed hate-filled rants about "Libs' and Pelosi and Reid and global warming....

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Note the relativly more civil tone of the discussion today.

I attribute that to the absence of some regular posters who do not understand the difference between an analysis of what someone thinks is going happen and a statement of what someone wants to happen.

Posted by: Razorback | May 18, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I honestly don't understand placing Montana in the top 10. Rehnberg lost to Baucus by 5 points in 1996, when Max's popularity was much lower than it is now and when the GOP controlled the Senate. Even if he ran, and I highly doubt he will, why should we assume that he's capable of coming closer than he did in '96?

With respect to South Dakota, I would simply add that Dems will have a decent chance to hold the seat even if Johnson retires, as Stephanie Herseth -- who holds the at-large house seat -- is extremely popular.

Posted by: Colin | May 18, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

bsimon is correct in his suspicion regarding early polls. Early polls are largely a function of name identification.

The best use of early polls is to focus on the incumbent's number, not the challenger's number because the incumbent should be well know. The exception to this general rule is a challenger that brings significant name ID to the race.

So although Allen (ME), Cirisi(MN) and Franken(MN) all have roughly the same number, each has a different meaning. Cirisi holds no office, his number is basically meaningless. Allen represents half of ME in Congress, so his number has more meaning. Franken's number shows he has a problem because he has 80% name id.

Of course, a problem at this time of the race is much less important that a problem this time next year because you have time to more correct it.

Posted by: Razorback | May 18, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Note to The Fix: there was no Senate primary in 2006 in Colorado. Were you referring to the gubernatorial primary?

The numbers really look ominous for the Democrats. Hello, Chuck Schumer, are you listening? Colorado is probably the only Democratic pick-up, while post-hurricane Louisiana is far more white and Republican and looks tough for Landrieu. I also think Tim Johnson is gone, so the Democrats should be VERY worried about losing their narrow Senate majority.

Posted by: Progressive | May 18, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, above was me...wouldn't want CChris to think their were other moderate Republican's in Colorado!

Posted by: malis | May 18, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

To get back on topic, and to preempt Colorado Chris who always uses the release of the Senate Line to insert his boilerplate about "conservative Colorado voters will select Schaffer over Boulderliberaludall," the 2008 Colorado Senate race is over.

We Republicans (yes, I'm still that endangered species--the moderate Republican) were unable to recruit a serious candidate because none felt they had a realistic chance to win this cycle. Conceding the nomination to Schaffer is more a reward to a good soldier than a purposeful campaign decision.

No one else will hire him, so Dick Wadhams is taking on the race to try to resurrect his career after his implosion with 'Future President George Allen' in Virginia. He'll certainly do his repulsive Rovian best but the only result will be an ugly but unsuccessful attack-oriented campaign ending with another Democratic Senator.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

The war in Iraq is not going to start going well between now and 2008. Our president has no strategy.
Between now and then, Republican senators and congressmen will either have to stop fighting the effort to bring our troops home, or go back to their voters with even more of a war problem than they had in 2006.
For how many years can they tell their districts they were right to support the war because the light at the end of the tunnel is in view before they figure out that light is an on coming train?
If we still have a major force in Iraq in 2008, their will be another blue tidal wave.

Posted by: Cali49 | May 18, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

ATLANTA (CNN) -- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich still hasn't decided on a bid for the White House, but if the Georgia Republican does throw his hat in the ring, don't expect to see him on many of the televised debates.

Gingrich made it clear that he is not a fan of the recent debates, calling them "game show" like and a "pathetic dance," in remarks Thursday at a luncheon in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Gingrich said it is "fundamentally wrong" for 10 people to look like "game show contestants," each eagerly awaiting for a television celebrity to give them a chance to answer in 30 seconds a question which by definition you can't answer in 30seconds."

Posted by: hey CC-- check it out | May 18, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

The crux of the issue before Congress can be boiled down to a simple question: Is waterboarding torture? Anybody who considers this practice to be "torture lite" or merely a "tough technique" might want to take a trip to Phnom Penh. The Khymer Rouge were adept at torture, and there was nothing "lite" about their methods.. and they used waterboarding.

