Tags: Horserace

You Think You Had a Bad Quarter?


You know who had a rough fund-raising quarter? The Democratic committee in Burlington County, New Jersey:  “The Burlington County Democratic Committee is deep in debt and raised no money during the first three months of the year, according to the committee’s latest New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission filings.”

Think about it: If you found a penny in the street today, you raised more in that moment than they raised in three months.

Tags: Horserace

House Democrats, Out on a Limb for Obamacare, Hear a Snapping Sound


Endangered House Democrat Brad Ellsworth of Indiana, now running for the Senate in Indiana, justified his vote for the health-care bill by declaring:

In addition to meeting my pro-life principles, the plan reduces costs, improves access to affordable insurance options, covers pre-existing conditions, and does not add one penny to the deficit.

Now that it has passed, we learn that it doesn’t do this at all:

Economic experts at the Health and Human Services Department concluded in a report issued Thursday that the health care remake . . . falls short of the president’s twin goal of controlling runaway costs, raising projected spending by about 1 percent over 10 years. That increase could get bigger, since Medicare cuts in the law may be unrealistic and unsustainable, the report warned.

(Daniel Foster lays out the ‘duh’ factor.)

Ellsworth and a whole lot of other House Democrats voted against their constituents, and dramatically endangered their chances for reelection, all because they put their faith in the notion that the bill would reduce spending.

Endangered House Democrat Baron Hill justified his vote for the health-care bill by declaring:

This reform version covers more uninsured Americans than the respective House and Senate bills, while also reducing the deficit more effectively. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported that the revised bill reduces the deficit by one hundred and thirty eight billion dollars during the first ten years of the program, and reduces the deficit by more than one trillion dollars in the second ten years, effectively making it the biggest deficit reduction legislation since 1993.

Endangered House Democrat John Boccieri  justified his vote for the health-care bill by declaring:

This bill may not be perfect but it strikes the proper balance of reducing costs, increasing consumer choices and lowering the staggering deficit from runaway health care spending.

Endangered House Democrat . . . eh, you’re catching the drift.

Charlie Wilson of Ohio:

I have seen the CBO score and the reconciliation changes for myself. This bill will not add a dime to the deficit.

Suzanne Kosmas of Florida:

The bill before us now represents the single largest deficit reduction in over a decade, saving nearly $140 billion in the first 10 years and over $1.2 trillion in the decade to follow. This legislation provides truly fiscally responsible reform, and it contains the strongest measures ever enacted to help eliminate waste, fraud and abuse in the system, to rein in skyrocketing health care costs, and to stabilize Medicare while preserving benefits.

Melissa Bean of Illinois:

As a fiscal conservative, it was important to me that this legislation benefit not just our physical health, but also our fiscal health. The final legislation approved today delivers the most significant deficit reduction in more than a decade, cutting our federal deficit by $1.3 trillion over 20 years.

Bill Owens of New York:

After studying all the facts, I was presented with a simple choice: Do nothing and further burden our families and entrepreneurs, and allow our costs to spiral out of control, or take the first steps to reform our system in a way that will pay for itself and help America pull itself out of the recession.

Chris Carney of Pennsylvania:

This bill takes critical steps toward providing quality, affordable health care while reducing the cost burden on our hardworking families and small businesses. It does so in a fiscally responsible manner, reducing the deficit by an estimated $138 billion over the first 10 years and an additional $1.2 trillion in the following decade.

In short, just about every vulnerable House Democrat justified their vote by saying the bill would reduce costs and reduce the deficit, and now the Department of Health and Human Services finds that pledge has . . . well, reached its expiration date.

Tags: Barack Obama , Horserace

Mark Critz Doesn’t Want to Be Facebook Friends With Joe Biden


This web ad from the NRCC, thinking about the Facebook-esque page of Pennsylvania special House election candidate Mark Critz, made me laugh:

(Notice that “Barack Obama” posts the message, “I haven’t been to Western Pennsylvania lately . . . let’s hold a fundraiser in a bowling alley!”)

