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The Line: Retirement Headaches for House GOP

The last month hasn't been a good one for House Republicans.

Already on the ropes thanks to President Bush's dismal job approval ratings and continued public unhappiness about the war in Iraq, the strategists in charge of winning back a majority for the GOP have seen a number of long-serving members decide to retire -- creating a number of vulnerable open-seat races.

The latest surprise retirement announcements came from Reps. Jerry Weller (Ill.) and Jim Ramstad (Minn.). The two districts are extremely competitive at first glance -- the Cook Political Report gives each of them a partisan voting index score of R+1 -- and Democrats are enthused about their prospects in each.

Scroll down to see where Illinois's 11th District and Minnesota's 3rd rank on this month's House Line. And remember: The No. 1 ranked race is the one that's most likely to switch parties in 2008. Keep the debate going in the comments section.

To the Line!

10. Pennsylvania's 10th District (Currently Democratic): Rep. Chris Carney (D) was in the right place at the right time in 2006. Rep. Don Sherwood (R) seemed on his way to a lifetime in Congress before acknowledging an extramarital affair and weathering allegations from his mistress that he had choked her. Carney ran several devastating television ads that used the controversy to symbolize the fact that Sherwood hadn't kept the promises he made to the district when he was elected in 1998. Sherwood is now gone, meaning that Carney must find a way to win reelection in this northeastern Pennsylvania district that President Bush won by 20 points in 2004. Businessmen Chris Hackett and Dan Meuser are expected to fight it out in a Republican primary with no clear favorite at the moment. (Previous ranking: N/A)

9. Georgia's 8th District (Currently D): Retired Gen. Rick Goddard is the crown jewel in House Republicans' candidate recruiting to date, but has drawn mixed reviews on the campaign trail. And former Rep. Mac Collins, who narrowly missed ousting Rep. Jim Marshall (D) in 2006, still refuses to rule out a bid despite the fact that Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) has thrown his support behind Goddard. President Bush won this district, which was redrawn mid-decade Georgia Republicans, with 61 percent of the vote in 2004, and Marshall's close call last year reveals it is a tough hold for any Democrat. But Marshall is a savvy pol, and Goddard's abilities as a candidate remain an open question. (Previous ranking: 6)

8. Texas's 22nd District (Currently D): By the numbers, this Houston-area district should be at the top of any GOP pick-up list. President Bush carried it 67 percent in 2000 and 64 percent in 2004, and Rep. Tom DeLay (R) held it easily between 1984 and his resignation last year. But numbers don't tell the whole story. Rep. Nick Lampson (D) is a proven votegetter and fundraiser, while the Republican field seeking to oust him continues to grow, with Pasadena Mayor John Manlove the latest candidate to enter the race. Despite Lampson's strengths, the numbers in this district -- especially in a presidential year -- may be too tough to overcome. Still, the fact that Democrats have a fighting chance here is something of a surprise. (Previous ranking: 7)

7. Florida's 16th District (Currently D): After every wave election, a few seats that got caught up in the undertow return swing back to their natural state when the next election comes around. This district, currently held by Rep. Tim Mahoney (D), seems the most likely to revert back to its Republican roots in 2008. Mahoney, a first-time candidate, was given little chance against Rep. Mark Foley (R) until the congressman found himself at the center of a scandal surrounding inappropriate conduct with congressional pages. This time around no such scandal surrounds any of the three potential Republican candidates -- state Rep. Gayle Harrell, attorney Tom Rooney and Palm Beach Gardens Councilman Hal Valeche. Given that the district gave President Bush 54 percent of its vote in 2004 and that Mahoney has publicly struggled since coming to Congress, this should be a seat Republicans will win back. (Previous ranking: 5)

6. Minnesota's 3rd District (Currently Republican): We'll be honest: We never expected Rep. Jim Ramstad (R) to retire. But now that he is heading for the exits in 2008, his district will play host to a very competitive race. The 3rd, which takes in much of the suburbs west and south of the Twin Cities, was carried by President Bush with 51 percent of the vote in 2004 and 50 percent in 2000. But anti-war sentiment in Minnesota is strong -- witness the upset victory by Tim Walz (D) in the 1st District and Sen. Amy Klobuchar's (D) huge win statewide in 2006, making it tough sledding for the eventual Republican nominee. The fields on both sides are somewhat unformed; state Sen. Erik Paulsen (R) has formed an exploratory committee. This is a headache Republicans never expected to have. (Previous ranking: N/A)

5. Arizona's 1st District (Currently R): The vastness of the 1st District -- it's larger than the entire state of Pennsylvania -- makes campaigning very difficult for any candidate. Former state Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick remains the Democratic frontrunner, but former anchorwoman Mary Kim Titla and attorney Howard Shanker are also running for the party's nod. Among Republicans, 2002 primary candidate Sydney Hay is in the race and state Rep. Bill Konopnicki, who appears to be the party establishment favorite, has formed an exploratory committee. Democrats carry a registration edge in the district, but it went for President Bush by five percent in 2004 and eight points in 2000. (Previous ranking: 4)

4. Illinois's 11th District (Currently R): Rep. Weller's retirement decision, which came just a few weeks after a Chicago Tribune piece that raised questions about the congressman's land dealings in Nicaragua, caught many observers in both parties by surprise. Democrats quickly pounced, convincing state Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson -- widely seen as their strongest candidate -- to jump into the race. Halvorson was seen as the only candidate with the potential to clear the primary field of serious candidates, and at this point she has the Democratic field to herself. On the other side of the aisle, roughly a dozen Republicans are considering the race. But Illinois has been trending Democratic for the last several cycles, and with Halvorson in the race Democrats have a major opportunity. (Previous ranking: N/A)

3. Virginia's 11th District (Currently R): The race to fill this seat, currently held by Rep. Tom Davis (R), is in a holding pattern until Virginia's legislative elections next month. Davis is a lock to run for the seat being vacated by Sen. John Warner (R), which puts this Northern Virginia seat in serious jeopardy. Democrats have a strong candidate-in-waiting in the figure of Fairfax Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerry Connolly, although former Rep. Leslie Byrne might also look seriously at the race (Byrne was defeated by Davis in the 1994 GOP wave). Republicans are almost certain to face a primary, with state Sen. Jay O'Brien, state Del. Tim Hugo, Prince William County Board Chairman Corey Stewart and U.S. Maritime Administrator Sean Connaughton mentioned. This district, like all of the D.C. suburbs of Northern Virginia, is trending in Democrats' favor; Sen. Jim Webb (D) carried it with 55 percent in 2006 over George Allen (R). (Previous ranking: 1)

2. Ohio's 15th District (Currently R): Will Republicans find a top-tier candidate to run for this Columbus-area seat being vacated by Rep. Deborah Pryce (R)? The jury is still out. A long list of elected officials has already said "no" to the race, and the fact that former Ohio State football great Chris Spielman is getting serious consideration speaks to the level of desperation within the Republican ranks. Meanwhile, Mary Jo Kilroy, who lost to Pryce by just 1,000 votes last November, has been in the race for months and seems to have cleared the Democratic primary field. Did we mention that President Bush carried the district by only 2,000 votes in 2004 and the state Republican Party is still trying to clear the rubble of election 2006? (Previous ranking: 3)

1. California's 4th District (Currently R): If Rep. John Doolittle is the Republican nominee here in 2008, the seat is a certain loss for the GOP. The Justice Department recently subpoenaed 11 years worth of documents from Doolittle in connection with an ongoing investigation into the influence peddling scheme of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Doolittle is fighting the subpoena with the same energy he has pledged to fight plans to push him off the ballot in 2008. If he holds firm, it's a certainty that establishment Republicans will seek to line up behind a primary challenger and knock Doolittle out before he can put the seat in jeopardy. Democrat Charlie Brown, who nearly beat Doolittle in 2006, is back again. But given the Republican nature of this district, he needs Doolittle on the ballot to win. (Previous ranking: 2)

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 5, 2007; 8:08 AM ET
Categories:  House , The Line  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Wag the Blog: Rush Limbaugh vs. MoveOn
Next: Giuliani, Romney and the Tax Fight


A couple of races that I am curious about:

Nevada Third District, didn't one of Harry Reid's staffers run a strong race here?

How is Julia Carson's health? I think she could be vulnerable in her Indianapolis district.

I would think Kristen Gillibrand (spelling) of New York, Nancy Boyda of Kansas and Carol Shea Porter inNew Hampshire would be targeted by the GOP.

Didn't a Microsoft executive, Darcy Burnier (again, spelling) run a surprisingly strong race in the Seattle suburbs?

Is Stephanie Herseth Sandlin in any danger in South Dakota?

I've mentioned Jason Altimore in my previous posts in the Pittsburgh northern suburbs. He seems to have done a good job and should be hard to beat in 2008.

I still think Tim Murphy in the southern suburbs of Pittsburgh will be in trouble.

I would think Melissa Bean in Illinois, Jim Mathiesen in Utah and Dennis Moran in Kansas will be targets of the GOP.

Likewise, Christopher Shay and Jim Gerlach will be top Democratic targets

Posted by: Conan the Librarian | October 8, 2007 11:10 PM | Report abuse

A couple of races I am curious about about: Nevada Third District ... didnt one of Harry Reid's staff come close to winning?

What about Jim Gerlach in the Philly suburbs?

I would put Kristen Gillibrand in northern New York, Nancy Boyda in Kansas and Carol Shea-Porter in New Hampshire as vulnerable.

How is Julia Carson's health, I wonder if her Indianapolis district might be in play?

People mentioned Chrisopher Shay ...

Wasn't there a Microsoft executive who ran a very good race for the Democrats in the Seattle suburbs?

How strong is Stephanie Herseth Sandlin in South Dakota?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2007 10:49 PM | Report abuse

The Illinois third district primary race between incumbent Daniel Lipinski, alleged Democrat, and challenger Mark Pera (double D for Definitely Democrat) is one to watch.

Lipinski would really be more comfortable in the ultra-conservative wing of the Republican party, voting consistently against stem cell research, responsible environmental policy, and any way to wind down the war in Iraq.

A recent editorial by Mark Brown in the Sun-Times suggests that Mr. Lipinski received campaign donations from a "youth program", the All-American Eagles, set up by his father. The elder Lipinski, according to the article, "...hails from the 23rd Ward on the Southwest Side, where he was the longtime Democratic committeeman. When it comes to helping kids, he's perhaps best known for helping his own, engineering the installation of son Daniel as his replacement in 2004 by waiting until after the primary to retire. All-American Eagles has donated $1,000 to Dan Lipinski's campaign,..and $500 to Republican state Sen. Christine Radogno's losing campaign for state treasurer, among others. Thousands more have been paid out as political consulting fees to Jerry Hurckes, who has served as chief of staff to both Lipinskis, and Christopher Ganschow, the current congressman's director of communications."

Using a youth group for political purposes may not be illegal, any more than calling one's self a Democrat while acting the opposite-- but it is to be hoped Illinois can do better than Daniel Lipinski.

Posted by: Don C. Reed | October 8, 2007 6:44 AM | Report abuse

About Tom Davis...
My crystal ball tells me that he won't even be able to get his wife re-elected to the VA Senate, despite the money he has pumped into her campaign.

Posted by: NoVA | October 7, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

This Executive has broken many laws and has
lied to Congress on many occasions. The one
violation which must be prosecuted is the
altering of WMD data. If Colin Powell can be
fooled (Why hasn't he testified in front of
intelligence committees?), so can the world.
The Democrats are clueless and ignorant if they believe winning elections by doing nothing is leadership. They may try reading
constituent E-Mails as all I ever get back
are automated replies.