The similarity between practices used by the Khymer Rouge and those currently being debated by Congress isn't a coincidence. As has been amply documented ("The New Yorker" had an excellent piece, and there have been others), many of the "enhanced techniques" came to the CIA and military interrogators via the SERE [Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape] schools, where US military personnel are trained to resist torture if they are captured by the enemy. The specific types of abuse they're taught to withstand are those that were used by our Cold War adversaries. Why is this relevant to the current debate? Because the torture techniques of North Korea, North Vietnam, the Soviet Union and its proxies--the states where US military personnel might have faced torture--were NOT designed to elicit truthful information. These techniques were designed to elicit CONFESSIONS. That's what the Khymer Rouge et al were after with their waterboarding, not truthful information.

Posted by: Cassandra | May 18, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

As others have noted, I'm suspicious of the accuracy of early polls - almost nobody is paying any attention to Senate races right now.

In any event, the GOP has to start thinking about a strategy. Do they embrace the Bush legacy or distance themselves from it? Early indicators imply a cut and run from the Bush Iraq strategy in September; but will that be enough?

My suspicion is that they need to get in front of the simmering scandals in Washington. With Bush's approval rating in the sewer, its unlikely they'll be able to credibly argue that congressional investigations into the Bush admin are politically motivated. Instead, there's a real risk that the average american will start asking what congress has been doing for the last 6 years - why didn't we hear anything about this stuff until now?

People are generally willing to give others the benefit of the doubt - i.e. let industry or government police itself for 'doing the right thing'. But once those groups prove unreliable in policing themselves, the American people are more than willing to impose sanctions and oversight. I think this mentality is going to bite the GOP, unless they start digging a little deeper into their own scandals - whether in Congress or the White House.

Posted by: bsimon | May 18, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/1158

Scroll down to see waterboarding in action -- it's done on a device like a medieval rack -- then tell me whether you think it's torture or not. Cheney thinks it's a-ok. Tell me if this is America...

Posted by: Cassandra | May 18, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

In his May 15 nationally syndicated column, titled "Just How Crazy Are the Dems?" National Review Online editor-at-large Jonah Goldberg claimed that the poll found Democrats "are evenly divided on the question of whether George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance," and declared that "a majority of Democrats in this country are out of their gourds." Yet as Goldberg himself admitted, the poll question was ambiguous. As Goldberg said, "Many Democrats are probably merely saying that Bush is incompetent or that he failed to connect the dots or that they're just answering in a fit of pique." In other words, respondents could have been merely saying that Bush received ample warning of possible attacks.

Indeed, President Bush received a briefing on August 6, 2001, titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US," which indicated that Osama bin Laden wanted to conduct terrorist attacks on U.S. cities, that members of his Al Qaeda terrorist network had lived in or traveled to the U.S. for years, that bin Laden had previously said he wanted to hijack an American aircraft, and that "FBI information since that time indicate[d] patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings." Investigative journalist Ron Suskind wrote in his book The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America's Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11 (Simon & Schuster, June 2006) that Bush responded to this report by telling his CIA briefer, "All right, you've covered your ass."

Posted by: where zoukie gets his talking points... | May 18, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

The hospital visit is yet another piece in the growing illegal/unethecial actions of this Admistration. Any repub that sticks with GW will surely be damanaged, and to what extent is still unknown.

Posted by: lylepink | May 18, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Referring to the May 15 Republican presidential debate, Rush Limbaugh asserted, on the May 16 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, that "there's a template developing for the Republican debate last night. 'How come there are no women and minorities on stage?' I guess you forgot about 2004." He then said: "And I guess -- you know, the Democrats never get those kinds of questions because it's always assumed that they're fair and just, and not discriminatory and all that."

During the debate, co-moderator Chris Wallace, host of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday, directed the following question to former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore:

WALLACE: Governor Gilmore, let me start with you. It's been suggested that the 10 of you could all be members of the same country club. What does it say about the Republican Party? And you used to be the chairman of this party and tried to build the tent -- to build the base. What does it say that there is no woman, no Hispanic, no African- American, no minority in this field of presidential candidates?