Vice President Joe Biden visits the district today to help out Critz, so hopefully the local paraplegics will give him a standing ovation.

Tags: Barack Obama , Horserace , Joe Biden

No Faustian Bargains Needed to Take on Alan Grayson


Dan Webster, former state senator, is joining the teeming masses of Florida Republicans running against Rep. Alan Grayson (D., Intermittent Explosive Disorder).

Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee have already endorsed Webster.

If he wins the primary, we finally will get to watch a congressional race between the devil and Daniel Webster.

Tags: Barack Obama , Horserace , Joe Biden

Republicans Haven’t Closed the Sale . . . Yet.


Hmmm. Gallup informs us:

The advantage in public support the Democratic Party built up during the latter part of the Bush administration and the early part of the Obama administration has all but disappeared. During the first quarter of 2010, 46 percent of Americans identified as Democrats or leaned Democratic, while 45 percent identified as or leaned Republican.

Apparently the movement includes little or no increase in the number of self-identified Republicans and is almost entirely among independents describing themselves as leaning towards the Republicans.

Tags: Barack Obama , Horserace , Joe Biden

It’s Like ‘Pawlenty Idol’


Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty’s PAC is holding a “favorite 2010 candidate” contest. At stake:

Co-Hosting a Facebook Town Hall featuring the winning candidate and Governor Pawlenty

Sending an email on behalf of the winning candidate to the Freedom First PAC list

Matching every dollar donated by individuals to the winning candidate through the PAC up to the $5,000 limit

The list includes a lot of names familiar to these parts: Tim Burns, Charles Djou, Michelle Bachmann, Adam Kinzinger, Mark Kirk, Pat Toomey, Rob Portman, and more . . .

Tags: Barack Obama , Horserace , Joe Biden

Now We All Live in ‘Sharia Park’


From this morning’s Jolt:

This Looks Like a Job For Team America

I played Devil’s advocate to Cam last night: Pretend you’re the Comedy Central official who makes the call on what gets bleeped on South Park. You know that while the show offends everyone, when Muslims get offended, things start blowing up and insurance rates go up. You know that if material that offends Muslims gets out there, somebody might do something to your company and your co-workers. And while some would-be-jihadist might target creators Trey Parker or Matt Stone, they might just firebomb your corporate offices and incinerate some nice receptionist who had nothing to do with the television show’s production. Are you willing to risk the life of that receptionist, when you know bleeping the controversial sections might make the threat go away, at least partially, and at least for a while?

I don’t buy into the Devil’s advocate argument; ultimately, while the hesitation to expose a receptionist to a terrible terror attack is understandable, knuckling under effectively replaces this official as programming director and gives creative control to Islamic Rage Boy. Sure, Parker and Stone offend him, but everything non-Islamic, including visual images, offends him.

The capitulation of Comedy Central shouldn’t be that surprising; remember very few papers ran the Mohammed cartoons. The bomber’s veto is very much in effect in our society.

The news: “On Thursday morning, a spokesman for Comedy Central confirmed that the network had added more bleeps to the episode than were in the cut delivered by South Park Studios, and that it was not giving permission for the episode to run on the studio’s Web site.”

At Hot Air, AllahPundit gives us to us straight, that the news media does not see its job as telling us what’s going on; it believes its mission is to tell us what to think: “As InstaGlenn says, this is actually the perfect ironic conclusion to the media’s post-Tax Day binge of hyperventilating about tea party extremism. Cranks holding up “Impeach the Kenyan!” signs at a right-wing rally are grist for a thousand NYT op-eds about Oklahoma City, but have jihadis intimidate the parent company of one of the most highly regarded comedies on television into blacking out its shows and it’s essentially a curio for the TV beat.”

At Big Hollywood, Woody Hochswender asks a fairly good question about the reports of threats against creators Parker and Stone: “Where is Homeland Security on this? (Oh, never mind, they’re most likely busy infiltrating Tea Parties.)”