Posted by: L AngeloMysterioso | October 7, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

O'Reilly sometimes is critical of Executive
policy which is better than the rest of Fox
News yellow journalists. News Corp. has one
journalist out of thousands that always has
written the truth Amir Taheri. I enjoy the
NY Post editorials for their humor. Neocon
nonsense like "Factories shipped overseas is
good for America because they create sales jobs." or "Why didn't the CIA muzzle Wilson."
(He went as a friend of the country knowing
via his wife the CIA would alter the truth).

Posted by: L AngeloMysterioso | October 7, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I was very surprised by your cheap shot on MSNBC Friday night, comparing Hillary Clinton to Hannibal Lektor.

I can't wait to hear your sophomoric comments about the Republicans, who will doubltess parrot your unfortunate remark for the next thirteen months.

Posted by: Richard Green | October 6, 2007 8:35 AM | Report abuse

and what about CA-11? Former GOP Assemblyman Dean Andal is a formidable candidate, and freshman Democrat Jerry McNerny has yet to set trails blazing.

Posted by: middlewinger | October 6, 2007 1:54 AM | Report abuse

......Republican Party Finished in the United States!


........Once we WIn the White House we will get all American's who live in the Richiest Country in the World and it will be a new day, a bright day where all can get the Health Care they should be getting already!

ONce the Democrats take back the People's houses then all will get back Health Care, and get back what they should have had all along....Health Care Coverage in the Richiest COuntry in the World!

.....THen.....We are going to put alot of republicans in jail and from the last 12 years of running the country into the ground and for "RUINING THE UNITED STATES!

......"The Disasterous Republicans Record speaks for itself, and its CRIMINAL!

Posted by: Tommy Birchfield | October 6, 2007 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Tom Davis running for the open Senate seat in Virginia is not a lock.

Posted by: dem | October 5, 2007 11:37 PM | Report abuse

fascists fascists everywhere

Posted by: rufus | October 5, 2007 7:44 PM | Report abuse

""And I Used To Walk On The Moon"

by digby

I don't know if you've heard the latest on Rush's scramble to dig himself out from under his nasty comments about phony soldiers and suicide bombers, but it's pathetic. (Via Media Matters, of course.)

LIMBAUGH: All right, anybody care what I actually said about this? Would you like to hear what I actually said? This was Tuesday on the program, and I was talking about the ad that they are running.

[begin audio clip]

LIMBAUGH: You know, this is such a blatant use of a valiant combat veteran, lying to him about what I said, then strapping those lies to his belt, sending him out via the media in a TV ad to walk into as many people as he can walk into. This man will always be a hero to this country with everyone. Whoever pumped him full of these lies about what I said and embarrassed him with this ad has betrayed him. They're not hurting me, they're betraying this soldier. Now, unless he actually believes what he's saying, in which case it's just so unfortunate and sad when the truth of what I said is right out there to be learned.

[end audio clip]

LIMBAUGH: I called him a hero. I called him a hero. The other reference is to where the drive-by media runs in, blows things up, creates all these messes, and then heads on down the road to create another one. I called him a suicide bomber -- you see how this works. I didn't call anybody who legitimately serves a "phony soldier." I didn't call this guy a suicide bomber. That's out there -- I called him a suicide bomber. [laughter] Here's McGough. He was on MSNBC last night talking about the fact that I called him a suicide bomber.

McGOUGH [audio clip]: My reaction is disgust, how someone can sit in that chair and say that I am a car bomber, or excuse me, a suicide bomber, is disgusting. I've seen the aftereffects of a suicide bomb. I've had friends that were hurt in suicide bombs. It makes me mad down to a place where I can't even think to describe. It's just repugnant.

I suppose Limbaugh's mouth breathing fans will buy that. They'll buy anything, obviously, since they listen to Rush and vote for George W. Bush. But it's quite clear that he was using the metaphor of a suicide bomber to describe this soldier. Even George W. Bush could see that.

But I think the smear is even more insidious than that. He was describing someone who didn't know his own mind, couldn't think for himself, had these "lies" strapped on him and was "sent out" to "walk into as many people as he can walk into." The image is of a brain damaged person --- or a child --- who was sent out with explosives strapped to him, not knowing what they were asking him to do. Why, even if the poor deluded fellow actually "believes" what he's saying, it's sad and unfortunate.

You've seen the ad by now I'm sure. (If not, watch it here at C&L.) Brian McGough was wounded in Iraq and suffered a traumatic brain injury. It did not affect his ability to think or speak, as is obvious from the video and his subsequent appearance on Keith Olbermann. But the subtext of Rush's suicide bomber statement is that he is some sort of automaton whose brain isn't functioning properly or he would never have made that video. It's extremely insulting.

We know Rush thinks this way. He's done it before. You'll all recall that he disgustingly went after Michael J. Fox last November, saying that Fox was "acting" or that he was too addled to know what he was doing and was "being used." He knows exactly what he's saying and what his audience hears when he says it.

As I wrote about the Fox insult:

[Rush said:]

This is a script that they have written for years. Senate Democrats used to parade victims of various diseases or social concerns or poverty up before congressional committees and let them testify, and they were infallible. You couldn't criticize them. Same thing with the Jersey Girls after the 9-11 -- and in the period of time when the 9-11 Commission was meeting publicly. Victims -- infallible, whatever they say cannot be challenged. I don't follow the script anymore.

That's absurd, of course. The right holds up all kinds of people as being unassailable, particularly (Republican) [soldiers and]veterans and religious figures. But that's not even the point. Nobody says you can't criticize a "victim's" point of view or disagree with their take on the issue. Rush could have made a straightforward argument that stem cell research is wrong. But the right wing almost never does this on any issue anymore. Virtually every time, they attack the person's character.

They do this for a number of reasons. The first is to give their followers some reason to reject a compelling argument like that set forth by Fox. They send this idea into the ether that Fox is faking it and create a controversy that suddenly makes what seems to be self-evident --- Michael J. Fox is suffering horribly from a dread disease that might be cured with stem cell research --- into a matter of interpretation. It furthers their meme that Democrats are phonies and flip-floppers who don't stand for anything. It helps their base come to terms with their own internal contradictions. They have turned spin into a worldview.

But they also want to advance the idea that the message always depends upon who is delivering it and you can accept or reject it purely on the basis of tribal identification. ("Don't think, meat.") And to do that they've introduced a form of congitive relativism in which there is no such thing as reality. The press's lazy "he said/she said" form of journalism reinforces it.

He went after soldiers this time and it's caused him some grief because it came on the heels of their magnificent Man Called Petraeus pageant, where they trotted out a powerful, political general as being "infallible, whatever they say cannot be challenged." Rush was obviously criticizing veterans who don't agree with him.

Indeed, just prior to the phony soldier comment was this:

LIMBAUGH: Mike in Chicago, welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER 1: Hi Rush, how you doing today?

LIMBAUGH: I'm fine sir, thank you.

CALLER 1: Good. Why is it that you always just accuse the Democrats of being against the war and suggest that there are absolutely no Republicans that could possibly be against the war?

LIMBAUGH: Well, who are these Republicans? I can think of Chuck Hagel, and I can think of Gordon Smith, two Republican senators, but they don't want to lose the war like the Democrats do. I can't think of -- who are the Republicans in the anti-war movement?

CALLER 1: I'm just -- I'm not talking about the senators. I'm talking about the general public -- like you accuse the public of all the Democrats of being, you know, wanting to lose, but --

LIMBAUGH: Oh, come on! Here we go again. I uttered a truth, and you can't handle it, so you gotta call here and change the subject. How come I'm not also hitting Republicans? I don't know a single Republican or conservative, Mike, who wants to pull out of Iraq in defeat. The Democrats have made the last four years about that specifically.


LIMBAUGH: Mike, you can't possibly be a Republican.

CALLER 1: I am.

LIMBAUGH: You are -- you are --

CALLER 1: I am definitely a Republican.

LIMBAUGH: You can't be a Republican. You are --

CALLER 1: Oh, I am definitely a Republican.

LIMBAUGH: You are tarnishing the reputation, 'cause you sound just like a Democrat.

CALLER 1: No, but --

LIMBAUGH: The answer to your question --

CALLER 1: -- seriously, how long do we have to stay there --

LIMBAUGH: As long as it takes!

CALLER 1: -- to win it? How long?

LIMBAUGH: As long as it takes! It is very serious.

CALLER 1: And that is what?

LIMBAUGH: This is the United States of America at war with Islamofascists. We stay as long -- just like your job. You do everything you have to do, whatever it takes to get it done, if you take it seriously.

CALLER 1: So then you say we need to stay there forever --

LIMBAUGH: I -- it won't --

CALLER 1: -- because that's what it'll take.

LIMBAUGH: No, Bill, or Mike -- I'm sorry. I'm confusing you with the guy from Texas.

CALLER 1: See, I -- I've used to be military, OK? And I am a Republican.

LIMBAUGH: Yeah. Yeah.

CALLER 1: And I do live [inaudible] but --

LIMBAUGH: Right. Right. Right, I know.

CALLER 1: -- you know, really -- I want you to be saying how long it's gonna take.

LIMBAUGH: And I, by the way, used to walk on the moon!

CALLER 1: How long do we have to stay there?

LIMBAUGH: You're not listening to what I say. You can't possibly be a Republican. I'm answering every question. That's not what you want to hear, so it's not even penetrating your little wall of armor you've got built up.

Rush believes that anyone who disagrees with him must be a Democrat in sheep's clothing and that Democrats all want to "wave the white flag." And he doesn't believe that anyone who holds the views that this caller holds could possibly have been in the military. ("And I, by the way, used to walk on the moon.")

When confronted with undisputed veterans who disagree with him he implies they have been brainwashed or brain damaged and are being used by others. He simply refuses to acknowledge that the military is not an adjunct of the Republican Party and that there are many people in it who disagree with what he's saying. (He can't even admit that there are civilian Republicans who disagree with what he's saying.)

The Republicans have so fetishized the troops that it causes severe cognitive dissonance (and a potential fracture with their base) for Rush to come right out and say what he wants to say, which is that veterans and soldiers who disagree with the president on the war are traitors. But it slips out in little ways: "staff puke" and "phony soldier" and his insistence that you can't be a good "Republican" (soldier) and be critical of the war. This time he got caught in the middle of a political firestorm about criticizing the military and so had to defend his comments. But it's not unusual. It's what he thinks. It's what a lot of Republicans think.

It's all wrapped in the warped worldview I described above, in which the Democratic party is not just wrong, it's fundamentally illegitimate. And anyone who disagrees is a traitor, including, apparently, the vast majority of Americans who do not support this war.

And that is why I truly resent my tax dollars being spent to help this man spread extremist, ultra partisan lies about Democrats and liberals all day, every day, to American troops overseas on Armed Forces Radio. He can do it all he wants in the free market here in the states. And if Clear Channel wants to start a radio network in Iraq and feature him 24 hours a day, they can have at it. But this man's only purpose is to spread lies about me and lies about soldiers like Brian McGough and spew rank partisan propaganda on behalf of the Republican Party on my dime.

I'm with Wes Clark on this. Rush can say what he wants on the air, and if he thinks I'm a traitor he has the right. He can operate as an arm of the Republican party, take his orders from the white house and spread GOP propaganda far and wide. We have free speech in America. But there's nothing in the constitution that says I have to pay for it to be piped to troops on the battlefield.

Posted by: digby (r) | October 5, 2007 6:46 PM | Report abuse

You got one day roo. I tried to leave today, but bsimon and zouk wouldn't have it. One more day buddy. Fret not. Then you cowards will be free to talk abou tmike huckabee and moveon and whatever other garbage you people want to waste you r time blathering about.