Presumably, debate moderators would not ask Democratic presidential candidates why "there are no women and minorities" on stage because the Democratic field currently contains two minority candidates, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who is Latino, and Sen. Barack Obama (IL), who is African-American, as well as a woman, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY).

Posted by: maybe rush is on the blue babies again? | May 18, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

April 19, 2007 - Doolittle steps down from the Appropriations Committee following the FBI raid of his home. Doolittle is under investigation for his work with convicted lobbyist Republican Jack Abramoff
* May 11, 2007 - The Republican Conference names Ken Calvert - under investigation for a shady land deal -- to replace Doolittle on Appropriations.
* May 15, 2007 - The Republican Conference names Tom Feeney - under investigation for his work with convicted lobbyist Republican Jack Abramoff -- to replace Calvert as the senior Republican on the Space Subcommittee of the Science Committee.

Posted by: Im just sayin | May 18, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Chris - You need somebody familar with "rankings" to handle the numbering for you.

The tie for Eighth means there is no number Nine and New Mexico would be Tenth. You have a Top Eleven.

You didn't happen to work at the polls in Florida in 2000 did you?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"The President sent his men to Ashcroft's hospital room to make an illegal end run around the Justice Department" - I

I - What was ILLEGAL about the President's Counsel seeking a different opinion from the Attorney General himself?

Unseemly maybe.

Illegal?

Hardly!

Let's stop the hyperbole. The Gang That Couldn't Fire Straight is doing enough damage to themselves. There's no need to distort their actions.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Hal Turner, 'conservative' radio talk show host:

'This act by the Speaker of The House is tyranny, plain and simple. There is recourse against tyranny: The Second Amendment. That's why the Founding Fathers put the Second Amendment in our Constitution!

It is quickly becoming clear to me that a "Second Amendment Solution" may be necessary to address the conduct of the federal government very soon.

If the feds grant Amnesty to the 30 million illegal aliens already here and go through with the reported plan to allow those illegals to bring their wives, parents and children here too!
I spoke about America being literally on the verge of a Second Civil War and made clear the enemy we face is our own government. Talking hasn't worked. Voting hasn't worked. It may be time to pick up guns and go take care of business!'

ENOUGH.
Freedom of speech and all that; yeah. But when you start directing people to assassinate Congressmen? Where do we draw the line?

What does this man have to do to get arrested? I'm just asking. He says stuff like this all the time. When is the media, and the public, going to realize that the right wing in this country has gone violently insane? What will it take -- an asssasination?

Actually my guess is that the tide has turned -- and people are starting to get it -- that the R party has been hijacked by a bunch of thugs. And that's why they are losing elections.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Looking at this, it will be hard to imagine the Republicans retaking the Senate. Will voter attitudes toward the GOP really change dramatically by '08?

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: chris | May 18, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

'Well, well, well. Via Romenesko, we learn that one of our favorite fact-free Righty screechers has gotten herself permanently locked out in the yard over at The News Hour with Jim Lehrer. The clip in question is posted above, and frankly, for Morgan (whose rancor and biliousness are all the way off the charts on a good day), I think it's pretty mild. All she did was serially interrupt and talk over Iraq War veteran John Soltz to accuse him undermining the troops and call him a cheerleader for Al Qaeda. Is that such a crime?

Let's go to the transcript:

JON SOLTZ: Well, we are the troops. And there was nothing worse than when I was in combat in Iraq and a soldier that I sent on a convoy was killed, and I had to hear my president, the man who never had the courage to serve in Vietnam, entice my enemy with words like, "Bring it on."

MELANIE MORGAN: Oh, please!