At Contentions, Abe Greenwald notes that the New York Times feels the need to soft-pedal the obvious, when they note that a ‘Muslim group’ suggested Stone and Parker could face violent consequences:  “What’s a ‘Muslim Group’? Call me old-fashioned, but I thought bodies that reportedly threatened violence and murder because of the portrayal of religious figures were called alleged terrorists. I just hope someone tracks this angry bunch down before they’re able to pull off a deadly act of groupism.”

Tags: Barack Obama , Horserace , Joe Biden

With Their Hearts in the RightNetwork’s Place


Over on the home page, a chat with one of the minds behind RightNetwork, a new, conservative-oriented media company that aims to start appearing on your computer, mobile devices, and eventually television, starting later this year.

Tags: Barack Obama , Horserace , Joe Biden , Something Lighter

Those Brave Bureaucrats, Enduring the Dangers of the Battlefields of Europe


Republican Lou Barletta notices that his opponent, incumbent Democrat Paul Kanjorski, has an exceptionally broad definition of “bureaucrat.”

Kanjorski, on Steve Corbett’s radio show:

KANJORSKI: I know it’s nice to campaign against lobbyists, its . . . in the same way it’s nice to campaign against quote bureaucrats, but the reality is the bureaucrat you’re campaigning against is the guy that delivers your mail every day. It’s the guy that is protecting us over in the battlefields of Europe, these . . . uh . . . or the Middle East. These are all the people that perform governmental functions whether they be in the military of the civilian force of the United States.

Barletta remarks:

He actually said that the brave men and women serving in our military are bureaucrats. Personally, I think they are heroes – citizen soliders who volunteer to protect our way of life. I guess after 26 years of living in Washington, Kanjorski either sees people as bureaucrats or funding sources.

But I would just note . . . which “battlefields of Europe” was Kanjorski thinking of? Kosovo? Normandy? Verdun?

Tags: Barack Obama , Horserace , Joe Biden , Something Lighter

If You Need ID, Bring Your Birth Certificate, Since Hawaiians Love Questions About Those


Voter registration for the special election to fill Hawaii’s vacant U.S. House seat ends today.

The Republican in the race, Charles Djou, raised more than $111,000 in the past day or so.

Tags: Barack Obama , Horserace , Joe Biden , Something Lighter

Don’t Inflate One for the Gipper



A Republican congressman from North Carolina has proposed legislation that would replace the image of President Ulysses S. Grant on the fifty dollar bill with that of President Ronald Reagan. Do Americans want this change to occur? Most do not. 79 percent think this suggestion is a bad idea while 12 percent say it’s a good one. 9 percent are unsure.

Come on. If you’re going to put the Gipper’s face on something, it shouldn’t be something that’s rapidly declining in value.

Tags: Barack Obama , Horserace , Joe Biden , Something Lighter

For Mark Critz, Democratic Enthusiasm Is the Pits


Mark Critz, the Democrat running in Murtha’s old district, has a little less than a month to change this:

As the party tries to hold onto John Murtha’s old Congressional seat here are some numbers that don’t bode very well for Democrats – the enthusiasm numbers among the party’s voters are exactly what they were in Virginia the weekend before Creigh Deeds went down to Bob McDonnell by 17 points.

38% of Democrats say they’re very excited about voting in the special election while 29% say they are not very excited. When we had those numbers in Virginia the overwhelming thought was that it was due to Democrats being uninspired by Creigh Deeds’ lackluster campaign. I’m not sure that the numbers in this case are really Mark Critz’s fault so much as a reflection of unhappiness with the party in general. Democratic voters in this particular district aren’t real high on the actions of any of their Democratic officials and that being the case it’s not a big surprise that they’re not enthralled with voting in this election.

Considering how badly the health-care bill is polling in this district, perhaps Critz could pledge to repeal it.

Tags: Barack Obama , Horserace , Joe Biden , Something Lighter

Adventure? Excitement? A Congressman Does Not Crave These Things


The retirement of Kansas Democrat Dennis Moore – you know, the lawmaker who didn’t read the health-care bill and voted for it anyway – was one of those early indicators of trouble for Democrats, as Kansas isn’t exactly the easiest state for that party. His wife is running; no word on whether or not she believes she should read bills before enacting them into law.