Frickin old people these days

Posted by: rufus | October 5, 2007 6:35 PM | Report abuse

*Impatiently waits for registration*

Posted by: roo | October 5, 2007 6:28 PM | Report abuse

"Follow-up to the silence from the ADL regarding Fox News and right-wing talk radio
(updated below)

Following up on the post I wrote earlier this week regarding the now-routine use of "Nazi" and "Hitler" political insults by Fox News, Bill O'Reilly and various right-wing pundits generally -- as well as the conspicuous silence from certain Jewish groups which in the past have loudly condemned similar though far less significant episodes -- both the Anti-Defamation League's Abraham Foxman and the Simon Wiesenthal Center have responded to my article.

The ADL's response is here on its website. The Center's response was e-mailed to me, and I have posted it in its entirety here. I have also spoken with Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Associate Dean of the Center, regarding their statement. And while the ADL committed to arranging an interview for me regarding Foxman's response -- a response which I think raises more questions than it answers -- they have not yet done so. I still intend to pursue that interview and other aspects of this matter, but wanted to post a response to what has been provided thus far.

Most significantly, the first paragraph of Foxman's response says this:

Offensive or inappropriate references to the Holocaust must be loudly condemned at every opportunity. Indeed, many of the examples you cite are deeply offensive and equally repugnant, and certainly worthy of condemnation.
Oddly, Foxman does not identify which are the specific examples I cited that are so "offensive," "repugnant," and "worthy of condemnation." In light of the ADL's prolific practice of condemning statements in the past which it finds repugnant in this regard, one wonders why it has failed to do so.

Indeed, that failure was the central point raised by my post in the first place, and Foxman's letter -- acknowledging that the Right's increasing use of "Nazi" and "Hitler" insults against liberal blogs and anti-war groups is "worthy of condemnation" while still failing to condemn them -- only serves to bolster the original point. Does the ADL plan to issue condemnations of Bill O'Reilly, Mark Levin, Tammy Bruce and their comrades for "trivializing" Nazism and Hitler by repeatedly throwing around those terms to describe the likes of Media Matters, Daily Kos, MoveOn, and Jane Hamsher?

The bulk of Foxman's response is devoted to what he says was my "suggestion that the Anti-Defamation League has been selective in singling out liberals for condemnation, while remaining silent about the abuse of Holocaust imagery by those on the right." He cites past ADL condemnations of people like Glenn Beck, Pastor James Kennedy, James Dobson and Rick Santorum for what the ADL believed to be their reckless use of Nazi insults to make political points.

I think Foxman makes a fair point here as far as it goes. My intent was to focus on the ADL and other groups' relationship with Rupert Murdoch and Fox News -- as well as their political sympathy with those spouting a neoconservative view -- and what appears to be their resulting unwillingness to condemn Fox and neoconservative pundits specifically. Foxman does not really address that, though he persuasively makes the case that the ADL has been more willing to criticize those on the Right than my post may have suggested.

Still, all of this leaves unanswered the central question raised in that post. Bill O'Reilly's show is the highest-rated cable news show in the country, and for months, he and his special guests have been repeatedly -- sometimes on a nightly basis -- casually smearing mainstream liberal groups and blogs as Nazis and Hitler-like. By comparison, most of the other incidents the ADL has stridently condemned are insignificant in terms of both impact and reach. The ADL is now aware of these incidents, which are all documented in my post with links to transcripts or videos. Indeed, Foxman, in his response, said this:

Had you bothered to contact us before writing your piece we would have been glad for the opportunity to condemn the use of Holocaust imagery and those who routinely use Nazi references as a political attack tool, including the recent examples you cite. Many of these individuals you use as examples have been on our radar screen, and we would have been prepared to share with you our file on the subject, which is more than two-inches thick.
The only specific individuals I named in my post were Bill O'Reilly, Mark Levin, Tammy Bruce and Michelle Malkin. I'm glad to hear that "many" of those individuals "have been on [the ADL's] radar screen" and that they are "glad for the opportunity to condemn" them. They ought to do so. Why aren't they?

As for my discussion with Rabbi Cooper, it was not particularly fruitful. In response to every question, he gave long, nonresponsive answers claiming that the Center's primary role is not political. That may be true, but they have issued highly politicized statements in the past, most notably the righteous condemnation of MoveOn -- in the middle of the 2004 presidential campaign -- all because one anonymous person uploaded an ad to its website comparing Bush and Hitler.

Clearly, having Fox News make regular use of that imagery on a nightly basis -- or having Mark Levin spew it to his listeners, or have Jonah Goldberg decorate his allegedly forthcoming book with fun happy faces wearing a Hitler moustache in service of the rancid "argument" that "liberals from Woodrow Wilson to FDR to Hillary Clinton have advocated policies and principles remarkably similar to those of Hitler's National Socialism and Mussolini's Fascism" -- are infinitely more significant than the ad from an anonymous person on the Internet. Other than O'Reilly's use of the term "Nazi" for any group that criticizes him, what could possibly "trivialize" Hitler and Nazis more than this:

"Fascists," "Brownshirts," "jackbooted stormtroopers" -- such are the insults typically hurled at conservatives by their liberal opponents. . . . But who are the real fascists in our midst?

Replacing conveniently manufactured myths with surprising and enlightening research, Jonah Goldberg reminds us that the original fascists were really on the left, and that liberals from Woodrow Wilson to FDR to Hillary Clinton have advocated policies and principles remarkably similar to those of Hitler's National Socialism and Mussolini's Fascism. . . .

The modern heirs of this "friendly fascist" tradition include the New York Times, the Democratic Party, the Ivy League professoriate, and the liberals of Hollywood. The quintessential Liberal Fascist isn't an SS storm trooper; it is a female grade school teacher with an education degree from Brown or Swarthmore.

These assertions may sound strange to modern ears, but that is because we have forgotten what fascism is. In this angry, funny, smart, contentious book, Jonah Goldberg turns our preconceptions inside out and shows us the true meaning of Liberal Fascism.

I asked Rabbi Cooper whether Rupert Murdoch or News Corp. were donors to the Center (a question I'd like to ask the ADL). Cooper stuttered around, eventually telling me that he was not sure if Murdoch was. He did say he would check and would let me know, and also committed to reviewing the material I cited to determine if the Center ought to condemn it. He said that while he does watch the Bill O'Reilly Show, he does not watch every night, but would start being more attentive.

Finally, both the ADL's and the Center's statements both imply or even state explicitly that I agree with them that the use of Nazi and Hitler comparisons are worthy of condemnation. I did not actually make that argument. I was merely taking the standard they have professed to believe in when issuing rather prominent condemnations in the past and asking why that standard has not been applied to the recent, extremely egregious, and rapidly increasing use of such comparisons from Fox News personalities and right-wing radio hosts and pundits. I'm still asking that question.

UPDATE: As sysprog notes in comments, the ADL continues to claim that it is a group devoted to "stop[ing] the defamation of the Jewish people," yet its agenda is clearly broader than that, at least as of late:

ADL Campaign Says "No" to Nuclear Iran

New York, NY, September 5, 2007 -- Over the next few weeks and months, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) will roll out a public awareness and advocacy campaign aimed at focusing attention on the gathering threat of a nuclear-armed Iran to Israel, the Middle East and the world.

With the slogan, "No Nuclear Iran," the campaign focuses on Iran's clear and present threat to Israel, America and the global community through high-profile eye-catching posters, advertisements in national and community newspapers, and other awareness initiatives using e-mail and the Internet to spread the word. . . .

"The message is simple and clear: a nuclear-armed Iran presents a direct threat to Israel, the Middle East, the United States and Europe, and it is imperative to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear capability," said Glen S. Lewy, ADL National Chair.

As sysprog says: "Criticizing their pro-Iran-war coalition partners, such as Murdoch/Fox, would be counter to the ADL's new primary focus." This is why I think this issue is so worth pursuing.

Innuendo and, increasingly, explicit claims of anti-semitism have become political weapons of the war-hungry Right in all sorts of foreign policy debates, most frequently now with regard to Iran. That is the real goal of constantly labelling liberal blogs and anti-war groups as Nazis, Hitler, Brownshirts, Gestapo troops, etc. Groups such as the ADL which claim to be devoted to opposing such tactics seem extremely reluctant -- to put it generously -- to condemn these tactics when used by those expressing unrelated political views that they seem to embrace (such as a hard-line against Iran). If they really believe in their ostensible principles, they ought to apply them equally.

-- Glenn Greenwald


Posted by: greenwald | October 5, 2007 6:24 PM | Report abuse

your list is flawed, Chris, with the omission of three goners. . .

NM-1: Heather Wilson runs for the Senate, her congressional seat goes blue, Senate seat goes blue too. . .Congresswoman Wilson may not even win a primary against Steve Pearce.

CT-1: Chris Shays will not survive. His defense of Blackwater was disgusting. And the only reason we may not see that replayed in TV ads is the expense of running television in that district.

And your number one omission. . .

CO-4: Marilyn Musgrave is the incumbent returned in 2006 by the lowest percentage (46%) of any in that election. Angie Paccione has opted out, and Betsy Markey, aide to Ken Salazar, likely has the nomination on the Democratic side. Along with other gains in this region, it is time to retire Mrs. Musgrave, her homophobia, and ironically, her pink pantsuits. . .good riddance. . .

Posted by: BeardDenver | October 5, 2007 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Simon. In the future think about wha tyou say. And if speaking, you are gettign the desired reaction. If you want me to contiineu posting news the gop hides from ,I can do that. You want me gone. SHUT YOUR MOUTH simon. But that is your choice. I have no problem staying. If zouk mark and simon think they'll learn from me.

Posted by: rufus | October 5, 2007 5:57 PM | Report abuse

"Matthews says Bush administration has "finally been caught in their criminality"
October 4, 8:04 PM

Playing Hardball with the Prez

"Hardball" host Chris Matthews addresses attendees at Thursday night's ten-year anniversary of "Hardball," which took place at the Decatur House in Washington, D.C.

Chris Matthews had barely finished praising his colleagues at the 10th anniversary party for his "Hardball" show Thursday night in Washington, D.C. when his remarks turned political and pointed, even suggesting that the Bush administration had "finally been caught in their criminality."

In front of an audience that included such notables as Alan Greenspan, Rep. Patrick Kennedy and Sen. Ted Kennedy, Matthews began his remarks by declaring that he wanted to "make some news" and he certainly didn't disappoint. After praising the drafters of the First Amendment for allowing him to make a living, he outlined what he said was the fundamental difference between the Bush and Clinton administrations.

The Clinton camp, he said, never put pressure on his bosses to silence him.

"Not so this crowd," he added, explaining that Bush White House officials -- especially those from Vice President Cheney's office -- called MSNBC brass to complain about the content of his show and attempted to influence its editorial content. "They will not silence me!" Matthews declared.

"They've finally been caught in their criminality," Matthews continued, although he did not specify the exact criminal behavior to which he referred. He then drew an obvious Bush-Nixon parallel by saying, "Spiro Agnew was not an American hero."

Matthews left the throng of Washington A-listers with a parting shot at Cheney: "God help us if we had Cheney during the Cuban missile crisis. We'd all be under a parking lot."

Following his remarks, a few network insiders and party goers wondered what kind of effect Matthews' sharp criticism of the White House would have on Tuesday's Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan, which Matthews co-moderates alongside CNBC's Maria Bartiromo.

"I find it hard to believe that Republican candidates will feel as if they're being given a fair shot at Tuesday's debate given the partisan pot-shots lobbed by Matthews this evening," said one attendee.

When reached, the White House declined to comment and NBC refused requests to release video of the event. The event included such NBC/MSNBC brass as NBC Senior Vice President Phil Griffin (the former "Hardball" executive producer called "Hardball" the "best show on cable television"), "Meet the Press" host Tim Russert, "Today" show executive producer Jim Bell, NBC News Specials Executive Producer Phil Alongi, "Meet the Press" Executive Producer Betsy Fischer, NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell, MSNBC Vice President Tammy Haddad, "Hardball" correspondent David Shuster and Vice President for MSNBC Prime-Time Programming Bill Wolff.