The Bush Dead-Enders hate when you mention that, because it points out the central, incurable contradiction at the core of their movement. The only people left who support the war are the people who won't be called on to fight it, have never seen combat, and never will. That's why Morgana hisses like a vampire splashed with holy water there. Soltz just pressed her Big Red Button. And as we know from Meningitis Markdown's other talk show appearances, she's never met an opposing point too important for her to interrupt and talk over or a reputation too sterling to spit on.'

http://www.firedoglake.com/2007/05/17/late-nite-fdl-and-dont-come-back/#more-9148

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

The President sent his men to Ashcroft's hospital room to make an illegal end run around the Justice Department and its acting Attorney General. Acting AG Comey and the Department's Office of Legal Counsel -- whose interpretations were binding throughout the Executive Branch -- had determined and told the White House that the President's warrantless surveillance program was unlawful. The President and his men knew that continuing the program was unlawful, but instead of obeying the law, they tried to end run the DoJ's findings.

Having designated Comey as acting AG, the seriously ill Ashcroft had no legal authority to reverse the DoJ's determination and approve the illegal spying program. The President and his men undoubtedly knew this, but they ignored that legality, too.

Unwilling to obey the law, the President's apparently ordered Card and Gonzales to extract an illegal signoff on a program DoJ had declared unlawful. If they failed to compel that signoff, they were prepared to continue their unlawful program without it -- as they had already done. Today's WaPo editorial captures the import of the "Wednesday Night Ambush":

Posted by: l | May 18, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

The "ray of hope" is about staying out of toilet rather than the hope of retaking the Senate.

Lets say the Rs win LA, and only lose one of their 5 most vulnerable (CO,NH,ME,MN,OR). That would already be a good night for Rs.

To win the Senate, they would still either have to beat the Chairman of the Finance Committee (Baucus) or Tim Johnson if Rs with the White House, or beat both of them if Ds win the White House, because the VP breaks a tie.

Posted by: Razorback | May 18, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

VA Blogger, didn't I say both of those items? A) Allen would probably be better known being a Congressman from a small state and B) that I wish Coleman had a stronger challenger

Even still, I doubt the average Maine voter is following this race or even knows who their Congressman is. Agreed that Franken is hardly an ideal challenger, but a 43% approval rating for an incumbent Senator is anemic--almost Rick Santorum territory--so the head-to-head numbers are especially irrelevant in that case, IMO.

Posted by: Greg-G | May 18, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Greg G:

Even if voters aren't thinking about the campaigns yet, a Congressman in a two-district state has a good name ID from which to start. Also, the poll that has Franken down by 22 points gave him a name ID of 80%. For these two "top-tier" candidates to be polling over 20 points behind their supposed "vulnerable" opponents is a great sign of weakness.

Posted by: Va Blogger | May 18, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

'With Paul Wolfowitz leaving as president of the World Bank, the speculation now turns to whether Shaha Riza, the femme part of the Rizawitz combo, is ready to come back to her old job.

There can be no doubt she's furious about how she has been treated by the World Bank -- being forced to take a leave, staying on the bank's hideously cushy payroll, and having to endure enormous pay raises and promotions -- all because Wolfowitz wanted to be head of the bank.'

Oh, the b*tch is seething -- she has just as much hubris as Paulie Wolfnuts himself. Or Leona Helmsley. How dare anyone treat them like Little People? How dare anyone say they have to play by the rules?

Posted by: LOL | May 18, 2007 9:37 AM | Report abuse

'On the Democratic side, despite all the hype for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, John Edwards continues to hold on to a narrow lead in Iowa -- 26% to 24% for Clinton, and 22% for Obama. Edwards leads in the central part of the state and, most importantly for him, has begun to particularly take of among union voters. This is very much a three-way race and if Edwards should win, it will give him a bounce for New Hampshire.

Clinton does well with liberals, with Democrats (as opposed to independents) among older voters and lower income voters. Obama does best among independents and in the eastern part of the state closest to Illinois. Importantly, while Edwards has kept his numbers since January, his two main opponents have grown -- Clinton from 16% to 24% and Obama from 17% to 22%.

Among Republicans in Iowa, the real story is the ascendancy of Mitt Romney. He now polls 19% to Rudy Giuliani's 18% and John McCain's 18%. This is shaping up right now to be also a three-way race. But Romney has moved from only 5% support in January to 11% in late March to his 19% -- while Giuliani has actually declined from 25% in march and McCain's numbers stayed about the same.