Posted by: rufus | October 5, 2007 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I tried to leave peacefully and in good standing, but bsimon asks for as many long cut and pastes I could find so he could go inside his mind and come to vaild conclusions about elementary school kid games.

Posted by: rufus | October 5, 2007 5:54 PM | Report abuse

"Chris Matthews: White House Pressured MSNBC To Tame Hardball
By: Logan Murphy @ 2:15 PM - PDT NOW he tells us...


Don't you just love these truth tellers in American journalism like Katie Couric and Chris Matthews who are suddenly here to complain that the Bush administration has manipulated Big Media like them, and they're not going to take it anymore? At least not now that George W. Bush and Congress have a record-low approval rating, and after 3,809 U.S. troops have died in Iraq.

Here is MSNBC "Hardball" host Matthews:

In front of an audience that included such notables as Alan Greenspan, Rep. Patrick Kennedy and Sen. Ted Kennedy, Matthews began his remarks by declaring that he wanted to "make some news" and he certainly didn't disappoint. After praising the drafters of the First Amendment for allowing him to make a living, he outlined what he said was the fundamental difference between the Bush and Clinton administrations.

The Clinton camp, he said, never put pressure on his bosses to silence him.

"Not so this crowd," he added, explaining that Bush White House officials -- especially those from Vice President Cheney's office -- called MSNBC brass to complain about the content of his show and attempted to influence its editorial content. "They will not silence me!" Matthews declared.

As Nicole wrote recently, Matthews' behavior is puzzling at times to say the least -- but even with his staunch opposition to the occupation of Iraq, it's really egregious that he hasn't talked openly about this up to this point. PERRSpectives looks at some of the glowing things that Tweety has said about these "thugs and criminals".


Posted by: rufus | October 5, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Glad I did not Google... .

Posted by: Mark in Austin | October 5, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Mark. I was just making another joke about his name. If you Google "Manlove", most of the hits are about, well, man love.

Posted by: Blarg | October 5, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

rufus writes
"You word is garbage to me simon. You are an elementary school prankster playing games. I'm not laughing"

There you go. I posted an on-topic piece, about local Dems trying to convince an R mayor to switch parties and run for one of the open seats on Chris's list up top: #6 in likelihood for a party switch; i.e. R to D in the 2008 cycle. And your response is my word is garbage? Why do you even bother to visit this site if you're not interested in discussion?

Posted by: bsimon | October 5, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

limbaugh limbaugh limbaugh

Posted by: rufus | October 5, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

"Purporting to describe "how this thing started," North mischaracterized Limbaugh's "phony soldiers" conversation
Friday, October 5, 2007 4:52PM
On Big Story, Gibson touted 3-year-old Brock book, National Review article as new
Friday, October 5, 2007 3:57PM
In column, DeLay claimed Limbaugh was discussing "Global War on Terror critics" who faked military credentials
Thursday, October 4, 2007 6:45PM
Limbaugh website featured image of Stalin with Media Matters logo on his chest
Thursday, October 4, 2007 5:31PM
Limbaugh on wounded Iraq vet: "I didn't call this guy a suicide bomber"
Thursday, October 4, 2007 4:25PM
On Fox & Friends, Tyrrell falsely asserted Limbaugh had apologized for "phony soldiers" remark
Thursday, October 4, 2007 1:39PM
CNN's Beck claimed Media Matters "twisted" Limbaugh's words, revisited Soros falsehood
Wednesday, October 3, 2007 8:22PM
Coulter: Characterization of O'Reilly as surprised by Sylvia's "was inserted by people interpreting" his comments

Wednesday, October 3, 2007 5:21PM
National Review's York ignores Limbaugh falsehood about splicing of audio and transcript
Wednesday, October 3, 2007 4:35PM
Limbaugh offering inconsistent explanations for "phony soldiers" comment
Wednesday, October 3, 2007 2:34PM
MSNBC's Geist, Politico's Brown misrepresented Clear Channel letter on Limbaugh's "phony soldiers" comments
Wednesday, October 3, 2007 12:07PM
O'Reilly: Media Matters President David Brock "biggest villain ... in the country"
Wednesday, October 3, 2007 12:04PM
On Fox News Live, Angle repeatedly misrepresented Limbaugh's and "critics'" comments
Wednesday, October 3, 2007 10:24AM
Defending Limbaugh, Bennett misrepresented Limbaugh's attack on Rep. Murtha
Tuesday, October 2, 2007 8:55PM
NBC still promoting Coulter's books, despite Fox & Friends' claim to the contrary
Tuesday, October 2, 2007 7:40PM

Posted by: | October 5, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

"Limbaugh website featured image of Stalin with Media Matters logo on his chest
On October 4, nationally syndicated radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh's website prominently displayed an image of former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin with a Media Matters for America logo over the left breast pocket of his uniform. The headline above the image read: "Stalinists Have Taken Over the Left," while the caption read, "They've gone beyond ideology to totalitarianism."


Posted by: | October 5, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

You word is garbage to me simon. You are an elementary school prankster playing games. I'm not laughing

Posted by: rufus | October 5, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Blarg - What did u find about Manlove? I know him as a Houston marketing guy whose company does mktng for churches, and Houston friends think he was crony oriented as Mayor of Pasadena. Did you find stuff inconsistent with that? I think his dad made the co. and he is wealthy. I do not think ALL of Pasadena is in 22, but it must have a pop. of 150k. So he is a known guy. The name will not hurt him with Rs.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | October 5, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

"GI to her family: Ask many questions if I die
By: Nicole Belle @ 10:39 AM - PDT Sadly, after Pat Tillman, this doesn't seem so hard to believe anymore...and if her death was the result of a Blackwater employee, the administration and Department of Defense will likely do everything in their power (and given the news yesterday, a few things technically not in their power) to force this story down the memory hole.

Patriot Ledger (h/t Heather):

Ciara Durkin was home on leave last month and expressed a concern to her family in Quincy: If something happens to me in Afghanistan, don't let it go without an investigation.

Durkin, 30, a specialist with a Massachusetts National Guard finance battalion, was found dead last week near a church at the Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. She had been shot once in the head, the Army says.

Fiona Canavan, Durkin's older sister, said today that when her sister was home three weeks ago, she told family members that she had come across some things that concerned her and had raised objections to others at the base.

''She was in the finance unit and she said, 'I discovered some things I don't like and I made some enemies because of it.' Then she said, in her light-hearted way, 'If anything happens to me, you guys make sure it gets investigated,"' Canavan said. ''But at the time we thought it was said more as a joke."[..]

Canavan said that her sister was openly gay, but that the family had no specific reasons to think that had anything to do with her death.

Filed Under: Military, War Coverage


Posted by: RUFUS | October 5, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

rufus, here's a little something for you:

In a piece titled 'Battleground Suburbia' the Big Question blog at the Star Tribune (local Minneapolis rag) reports that members of the DCCC are courting local Republican mayor Jim Hovland to switch parties and run for Jim Ramstad's open seat (MN-3) as a Democrat.

Posted by: bsimon | October 5, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Forget simon. He wants play time. I will stay today, if only to appease simon and mark.

Posted by: rufus | October 5, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

do you want me to stay and contineu to combat you people simon? Is that your plan? What is your problem? do you have any posts of your own, coward? Why do you, like zouk, spend all day worrying about me?

You are making me go back on my word. Why? Do you want what you claim to be agasint? You must be zouk or a republcian. you sure are a hypocrite. Kim, zouk/simon, kim.

Posted by: rufus | October 5, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

J. Crozier, don't count Manlove out. I Googled him to find more information, and the results were interesting. VERY interesting.

Posted by: Blarg | October 5, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Great rankings. Check out these full House ratings as well, with detailed analysis for all the vulnerable seats:

Posted by: Daniel | October 5, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Too early to speculate in many of those races, but I have to make one small comment.

Are Republicans really going to count on a candidate named John Manlove to win in Texas? Seriously? Manlove as the Republican candidate in Texas?

Posted by: J. Crozier | October 5, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

JD - belay that question on Corey Stewart.

I missed the link in CC's text above.

Posted by: VA Voter | October 5, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

JD - Who is Corey Stewart?

I expected Tom Davis' wife to run for the VA-11 seat.

Paraphrasing that old line about ambitious politicians and cameras: You never want to get between JeannMarie and the next highest elected office.

Posted by: VA Voter | October 5, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

" I am leaving by my own accord. "

Actions speak louder than words.


Posted by: bsimon | October 5, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Right. Give your self power that you don't have. More gop tricks. I am leaving by my own accord. What can you do to me. Put a restriction on this site. OOOOHHOHOOH. So scary. I'm worried goerge bush is watching my everymove and listening to my every phone call. you think a blog restriction is going to freihten me? GEt your priorities stright. Stop talking about me. post your posts I'm gone.

I'm spending more time with Kim. I'm giving her all my attention. you people deserve what you get.

Posted by: rufus | October 5, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

rufus, if rules are put into place which limit access to this blog, you will have only yourself to blame.

In case you hadn't noticed, Zouk virtually disappeared when the movement to "follow the rules" started.

Which means that you are the only reason left for even considering restricted speech on here. Your rants about being silenced will be what gets you silenced. Ironic, isn't it.

Now, who's the facist?

Posted by: Mirror | October 5, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure which district it is, but the closest race this past cycle was won in Fl. by Vern Buchanon. Isn't that district going to be highly competitive? From what I hear, a re-match is brewing from 06'. If that's the case, I'm certain that should make the top 10.

Posted by: reason | October 5, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

rufus asks
"I'm the bad guy simon, right?"

I asked that you show a little respect for other users of this site. Why is that so difficult?

Posted by: bsimon | October 5, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

It would be worth the court costs :).

wouldn't be. And before you say "It's the principle". What? Posting their articles to up their visability/money/hits? Their going to be angry by that? Your word is worthless to me simon, as mine is to you (for whatever reason zouk and o'reilly tell you)

Just know you have zero power over me. the reason I am leaving has nothing to do with your's or boko or marks threats and attempts to silence me.

I am leaving for two reasons.

1. CC finally showed some balance,with the rush post.

2. That rush post showed me how crazy and dylusional the gop really is. They are beyond saving now. There is the right and left now, and we will never get our country back. Rush and o'reilly and fox have done their job's well. They created their business niche. That turned into a fascist political movement. We now have two americans. No amount of rufus's trying to bring us back toghter will change that.

But I'm the bad guy. I know. Remember what I tried to do here, at the very least. you can hate me all day. But respect what I tried to do.

It was about bringing the gop'ers back into the fold and forcing them to acknowledge reality. How do you combat someone with facts when you got the transcipt, you got the tape, and they still deny it ever happened? It is impossible. These people are lost. But I'm the bad guy simon, right?

Good luck. God Bless.

Posted by: rufus | October 5, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

"Stop mentioning me. I'm done here."

Right. See you on Monday!

Posted by: Blarg | October 5, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

BTW JimD, Matthews has a Republican pedigree also. His brother Jim is an elected Republican official in the Philadelphia area, and ran for Lieutenant Governor in 2006.

Also, Matthews has been as hard on Bill Clinton as anybody, outside the total nut jobs. Although he did work for O'Neill, he's not in lockstep with the Democratic Party by any means.

Posted by: NonP | October 5, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

you speaking on deaf ears. The days of you propogandsits living your lives to combat and smear me are over. Stop mentioning me. I'm done here.