In New Hampshire, Romney has opened up a double digit lead with 35% to 19% for each of his major opponents. Again there has been dramatic growth in Romney's support from 13% in January and 25% in March to now. Meanwhile, Giuliani's number have stayed about the same and McCain has dropped from 26% to his current level.

On the Democratic side, Clinton now leads by only 2 points over Obama -- 28% to 26% -- with Edwards at 15% and Richardson at 10%. Clinton's numbers have grown from 19% in January to her current levels. Obama has moved up 3 points from January, Edwards has dropped 8 points, but Richardson has moved the moved up from only 1% to his current double digits.'

Looks like it might end up being a race between the two Beauty Shop Boys -- Mitty and Johnny.

Who said hair doesn't matter in America -- maybe it all goes back to sampson.... virility and all.

Posted by: new zogby poll | May 18, 2007 9:31 AM | Report abuse

My thoughts - Colorado is an easy pickup for the Dems considering it's an open seat, Rep. Udall is a strong candidate and the Republicans have been lethargic in gearing up for this race. In Virginia, John Warner retires and Mark Warner picks up the seat in a walk. Sununu loses. Collins, Coleman and Smith all manage to hang on.

Posted by: Marc | May 18, 2007 9:27 AM | Report abuse

It's shocking that OR and LA aren't attracting more credible challengers yet...if Smith and Landrieu don't get one by the fall, they may actually get a free pass.

I don't think the head-to-head match-up polls in MN and ME mean hardly anything at this point. Most voters aren't paying any attention and don't know much about the challenger (except maybe Allen as a Congressman in a small state). However, it is shocking that both Coleman and Collins are both only in the 50's in their re-elect numbers--and that Coleman's approval rating is in the low 40's! They are both definitely vulnerable--I just wish Coleman had a more capable challenger.

Given what happened in NH last year, I think Sununu faces long odds. CO is already over--it will be the equivalent of PA from the last cycle.

I think one Senate race that COULD have the potential of breaking open is Idaho--a lot of speculation that Larry Craig could go down Mark Foley-style (although for men presumably of legal age)--so much so that he's attracted a primary challenger and a Dem challenger that was the last office holder in the state.

Posted by: Greg-G | May 18, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Dobson's organization says his daily radio program is heard by as many as 220 million listeners over 3,500 stations in the United States. He's also seen on 80 television stations, and 10 Focus on the Family magazines have 2.3 million subscribers, the group says.

Dobson attacked Giuliani for publicly saying he hates abortion but supports a woman's right to have one. Giuliani had been criticized for being ambiguous on his abortion views, but firmly stated last week that he supports abortion rights.

"Is Rudy Giuliani presidential timber? I think not," Dobson wrote. "Can we really trust a chief executive who waffles and feigns support for policies that run contrary to his alleged beliefs? Of greater concern is how he would function in office. Will we learn after it is too late just what the former mayor really thinks? What we know about him already is troubling enough."

Yes, do stay home in '08, 220 million listeners.

Posted by: Kevin | May 18, 2007 9:13 AM | Report abuse

How many times does Shaheen have to say "no" before people count her out?

Sununu is vulnerable, but not against Swett or Marchand. Let's also not forget that, to win in 2002, he had to beat the incumbent in a primary, then the sitting Governor in the general. He's an able campaigner.

Its funny how the Democratic opposition to the four GOP Senators considered "vulnerable" just aren't picking up any traction.

Posted by: Va Blogger | May 18, 2007 9:07 AM | Report abuse

'WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Religious conservative leader James Dobson will sit out the 2008 presidential election if former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is the Republican presidential nominee, he wrote Thursday in an online column.

In a piece published on the conservative Web site WorldNetDaily, Dobson wrote that Giuliani's support for abortion rights and civil unions for homosexuals, as well as the former mayor's two divorces, were a deal-breaker for him.

"I cannot, and will not, vote for Rudy Giuliani in 2008. It is an irrevocable decision," he wrote.'