You win. This site is a waste of time. The people I am trying to help (the eldery, mindless dottoheads) are beyond saving at this point. Why waste my time anymore. do your thing simon. I'm not making money off this. The articles I post, I leave the link so they get hits and more money. I dobut they are going to sue an anonymous poster for this.

And if they do, what can they get from a poor man like me. It would be worth the court costs :).

But the intent is to spread REAL news, not profit off them. Are you a lawyer? Are you one of George Bush's patriot act cronies trying to set people up? What is your purpose here? Is your copyright infringment threat a matter of patriot act national security?

Fricking republcians. You people are funny

Posted by: rufus | October 5, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

"you livign by old rules simon. This is the internet age."

Tell that to the MN woman who lost a court fight against the RIAA yesterday to the tune of a $225,000 fine for copyright infringement of 24 songs. She had something like 1700 songs on her system available for download, they chose to prosecute over 24, which will cost her nearly a quarter of a million dollars.

If the law isn't relevant, then please at least show a little respect for the others who don't necessarily want to read every article you find compelling enough to republish here. Is that really too much to ask?

Rufus do you understand how comical it is to see you complaining about getting no respect, when you offer none in return?

Posted by: bsimon | October 5, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse


I'm talking to the people on this blog who are NOT fascists and are good americans. That think you people have been systematically destroying the country for personal profit for 30 years. That they should choose what's best for the country ovr what's best for the party. You would never understand, zouk

Posted by: RUFUS | October 5, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

drindl, I agree that the Religious Right are more than "single issue" voters. But I also think it is reasonable to believe that Pro-life issues are at the top of their concerns; and if not #1, they are close to it.

Does anybody know if Ralph Nader is Pro-life? Here's another opportunity for him.

JimD, have a good trip.

Posted by: NonP | October 5, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I believe celebrate is spelled CELEBRATE not RUE.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 5, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

you livign by old rules simon. This is the internet age. You cannot scare me. I don't trust your opinion enough to take your threat seriously.

"I don't recall" ever reading a law that says I can't post what journalists say. And I'm trying to leave this blog. After that rush post I see it's a waste of time.

"Just when I feel I'm gone. they pull me back in"


Just kidding.
PEace simon. Take it easy. Your threats are laughable to me. Copyright infringment? OK. Just say you don't liek the words. Stop the threats, you republican facists, non-liberal you :) jk.

Peace simon. you people have a good life. remember what I told you. in a year you will rue th day you pushed me off this site. In a year you will say "Why didn't we take advantage of the oppotunity we had?"

PEace. God Bless

Posted by: rufus | October 5, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

First, merely adding a link to the original copy of the entire Boehlert article does not clear you of copyright infringement. Please try to make your point by excerpting relevant pieces of the article under copyright 'fair use' guidelines. This will both keep you within the parameters of the law and save your fellow blog participants the chore of scrolling past the entire article. Thanks in advance.

Regarding Mr Williams, it has long been my opinion that Fox hired him & Mara Liasson as the 'liberal' voices on Fox News Sunday partially to portray NPR as a 'liberal' voice in the media - which it is not. Ms Liasson, in particular, is a very rational, non-partisan participant, particularly when across the table from the likes of Hume, Wallace and Kristol.

Posted by: bsimon | October 5, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Willaims has been a strong democratic voice, the only one, regularly on fox. He has showed himself to be a plant of the last month. He alos broke the employee guidlines for the NPR, and it looks like he will be removed. good. Let him go on fox and be a shrill. What is a newsman/journailst who has lost all their credibility? Are they then a propogandist?

"Juan Williams, Fox News and the NPR conundrum
by Eric Boehlert

For years, journalist Juan Williams has straddled the divide between two unique media worlds; the thoughtful and erudite journalism of National Public Radio (NPR), where Williams serves as an analyst, and the rowdy hothouse at Fox News, where Williams works as a contributor. Most of the time, the two worlds don't collide. But recently they did, and NPR has the bruises to show for it.

That's because last week Williams wasn't commenting about the news, he was in the middle of it. First, he became entangled in the controversy that swirled around Bill O'Reilly's puzzling comments about visiting Harlem, which were seen by many as being racially insensitive. Williams, a prominent African-American journalist, strenuously defended O'Reilly on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor and accused his critics of launching a smear campaign.

Then later in the week, Williams made news when he complained that NPR had turned down the White House's offer to have him interview President Bush and discuss race relations. Officials at NPR were uncomfortable having the White House handpick the interviewer, so they passed. Fox News though, quickly accepted the invitation, complete with restrictions, and Williams conducted the interview for the all-news cable channel.

With his often over-excited and misleading defense of O'Reilly, as well as his need to publicly side with Fox News and badmouth NPR's decision regarding the Bush interview, it seems Williams no longer straddles that peculiar media divide. Instead, he's deliberately marched over into the Fox News camp and in the process has stripped away some layers of his journalistic integrity.

Worse, real damage is being done to NPR by having its name, via Williams, associated with Fox News' most opinionated talker. In fact, Williams' recent appearance on The O'Reilly Factor almost certainly violated NPR's employee standards, which prohibit staffers from appearing on programs that "encourage punditry and speculation rather than fact-based analysis" and are "harmful to the reputation of NPR."

Content-wise, The O'Reilly Factor is a complete train wreck. As O'Reilly biographer Marvin Kitman recently noted, "Frankly, I can't listen to him anymore. As much as I praised the early O'Reilly, I think he's gone nuts. ... He just seems to go berserk more often now."

That's no secret, and my guess is that senior executives at NPR understand that about O'Reilly. And yet NPR let Williams appear on The O'Reilly Factor in his effort to bail out the host from a brewing race-based media scandal. The fact that Williams repeatedly misled viewers while recounting O'Reilly's comments last week also did not help NPR's cause.

Evidence suggests that, behind the scenes, NPR is not happy about Williams' relationship with Fox News. If so, now is the time for the network to address the growing problem.

Complaints about Williams' alliance with Fox News are not new. For years he has drawn criticism from liberals who protest his weekly appearances on the more grown-up Fox News Sunday, arguing there are better advocates for genuinely liberal positions than Williams, who, for instance, was a supporter of Clarence Thomas' Supreme Court nomination. Over the years though, I've found Williams to be among the most consistently focused and aggressive of the so-called Fox News Democrats, often (though not always) pushing back against the particularly egregious Republican talking points that swamp the Fox News Sunday telecast.

If Williams wants to serve as a well-paid prop, a self-described "foil," brought in to manufacture entertaining conflict in front of the Fox News cameras for un-persuadable viewers who vote overwhelmingly Republican, that's his choice.

What changed last week was that Williams inserted himself into the news and cast himself as the great Fox News defender, and did it on The O'Reilly Factor, a program no serious NPR journalist should ever appear on.

Williams played a starring role in O'Reilly's saga surrounding Sylvia's restaurant in Harlem, because it was on that same broadcast that the host interviewed Williams and the two men talked about race in America, including damaging stereotypes that exist. (Williams was busy promoting his book, now out in paperback.) So when more and more news outlets began asking questions about why O'Reilly was surprised a black restaurant in Harlem was like a white restaurant in midtown Manhattan, Williams was quickly invited onto The O'Reilly Factor to help explain away the story.

Clamoring about how news organizations were guilty of "rank dishonesty" in covering the O'Reilly controversy (they're trying to "shut you up"), Williams conveniently sidestepped the host's most inflammatory remarks from the telecast. Williams had nothing to say about O'Reilly's condescending suggestion that "black Americans are starting to think more and more for themselves." Again and again, Williams took to the airwaves to defend O'Reilly, including on Fox News host John Gibson's radio program, and again and again Williams simply flushed that quote down the memory hole and pretended it never happened. I assume that's because the quote did not fit into Williams' defense of O'Reilly being the victim of a smear campaign, or simply being misunderstood.

Meanwhile, appearing on The O'Reilly Factor, Williams wouldn't touch O'Reilly's Quote of The Week:

And I couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it's run by blacks, primarily black patronship.

Days later, on September 30, Williams appeared on C-SPAN's Washington Journal, and a caller very specifically asked him to address that quote. Williams though, ripped it out of context and told viewers that O'Reilly made that comment as a way to compare the peaceful scene at Sylvia's to the ugly stereotype of black America that's portrayed through gangsta rap videos. But that's simply not true. The discussion O'Reilly and Williams had about rap video images came well after O'Reilly made his initial comments about Sylvia's. It's simply not accurate to suggest O'Reilly told the "no difference" story about Sylvia's amidst a larger discussion about gangsta rap. But Williams, playing defense for the Fox News host, did his best to re-tell the story in an O'Reilly-friendly way.

Writing an essay for Time magazine, Williams made an absurdly shallow (and dishonest) attempt at explaining the details of the controversy. According to Williams' thin spin, O'Reilly was unfairly "slammed" simply "for saying he went to a restaurant in Harlem and had a good time." That's like saying Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) got slammed for simply not flushing the toilet at the Minneapolis airport. Williams could not even bring himself to reprint O'Reilly's quote about being surprised that Sylvia's was just like any other restaurant "even though it's run by blacks."

Of all his media appearances last week, it was Williams' stint on The O'Reilly Factor that was most noteworthy, simply because Williams provided O'Reilly with crucial political cover by rushing to his defense. I understand why O'Reilly was desperate for Williams to appear on The O'Reilly Factor. I cannot understand, however, why NPR allowed it.

Public broadcasting guidelines clearly state that when appearing on outside programs "journalists should not express views they would not air in their role as an NPR journalist." They should not appear on programs that are "harmful to the reputation of NPR." And, "They should not participate in shows, electronic forums, or blogs that encourage punditry and speculation rather than fact-based analysis."

Let's take them one at a time. First, when he appeared on The O'Reilly Factor last week to announce that there was a media conspiracy in motion to try to shut Bill O'Reilly up, was Williams expressing views that he would not air on NPR? My hunch is yes. And FYI, according to a Nexis search of the transcripts, Williams did not discuss O'Reilly on NPR last week. Second, is The O'Reilly Factor a program that is harmful to NPR's reputation? Of course. And third, is it a program that encourages (wild) speculation? It is.

Additionally, the NPR Code of Ethics forbids all NPR journalists from participating in appearances that "may appear to endorse the agenda of a group or organization." Fox News, as an organization, has an open political agenda, and by defending O'Reilly on The O'Reilly Factor, NPR's Williams was endorsing that organization's agenda, which was to attack and smear anyone who raised questions about the host's incendiary comments.

Clearly Williams' appearances on The O'Reilly Factor ran counter to NPR's established guidelines. Or can you name a single other "news" program that, based on public broadcasting standards, would be more inappropriate for an NPR employee to appear on and pontificate?

And last week wasn't the first time Williams sprinted to O'Reilly's side during an embarrassing media moment. Back in January when O'Reilly appeared on CBS' Late Show with David Letterman, the host, during some entertaining banter, zinged his guest by claiming 60 percent of what O'Reilly says is "crap." O'Reilly was widely seen as the loser in the televised tête-à-tête.

Once again, Williams rushed onto The O'Reilly Factor to help his glass-jawed pal get back on his feet. Williams, acting like he'd never seen two grown men argue on television before, decried Letterman's "antagonism" towards O'Reilly and all the "horrible things that he said to you." Williams compared Letterman to a serial killer and expressed amazement that O'Reilly didn't have a "black eye." After all, he'd been in a "knife fight" on the Letterman show.

The fact that O'Reilly doles out far nastier insults to his Fox News guests on a nightly basis went unmentioned by Williams.

Juan Williams sides with Fox News over NPR

If Williams was appreciative of NPR for bending the rules to allow him to flack for O'Reilly on Fox News, Williams had a strange way of showing it. The day after his September 25 ill-advised visit to The O'Reilly Factor, Williams was featured in a Washington Post article about the fact that NPR passed on an interview that Williams was offered with Bush to discuss race relations, as well as the brewing controversy in Jena, Louisiana, over charges of excessive prosecution for six black teens there.

Ellen Weiss, NPR's vice president for news, told the Post she "felt strongly" that "the White House shouldn't be selecting the person" for the interview. Williams lamented how he was "stunned by [NPR's] decision to turn their backs on [Bush] and to turn their backs on me."

I think NPR execs might have been too polite to express it publicly, but based on the tenor and response to Williams' much-hyped interview with Bush last January, back when the president was out selling his surge strategy for Iraq, it's possible NPR brass simply didn't think Williams was up to the task of going one-on-one with Bush.

As firedoglake blogger TRex noted, the January sit-down Williams conducted with Bush, "was a travesty." The problem? "Williams was in full, Fawning Fox News Toady-mode, pitching softball after softball at the president and offering no follow-up questions. It left the line between journalism and PR way behind and crossed into the territory of worship."

Indeed, one memorable moment came when Williams assured Bush that Americans were praying for him. At the time, NPR listeners took notice and they were not impressed.

So why would NPR send Williams, armed with the same lapdog approach, back to White House to interview a president who, since January, has managed to become even less popular?

Plus, there's a backstory. In his seven years in office, Bush has basically stiffed one of the nation's most prestigious government-funded news organizations and granted NPR just a single interview; the Williams puff session in January. To this day, Bush has refused to allow an NPR anchor or new correspondent to interview him on a range of topics, the way ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and Fox have all been allowed to do. What exactly is Bush afraid of? (Williams is an analyst, not an anchor or news correspondent.)

Then again, the antagonism should not be surprising since the administration's contempt for public broadcasting is well documented. (Question: Do NPR bosses allow Williams to maintain a high profile at Fox News as a way to defend public broadcasting against relentless right-wing critics who claim NPR has a liberal bias?)

So I'm not surprised NPR balked. And I'm not surprised Williams ran to the media to tell his sad tale of woe.

But the story doesn't end there. Because after NPR passed on the interview, Williams went ahead and did it in his role as a Fox News contributor. Fox then made a big deal about how NPR had turned Bush down, complete with issuing a name-calling press release about how "appalling" NPR's treatment of Williams had been.

In truth, Fox News' treatment of Williams, and his Bush interview, was even more insulting. Because what did Fox News actually do with Williams' interview? Fox News basically ignored the contents. As best I can tell, Fox News last week aired less than two minutes from the interview in which Bush discussed race. In fact, Fox News spent more time talking about how NPR punted on the interview than it did broadcasting that portion of the interview. (During the interview, Williams also asked Bush about the 2008 campaign and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; Fox News aired more of that.)

There was a telling moment when Williams appeared on The O'Reilly Factor to hype the Bush interview. O'Reilly, a public broadcasting hater, went on and on about how NPR turned down the White House interview offer. Turning to the interview, O'Reilly announced, "[W]e'll run a clip of it because it has to do with Ahmadinejad." [Emphasis added.] As for race or the Jena 6? O'Reilly couldn't care less.

Same with John Gibson's The Big Show; the host asked Williams about Bush's comments regarding the 2008 campaign, as well as Ahmadinejad. Zero interest, though, in Bush's comments about race or the Jena 6 demonstrators, whom Gibson had already mocked on the air for allegedly inventing claims of racism in America.

But that's what Fox News does; Fox attacks black America.

Note that while making the rounds on his spin control tour last week, Williams appeared on Gibson's radio show, where he mentioned that they're both employed by Fox News.

"They don't much like that at NPR, do they, Juan?" asked Gibson with a chuckle.

"Oh boy. Ugh," came Williams' response.

If NPR is unhappy with Williams' increasingly high-profile and controversial appearances on Fox News, then now is the time to tell him that he has to choose between the two media outlets. Although from the looks of things, with Williams providing cover for O'Reilly and then trashing NPR for not obediently accepting the White House guidelines for a Bush interview the way Fox News did, it looks as if Williams has already made his choice.


Posted by: Jaun willaims. The new alan colmes of fox | October 5, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

GOP needs to turn something around if they want to even be viable in the next Congress.

Posted by: mpp | October 5, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

No matter what anyone says the country is turning democrat and fast. And even four years ago when bush won he only won by 7% howerver in the 2000 election his numbers were musch better. This just shows us that as time goes on the country is turning blue.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 5, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

"I did my six in the USCG. That doesn't make me any kind of Audie Murphy, but I know a little bit about long, lonely hours in government service far from home. What I don't understand is all of this reverence for a f**king general officer. Doesn't anyone read Catch-22 or The Pentagon Papers anymore? Generals aren't gods. Frequently, they aren't even very admirable. We hope they are at least competent warriors, but that's not a given either. What they most definitely are, is politicians. You cannot play the military game at their level any other way. Petreus was setup by Bush as his latest white knight to Save the Union in Iraq. Petraeus could have used his platform to force the Washington Pols to deal with the situation in Iraq but chose to support a failed status quo instead. Bravo to Move-on for calling him on it. BTW, I highly recommend Andrew Bacevitch's excellent article "Sychophant Savior" ( in the American Conservative for a write-up on what a "good" political general could have done in Petraeus' place.

Posted by: LarryB | October 5, 2007 01:44 PM

"Well said larryb. Thank you.

And the spin machine needs to be labeled for what it is.

As far as medidamatters goes. They smear no one. The reason they post the right-wings garbage on their site is FOR THIS SPECIFIC REASON. So rush and 'oreilly and savage can't say "I've never said that"..
Why they can. And the dittohead fascists will STILL believe them. What country are we living in?

Posted by: rufus | October 5, 2007 01:53 PM

"Why they can."

Wait, they can. That is.

The gop is done. This is a microcasim of why

Posted by: rufus | October 5, 2007 01:55 PM

Posted by: I got you rich | October 5, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Harry Reid, his attack on Rush Limbaugh speaks volumes about the damage the people have done to the Democrats in Congress.

* Briefly, ABC News reported on men who claim to have served in Iraq or Afghanistan, claim to have been awarded medals for bravery, and claim to have witnessed atrocities by coalition forces - only to find out they have never been any closer to the US Military than reading a Sgt. Rock comic book in junior high.
These miscreants have been named "phony soldiers" which is the term Rush used to describe them.

* A left-wing blog misquoted Rush and accused him of, in effect, saying any soldier who disagreed with US policies in the region were "phony soldiers."

* Stung by their inability to stop from denigrating the US military, Congressional Democrats piled on Limbaugh (a) even though they knew he was not talking about regular soldiers or (b) even though they knew the context of what Rush had said.

* Rush's point was that the Popular Press will report anything that anyone claiming to be a soldier says so long it is in opposition to Administration policy without even the most modest fact-checking to see if the person making the claims (a) ever served or (b) the events they described ever happened.

* Mullsters of the world unite! We are faced with political opponents who, as both the Limbaugh and Domenici cases have shown, have no sense of civility, respect, or decency in their attempts to take control of the American political process.

Posted by: Rich | October 5, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse


Chris Matthews was Tip O'Neill's chief of staff before becoming a talking head - hardly a Republican pedigree

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 5, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

So I just saw that Heather Wilson has made it official that she is running for the NM senate. Not that she has a chance in hades but that should definitly push the NM #1 up the list to into the top five. Also now will the Mayor of Albequerque run for the House or the Senate? That is the question of the hour...

Posted by: Andy R | October 5, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I know. Why don't they just make a billion, and be done with it?

"Rachel Maddow makes Pat Buchanan's head explode as she easily exposes the underbelly of conservative politics. If you're poor and need help--you're socialist scum--and screw your kids too.

Posted by: the poor are socialists? For being poor | October 5, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I think the 2004 numbers are now meaningless because of stories like this...

'Iraq, budget deficits, the looming insolvency of Social Security and Medicare, high health and energy costs, a national immigration mess _ the next president will inherit these problems in January 2009. With Bush's popularity at an all time low and relations with the Democratic-led Congress acrimonious, he has little or no chance of pulling off a surprise victory in his time left.

"We're in a worse place than we were in 1999" before Bush became president, lamented Matthew Dowd, a former pollster and chief campaign strategist for Bush who has become disillusioned with his old boss.'

Posted by: Jane | October 5, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

In 1994, Mr. Giuliani applauded President Bill Clinton for banning assault rifles and urged Congress to enact physical and written tests and stringent background checks for prospective handgun owners. He also saluted the Clinton health care plan as "doing some pretty good things" and boasted that New York offered "universal health care," not least for illegal immigrants.

Posted by: rudy of yesteryear | October 5, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

and i always thought he was a republican...

"Chris Matthews had barely finished praising his colleagues at the 10th anniversary party for his "Hardball" show Thursday night in Washington, D.C. when his remarks turned political and pointed, even suggesting that the Bush administration had "finally been caught in their criminality."

In front of an audience that included such notables as Alan Greenspan, Rep. Patrick Kennedy and Sen. Ted Kennedy, Matthews began his remarks by declaring that he wanted to "make some news" and he certainly didn't disappoint. After praising the drafters of the First Amendment for allowing him to make a living, he outlined what he said was the fundamental difference between the Bush and Clinton administrations.

The Clinton camp, he said, never put pressure on his bosses to silence him.

"Not so this crowd," he added, explaining that Bush White House officials -- especially those from Vice President Cheney's office -- called MSNBC brass to complain about the content of his show and attempted to influence its editorial content. "They will not silence me!" Matthews declared.

"They've finally been caught in their criminality," Matthews continued, although he did not specify the exact criminal behavior to which he referred. He then drew an obvious Bush-Nixon parallel by saying, "Spiro Agnew was not an American hero."

Matthews left the throng of Washington A-listers with a parting shot at Cheney: "God help us if we had Cheney during the Cuban missile crisis. We'd all be under a parking lot."

Posted by: wow | October 5, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

uhhh cc you forgot a one.....

MI-09 joe knollenberg's days may be numbered as the state dems canidates are former lottery commish gary peters and 06 nominee nancy skinner looking for a rematch. its not looking for him when his district is turning blue.

with most of those seats mentioned, any r leaning seats could be either kept by the dems or throw out any moderate repubicans in a wave year depending on who's the canidate is! it could be of great benefit if the dem nom is anyone not named hillary clinton or if rudy or romney survives the primaries

personally i would love to see a 3rd party run to the right of rudy in the general(other than the pure shrendefude it would generate) but once again i would like to point to my comment on 3rd parties, start small first. then work your way up,stop trying to swing for the fences on presidental races. try winning a congressinal seat or a governorship first.

Posted by: spartan | October 5, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

"What's it like now? Are there new folks coming in?"

That's the question, isn't it? Given the swings in the general 'mood' since 2004, in conjunction with demographic changes, how predictive are 2004 results for 2008? Not very, is my guess.

Posted by: bsimon | October 5, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

SWB said "...the district is several percentage points less Republican than it was in 2004... ."

SWB, are you in or near TX 22? My impression was that Pasadena was Reagan Democrat country in the 80s. What's it like now? Are there new folks coming in?

Posted by: Mark in Austin | October 5, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for all the good wishes

JasonL - I have been in Munich before - it was 1982 I think - and will spend 2 days there on this trip.

AndyR - will be in France and Italy. I lived in Italy some years ago and never ever had a bad meal there.

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 5, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I don't think FL-16 should be on the list. Remember, Tim Mahoney didn't run against Mark Foley and he still won. It only went to Bush with 57% in 2004. Incumbancy is a powerful thing and this district isn't red enough to switch parties with the current national mood. Jim Marshall is probably safe as well. He is Georgia. I agree NM-1 belongs on the list. Vacant or no, Heather Wilson won't be in the House in '09. If the US Attorney scandel brought down Pete Domeneci, Wilson doesn't stand a chance.