I applaud Mr. Dobson for standing by his moral convictions. I sincerely hope many others feel the same way. It may save our democracy. If the dictator Guiliani gets into power, that will be it for America. He really isn't much different from Mussolini.

Posted by: Kevin | May 18, 2007 9:03 AM | Report abuse

To the 'concern troll' -- cut the crap. Everyone knows anyone who signs 'concrned' this or that is a gop troll, OK? Get over it, you ain't fooling anyone.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 8:59 AM | Report abuse


'Editor & Publisher/NYT: Cartoonist's site among targets of pre-GOP convention NY police surveillance. Here's the list of groups and individuals reported on and surveilled by NYPD intel, including Planned Parenthood, Greenpeace, Billionaires for Bush, cartoonist Ted Rall, the NYC Independent Media Center, the ACLU, MSNBC, the Sierra Club, NOW, the Federation of East Village Artists, and Grandmothers Against War. '

yes, must spy on those dangerous grandmothers.... they might attack you with their knitting needles... and cartoonists -- everybody knows how dangerous they are.

Posted by: welcome to the police state | May 18, 2007 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Poor CC! 2006 hit you so hard, you still can't come to terms with it. Your party isn't going anywhere, son, until they can pay attention again. The wealthy, your base, are still a minority and the rest of us are fed up. Here's your president, with his sick idea of 'supporting the troops.' What a pathalogical liar the man is:

'The Bush administration today threatened to a veto a House defense spending bill over a 3.5 percent pay raise for U.S. soldiers and a $40/month increase in benefits for military widows, among other provisions. The legislation passed the House today 397-27.'

He wants to veto a bill to benefit war widows, that was passed by 397 members of the House. Until you get this power-crazed frat boy nut out of the WH, you will never win anything again. He will bring the whole party down with him.

Posted by: Cassandra | May 18, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Really? Mark Warner to replace John? What happened to him wanting to stay at home with his family? Or was that just a ploy to keep him out of the presidential bid?

Curious. Be even more curious to wake up one day and find Virginia of all places home to two democratic senators.

Mr. M

Comments From Left Field

Posted by: Mr. M | May 18, 2007 8:34 AM | Report abuse

The difference between 2006 and 2008 is the score. Last time, Democrats were defending more seats, and needed to pick up six seats for a majority. They needed everything to break right for them.

This time, they already have a one-vote majority; if they win the presidency (admittedly a big "if"), they'll have a two-vote majority. It's the Republicans who need everything to break right. They need to pick up at least one seat and possibly two or three -- and you've listed only two that are within their sights. Meanwhile, they have to hold onto all their seats, which includes four of your five most vulnerable.

They're going to need a whole lot more than a "ray of light" to help them.

Posted by: Fred App | May 18, 2007 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Next November? thats 2007! the election is in 2008 or have we switched dates?
GOP unlikely to retake Senate?
If Joe Lieberman jumps ship to the GOP that happens immediately.
What are you smoking?

Posted by: Ed Lulie | May 18, 2007 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Chris is desperate to find some positive about the Republican prospects in 2008. Give it up! The Republicans will be thrown out of office and the WH in 2008.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2007 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Like football, politics is a game of inches.

Barring recession, a collapse in Iraq, a major scandal of a new nature personally involving the President or Cheney, it is hard to see how the GOP can consolidate its majority status.

Yet they are so close to such a consolidation that their residual strength and their strength in the West should keep them robustly in business through the next election cycle.

The Democratic gains in 06 and their huge potential gains in 08 are more important to the future political allignment than the concommittant GOP losses, as they indicate that the Democratic Party retains organizational resiliency and appeal among the moderate voters.

The redistricting elections of 2010 and 2012 will be much more determinative of long term political allignments than 06 and 08.

Robert Chapman
Lansing, NY

Posted by: robert chapman | May 18, 2007 7:02 AM | Report abuse

If the Senate (Republicans) don't block the new immigration reform w/a filibuster, they can kiss off a lot of their base, including this libertarian.

Posted by: JD | May 18, 2007 6:35 AM | Report abuse

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