Posted by: Josh | October 5, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

- 'Ready to take advantage of the federal government? You have until December 31. That's when Washington puts the kibosh on consumer tax credits of up to $500 for energy-saving products such as high-efficiency furnaces, water heaters, windows and insulation.'

Where did you get that quote, Jane? Energy efficiency is a big policy thing for me and I'm ashamed that we're ending that tax credit. Here in Maryland, Governor O'Malley is proposing sales tax holiday's for energy efficient appliances. Personally, I'd take it a step further and exempt all energy star items from sales taxes. Appliances, compact fluorescent lights, LCD TV's, everything.

People are always saying that solar, wind, and fusion are right around the corner, but industry experts will tell you that we're at least 30-40 years from being able to move away from fossil fuels. We need to be smarter about how we're using the fossil fuels now.

I sincerely hope that the next eight years are spent more wisely in regards to energy policy than the last eight were.

Posted by: JasonL | October 5, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Oops, sorry blarg--you said it all.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 5, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

'Can that possibly be true? Are there really that many single-issue voters out there?'

I don't think it's a single issue, bsimon, meaning abortion, I think it's what social cons think of as the whole set of things they consider 'values' --so cheating on your wife, dumping your kids, condoning gay marriage, non relgious/church-goinng --Rudy is pretty egregious on all of them.

Posted by: drindl | October 5, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Bsimon, they might not be single-issue voters. They might dislike other things about Giuliani too. From the perspective of social conservatives, he's wrong on abortion, gay marriage, family values (multiple divorces), etc. They might oppose him in general, assuming that they'd agree with the pro-life party more than Rudy on many issues. And remember, it's easy to say that you'll support a generic pro-life candidate. When the actual candidate is selected, his support will definitely drop.

It's still a very interesting poll result. It may cause some problems for the Giuliani campaign, especially if it makes Republicans think he's less electable. But you have to take these results with a grain of salt.

Posted by: Blarg | October 5, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

- 'Ready to take advantage of the federal government? You have until December 31. That's when Washington puts the kibosh on consumer tax credits of up to $500 for energy-saving products such as high-efficiency furnaces, water heaters, windows and insulation.'

going backwards...

Posted by: Jane | October 5, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

"Rasmussen reports that nearly 30 percent of Republicans would bolt the party and vote for a pro-life challenger if the GOP nominated Rudy Giuliani."

Can that possibly be true? Are there really that many single-issue voters out there?

Posted by: bsimon | October 5, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

The Chicago Reader reported on Jerry Weller's banana republic largesse several weeks before the 2006 election. The article was ignored by the much larger media outlets. Now the Chicago Tribune picked it up.

Here's the original story:

If the large corporate media played its watchdog role, we would have plenty of money for children's healthcare and people like Jerry Weller would no longer be in office.

Posted by: an independent voice | October 5, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

New poll shows Hillary's lead plunges by 30 points

choice ONLY
All Adults
Black Only
9/10-12/07 7/9-11/07 6/4-6/07 3/5-7/07
Hillary Clinton 35 38 34 36 33 38
Barack Obama 23 40 20 20 21 21
Al Gore 12 2 16 15 20 14
John Edwards 9 2 10 11 12 10
Bill Richardson 3 - 4 2 3 4
Joe Biden 2 1 3 2 1 1
Chris Dodd 1 1 1 1 - -
Other 1 3 - - - -
None 5 2 4 4 3 5
(DK/NS) 9 11 8 9 7 7

Posted by: tenngur | October 5, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

JimD, I know you and your wife will have a wonderful trip. Stay safe.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | October 5, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

JimD --- something I just found -- nearly a third of R's would bolt if rudy is the nominee -- huge:

'Rasmussen reports that nearly 30 percent of Republicans would bolt the party and vote for a pro-life challenger if the GOP nominated Rudy Giuliani. The poll pitted the former New York City mayor against Senator Hillary Clinton (D-New York) in the general election.

Eric Kleefield of TPM Election Central:

The hypothetical three-way race shows Hillary with 46% support, Rudy at 30%, and the third-party conservative with 14%. Among self-described pro-life voters, Rudy gets only 36% support, with the third-party candidate at 29% and Hillary with 23%. Not just that, but Rudy gets only 25% of pro-choice voters, with Hillary still walking away comfortably with 65%.

Attention Mitt Romney campaign: Beat Giuliani over the head with this. In recent weeks, Giuliani has played up his candidacy on something other than fear: electability. Should these numbers be more than just empty threats, this makes him unelectable.'

Posted by: drindl | October 5, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Heather Wilson NM is in deep legal doodoo, CC? Why don't you mention that?

Posted by: Dan | October 5, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

BTW Chris... I see you've broken a bit with your obsession over 2004 Bush numbers; i.e. your reference to the 2006 Webb numbers in Tom Davis' district. Que paso? Why don't you do a little footwork and apply that formula to a few other seats.

I think you'd find that some of your 'toss up' and 'lean republican' seats are looking a little different these days. I.e. - Doolittle's seat. Did you see the returns in 06'? It's not as dark red as you're making it out to be.

Posted by: Vicente | October 5, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I find it hard to believe that Heather Wilson's seat in NM is not on the list. I also wonder why CC left out Shays's seat in CT or Kuhl's upstate NY seat, let alone Reichart's seat in WA.

Posted by: Mjames2 | October 5, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

"Coulter opposes women voting
By: Steve Benen @ 6:35 PM - PDT I try to avoid posts about right-wing clown Ann Coulter, but when someone says women shouldn't vote, it's too good not to mention.

"If we took away women's right to vote, we'd never have to worry about another Democrat president. It's kind of a pipe dream, it's a personal fantasy of mine, but I don't think it's going to happen. And it is a good way of making the point that women are voting so stupidly, at least single women.

"It also makes the point, it is kind of embarrassing, the Democratic Party ought to be hanging its head in shame, that it has so much difficulty getting men to vote for it. I mean, you do see it's the party of women and 'We'll pay for health care and tuition and day care -- and here, what else can we give you, soccer moms?'"

Garance Franke-Ruta suggests, "I would like to see that quote, 'If we took away women's right to vote, we'd never have to worry about another Democratic president. It's kind of a pipe dream, a personal fantasy of mine,' as the header on GOTV mailers along with pictures of Coulter and whichever candidates were stupid enough to associate themselves with her earlier in the year. I would like to see it on television ads."

bluegal: On topic, while we sometimes think of the blogosphere as "male-dominated," thanks to Catherine Morgan at Informed Voters for today's list of over one hundred women blogging on politics, from both sides of the spectrum. ahem.


Posted by: RUFUS | October 5, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

drindl writes " I do think you're right [about] Rudy. He as an R nominee will costs the R's more than Hillary costs the D's, ImO."

Me three. Though I think dems will find a Hillary presidency will end up being similar to the Bush presidency, in terms of damage to the party. If the Rs nominate Rudy, that decision will bear the blame for the final crumbling of the party, but its merely the final blow that exposed all the cracks formed during the Bush admin. IMHO.

JimD, have a fine time overseas. Each time I go I immensely enjoy myself while also appreciating home a little bit more.

Posted by: bsimon | October 5, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Something to consider about Lampson's prospects is that the district is several percentage points less Republican than it was in 2004 ironically due to DeLay's redistricting. Its still a GOP lean, but not as beat red as it once was and thus the "uphill battle" faced by Lampson isn't actually all that steep.

Posted by: SWB | October 5, 2007 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Jason, the GOP is hoping that any votes that might get pulled over to a third candidate will be made up by people who will vote against Hillary. There plan goes to heck if Obama or Edwards is the nominee though.
By the way I watched some of Edwards' town hall meeting in the little town in Kentucky. The people were asking tough questions and he was rolling with it really well.

Posted by: Andy R | October 5, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I detest career politicians. For the most part these vile creatures seek public office to earn a living and to create wealth and power for themselves. What they don't steal or give away, they waste. A career politician retires or losses an election, so what, another sleek career politician wearing a flag lapel pin, will take his place and continue the farce- the destruction of our republic and the value of citizenship for self gain.
Senator "Wide Stance" Graig is an excellent example of what a career politician is about. He has decided to stay the course and keep his Senate seat until he retires, even after announcing that he would resign from office. This perverted career politician will retire with life long health care, a pension and other benefits paid for and subsidised by working class citizens, their tax dollars and money borrowed from the likes of Communist China. Retirement and heath care benefits that will soon only be that of the ruling class.
Graig's impatient foot taping in that foul smelling men's urine scented stall was as much about perverted sex as it was about his kind's impatience with the slow course of destruction of our republic and value of citizenship.
Career politicians will say, do and present themselves in any manner that will get into a government office, it's like winning the lottery.
The Bush family has for three generations held political or other government positions. They have received and are receiving government pensions, health care and other benefits for more then fifty years in addition to the enormous wealth special interest have directed their way. Health care for poor children, Bush and other like career politicians, call it Socialism, and are blocking it, the same tax payer subsidised heath care that they receive...yeah this what career politicians are about living/hiding in their family compounds, guarded gated communities...castles, forts, whatever. Citizen, we need to do something about them and the interests that support them.

Posted by: 123Njord | October 5, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Have a really great time in Europe, JimD--will niss your reasoned viewpoint. And I do think you're right Rudy. He as an R nominee will costs the R's more than Hillary costs the D's, ImO.

Be sure to bring lots of spending $ -- my friends in Europe tell me the dollar is worth about as much as the peso there now.

Posted by: drindl | October 5, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Enjoy your trip JimD. Sounds great. Will you be spending any time in Germany? Munich is a lovely city. Berlin smells like urine.

It would be interesting to see what happens if a third party religious conservative runs. It will almost certainly torpedo the chances of anyone but a Democrat getting elected unless Nader runs again, too.

But it could have the very positive effect of generating a multi-party system in the US. Break up Republicans into fiscal conservatives and social conservatives. Splinter the Dems a bit. It would be fascinating to be able to vote for a party that actually was most of my own views as a platform, rather than simply a close as I can manage.

Posted by: JasonL | October 5, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

JimD have fun in Europe, and if you get a chance and have the coin to spring for it go and eat at a Michelen starred Restaruant (There are a good amount in France Italy and Spain). When there just order the 7 or 9 course tasting menu. I did this in Spain once and it was the best meal I have ever eaten.

Posted by: Andy R | October 5, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

2008 is going to be a bloodbath with the Democrats sweeping the election once again. More House seats, more Senate seats, and the Office of President. The writing is on the wall... particularly since things just keep getting worse and worse for the GOP.
Any right winger can argue against this, but they will be in a state of denial. No way can the Republican compete in the swing states with so many of the independents opposed to Bush, and they can even lose some Southern territory. Actually, 2008 will most likely leave the GOP as a regional party of the South. Once that happens, the Dems can keep the Repubs down for quite some time if they remain competent as a majority.

Posted by: ErrinF | October 5, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

"We will be touring Europe for 4 weeks, leaving in a week."

Unintentional as it is, THAT'S gloating, JimD. Enjoy the trip and try to ignore my entirely virtual arrows of jealousy.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | October 5, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

"Judge -- would you ban anyone who provides a link to a relevant article?"

No. In fact, I wouldn't ban anyone who provides just links even if they aren't relevant (unless they paste in a LOT of irrelevant links). It's the multi-page pastes of text that bother me. Anyway, Jane, only one or two people desperately need banning/correction.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | October 5, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Boko - I am eating into my workday here so I promise to go away - soon - In TX, in 2000,
[Sen.-for-life] Kay BH outpolled GWB by nearly 300000 votes. Noriega would surely outpoll the D candidate for Prez.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | October 5, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I don't usually gloat but I have been predicting for months that a Giuliani nomination would spur a third party challenge from the religious right. Some socially moderate conservatives here thought that was a dubious proposition but the more extreme religious right leaders are actively positioning themselves for such a campaign. I don't see how Giuiliani can appease these folks without opening himself to "flip-flopping" charges that will terminally undermine his whole "straight shooter" image.

Femalenick, you are a welcome addition to the discussion here. I have not been able to contribute much lately due to work pressures. I was much more active here in the recent past, but I do try to read through the posts regularly.

For all my friends here - I will be mostly absent for about the next 6 weeks. We will be touring Europe for 4 weeks, leaving in a week. I have way too much to do before I leave to spend much time here and it will take at least a week upon return to catch up on work issues. So, for all of you who maintain civility and ignore the nonsensical posts from the fact-challenged extremists, thanks and I will be back in touch in late November.

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 5, 2007 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Judge -- would you ban anyone who provides a link to a relevant article?

Posted by: Jane | October 5, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Wow the xian right is going to start their own political Party...How interesting..they soulnd like Ralph Nader.. t least Nader was concerned about the issues running the country.

Hmmm...I have a good idea for new the xian right party (Jihad)GI-Hate-U Party.

Posted by: Issa | October 5, 2007 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Lampson's challenger is a Republican named, um, 'Manlove'?! For Real!?


Greatest. Election. EVAH!

Posted by: Vicente | October 5, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

NC-8 is in play only in a big Democrat year like 2006. The fact that a joker like Kissell came close proves this.

Posted by: gopjudge | October 5, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Mr Cilizza-
Firstly, nice use of the 'tough sledding' metaphor in your discussion of the MN 3 race. Very apropos.

Secondly thanks for considering the letter prepared by Mark in Austin, et al.

Posted by: bsimon | October 5, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Bokonon, I really have to go, but I must thank you for your input which I know you saw in the final version.

Lampson's District includes commuter white collar and well paid blue collar suburbs and rice farmers and NASA. Someone in the District could give you a more accurate assessment than I, but I think there is rapid growth and turnover in the District which on the law of averages [regression to the mean, right JD?] would tend to moderate it from its dogged conservatism.

As I recall, Lampson's former District, before redistricting, included Galveston, with its strong D vote. The District ends on the mainland side now.

Texas is so big that there are no generalizations that work. For example, Dallas County has moderated through growth from doggedly R to evenly split, but the Dallas Ds are conservative by national standards. In Austin, most Rs are not social conservatives. One of my former law partners was an R County Chair - when Austin's green movement was raising Oregon style no-growth concerns [Austin pop 212k in 1960,750k now], he publicly spat "H--l, one abortionist could do more to control population growth than all you treehuggers". Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Rs. The 22d has "Christian" conservatives, too.
The Hispanic vote is huge, but not reliably D. A lot of south TX wants help on undocs and they get more from state Rs than they are promised by national Ds. But a Rick Noriega campaign - Lt. Col.Rick Noriega for Senate, Afghanistan war vet, blue dog D, changes that turnout more than Mikal Watts would.

Too many variables, too big a state, cannot tell!

Posted by: Mark in Austin | October 5, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Blarg: Hopefully the system will have something that takes care of the cut-and-paste brigade as well. Although I think that's only one or two people.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | October 5, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Come on, CC, when are you going to cover this? The entire '09 election could turn on what these folks do---

' When James Dobson warns that he will lead evangelical conservatives and other "values voters" in a third-party revolt if the Republican Party nominates Rudolph Giuliani for president -- as the Focus on the Family president warned in Thursday's New York Times -- it is hard to suppress a cynical smirk. Such rumblings from the religious right seem ritualistic, issued predictably in election years or whenever Republican politicians show signs of straying from the fold. Many analysts listen, shrug and then predict that the party leadership will somehow accommodate the restive theocrats long before Election Day -- and that the imperatives of power will prevail, as usual, over principle.

But this time could be different for the increasingly disgruntled Dobson and his theocratic cohort. This time they may feel they have no choice but to follow through on their threat to support a "minor party" candidate. Consider their dilemma.

Having founded both a mass movement and a lucrative business on the promotion of "pro-family" values, the Dobson faction now confronts a potential moral disaster in the person of Giuliani, who represents the antithesis of everything they profess to hold most sacred. For years and decades, they have exhorted their listeners and contributors to despise every politician who supports reproductive rights, tolerates homosexuality and indulges in extramarital sex (or even divorce, which they consider equally sinful). So how could Dobson -- or any self-respecting conservative Christian -- ever condone a vote for the former mayor of New York, whose personal and ideological record is so profoundly at odds with what they have described as their bedrock beliefs?'

Posted by: Cassandra | October 5, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Drindl, if registration is the same as for other blogs on the site (and CC said it would be), it's no trouble at all. It's the same registration that's required to read articles on the site. Up at the top of the page, next to the banner, it says "Hello X". That's the name that will be signed under your posts.

No more anonymous posts, no more impersonations, and no more confusion when people have the same name. (Remember how upset William was when another William showed up?) I think that registration will go a long way towards fixing The Fix. And once all posts are connected to real accounts, it's easier for moderators to get involved, should they choose to do so.

Posted by: Blarg | October 5, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

I must chime in and say good work on the letter to CC, Mark and other folks--he does listen. I thought his reply was very decent--and also his concern about not censoring anyone, just trying to figure out the best way to keep the conversation going.

Having run/moderated a blog before, I can tell you, it's very difficult to make that distinctiion without adequate personnel to monitor/prevent food fights. I had a group of volunteers -- they called themselves 'Board Nannies.'

Registration will help a lot, though. I just hope it isn't a cumbersome process -- part of what makes this blog fun is the spontaneity.

Posted by: drindl | October 5, 2007 9:42 AM | Report abuse

"Judge, thanks. You were supposed to receive copies of CC's responses from FemaleNick."

I did. FemaleNick has been wonderfully helpful as the nexus of communication. Nice to know/realize that CC's on top of the issue.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | October 5, 2007 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Re. OH-15 (my district)

The district is trending D in a big way. Outgoing rep Pryce has been alienating the district on her way out the door- returning snide responses to constituent letters and ignoring war concerns.

After having lost leadership of the Republican Congressional Caucus chairmanship, she whined that being in Washington just wasn't fun anymore. She was then quoted saying a 4 day work-week was just too much.

She's become the embodiment of someone who wants part-time work, lots of perks, and who ignores(at best) or derides (more typically) her constituents. Little wonder nobody wants to carry her mantle.

Posted by: BenCMH | October 5, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Mark, wasn't Lampson the rep. in DeLay's district (or elsewhere?) earlier? (Not sure when.) I thought I had read that he was liked - despite being a Democrat. And is there any chance of realignment in Texas, to any extent? It is interesting to me that party affiliation becomes a cultural thing as much if not more than a weighing out of the available policy directions and the candidates who would be best suited to pursue one or the other. To what extent do you think that the conservatism in Texas is cultural/social, and to what extent economic?

btw nice work on the letter to CC, and we'll see if/when registration happens.

Posted by: Bokonon | October 5, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Judge, thanks. You were supposed to receive copies of CC's responses from FemaleNick. They were encouraging. I think there will be "Trail" style registration here soon.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | October 5, 2007 9:26 AM | Report abuse

'At the very least we can expect that Ohio votes will be counted honestly in 2008.'

Well, we can hope and pray, at least, Judge.

Posted by: drindl | October 5, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

One last thought: I posted the other morning that House races are, around here, local and not much affected by the top of the ticket, the exception for newbies. Lampson is virtually a newbie. So will be his opponent. The top of each ticket may well matter in TX22.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | October 5, 2007 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Mark: it's hard to see how "Manlove" might not be an issue for the R voter with a gun rack and a rebel flag on the back windshield of his Ford/Chevy truck. I'd expect at least some R turnout suppression as a result.

Thanks for your note to CC; hope it has the desired effect.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | October 5, 2007 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I've never been so happy. I can't wait until election day. Bye Bye a-holes.

Posted by: Sophie McGlumphy | October 5, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Judge, Ds outside TX have jumped on the unfortunately named Houston advertising executive. Manlove's firm does church marketing, but he had something of a rep for cronyism of the asexual kind as Mayor of Pasadena. I think he is probably a second rate guy from what I have heard, but "Manlove", the word, is not an issue for him.

Just so we all understand, Nick Lampson has represented that District well because he has perhaps the most conservative voting record of any D west of the Mississippi [there may be an argument for Marshall in GA as the most conservative D]. That is what it takes to represent and reflect that District, of course.

That, or an R.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | October 5, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

I am loving the snowball effect going on here. I love it that out of however many hundreds of thousands of Republicans must live in that district of California, they can't find one to run that hasn't been subpoenaed. 2008 is going to be fun. Remember the "thumpin'", boys, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

Posted by: Jen | October 5, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

"...with Pasadena Mayor John Manlove the latest candidate..."

The party of Larry Craig might want to reconsider nominating this extremely ill-named candidate.

"...former Ohio State football great Chris Spielman is getting serious consideration..."

What? Aren't these the same R's who question the experience level of Obama and HRC? Say it isn't so.

"...Carney must find a way to win reelection in this northeastern Pennsylvania district..."

So, how has he been doing in Congress? We've heard that Lampson does a good job in representing his TX district and that Mahoney in FL needs to have a fork stuck in him.

"...but it went for President Bush by five percent in 2004 and eight points in 2000..."

As usual, we're left asking: what happened in 2006? Granted it wasn't a presidential election year but surely votes WERE cast. Results? This is likely to be a race benefiting/suffering from the coattails effect upticket; that effect (+ or -) has yet to be established, BTW.

"Did we mention that President Bush carried the district by only 2,000 votes in 2004 and the state Republican Party is still trying to clear the rubble of election 2006?"

Another upticket election. You left out the fact that, according to bhoomes, Ohio's new D governor appears to be doing a good job and can thus push things in the D's direction a bit. At the very least we can expect that Ohio votes will be counted honestly in 2008.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | October 5, 2007 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Andy, I am not counting out Nick Lampson, but he looked much better if the Rs had run Sekula - Gibbs. I did not realize the District ran all the way to Pasadena so I looked. I always think of it as Sugar Land - Richmond - Rosenberg but it actually stretches east over 50m to Galveston Bay.
Stiil, it doesn't have anything but suburbia for most of its votes.

I think he has done a good job for his District, but against an R who is not weak like S-G he has an uphill fight.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | October 5, 2007 8:58 AM | Report abuse

About Virginia's 11th (mine)....

If it's Connolly against Corey Stewart as I expect it will be, look for that fight to play out on the battlefield of illegal immigration. That's Corey's best weapon, and it's a good one based on what's gone on here the last couple weeks.

Posted by: JD | October 5, 2007 8:51 AM | Report abuse

I like the first five and I think they will all probably switch. The Dems will probably lose Foley's old seat in Florida since the guy who took his place is joke. I think Lampson will be safe though. He is a solid politician who knows what he is doing and was running a solid campaign before Delay dropped out.
Marshall in GA is safe no matter what has happened in the past. He knows what to do to keep that seat.

The house races won't really start to take shape until next year though, so I am sure this list will be constantly changing. The take home message I think is that the Democratice majority is very safe and they may even make some gains over all.

Posted by: Andy R | October 5, 2007 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Where the heck is NC-08? Come on, give Kissell some credit.

Posted by: Seriously | October 5, 2007 8:37 AM | Report abuse

What about NM-1 ... Wilson is giving up the seat to run for the Senate?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 5, 2007 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Larry Craig is the gift that keeps on giving to the Democrats...Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

Posted by: Progressive | October 5, 2007 8:27 AM | Report abuse

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