But the possibility of Mrs. Moore benefiting from a messy GOP primary looks less likely today:

On Thursday, Nick Jordan pulled out of the Republican primary. Plagued by poor fundraising — and tagged as a loser because of his defeat to Moore in the fall of 2008 — Jordan had no recourse.

Jordan’s pullout is a big victory for Kevin Yoder, who has easily amassed the largest amount of money for the GOP primary.

And Jordan’s decision hurts Stephene Moore — at least a bit — as Dennis’ wife gets her bid for the Democratic nomination under way.

After all, Moore and other Democrats have been hoping against hope that the Republican primary would be a political bloodbath, requiring candidates to raise all kinds of money and throw out all kinds of negative charges against each other just to win the GOP nomination and the right to face Moore in November.

Now, one of the prime GOP candidates is out of the race, reducing the chances for a bruising Republican primary.

Yoder’s campaign warchest is pretty darn big, but that doesn’t guarantee a victory. In fact, whenever I hear the name “Yoder” I think, “Size matters not . . . Look at me. Judge me by size, do you?”

Tags: Barack Obama , Horserace , Joe Biden , Something Lighter

Tough Year to Be a Democrat in New Hampshire, and/or America


PPP lays out the grim prospects for New Hampshire’s two House Democrats:

Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter has an upside down approval with 50% of voters disapproving of her job performance to just 41% giving her good marks. Hers is the more conservative of the state’s districts and she’s probably not helped by Obama’s negative 45/49 approval spread or the 52/42 opposition to the health care bill there.

In a hypothetical match up with Frank Guinta, Shea-Porter trails 46-45. It has little to do with Guinta – 52% of voters in the district don’t know enough about him to have an opinion and it’s far from inevitable that he will be the GOP nominee. But he nevertheless leads 45-42 among independents and takes 9% of Democrats to Shea-Porter’s 7% of Republicans. Shea-Porter has not really done any bipartisan bridge building so that puts her fate in the hands of independents and that will make it tough for her this fall with independents everywhere leaning toward the GOP. This one looks like a tossup.

If the best known candidates for Paul Hodes’ open seat win their party nominations Republicans will be heavily favored to take it back. Former Congressman Charlie Bass leads 2002 Democratic nominee Katrina Swett 47-32. Those numbers are pretty comparable to what happened when they faced off the first time and Bass won 57-41, not a huge surprise given that this is the first year where New Hampshire Republicans have much cause for optimism since that 2002 election.

Hey, remember when they said voters would learn to love the health-care bill?

Tags: Barack Obama , Horserace , Joe Biden , Something Lighter

Asking a Question in the Jolt Could Save Me 15 Minutes or More of Research


In the Morning Jolt, I asked why GEICO is written in all capital letters. Many, many readers are informing me it used to stand for “Government Employees Insurance Company.”

As for that axed announcer, I’ll bet that right now he’s singing that he feels like somebody’s watching him, and he has no privacy.

Tags: Barack Obama , Horserace , Joe Biden , Something Lighter

Russ Carnahan’s Reelection Bid May Be Taking on Water


Democratic congressman Russ Carnahan’s boat, Attractive Nuisance, lives up to its name:

[Republican Ed] Martin sent out a release accusing Carnahan of attempting to dodge taxes by parking his boat across the river in Illinois.

If the vessel – a 42-foot Chris Craft cruiser – were docked in Missouri, Carnahan could owe property taxes on the boat. But, because it’s docked at the Alton Marina, Missouri property taxes are not a concern.

. . . Alton Marina, near the foot of the Clark Bridge on the Mississippi River, is one of, if not the closest, marinas suitable to park a boat the size of Carnahan’s.

Still, this is not the first time Carnahan’s river cruiser has raised questions. In 2004, Carnahan — then a state legislator running for Congress — was fined for not registering the boat.

At the time, Carnahan said he was testing the boat engine’s when he was cited by the Missouri Water Patrol.

The boat, however, is still not registered. Its Coast Guard registration expired in 2008. According to the state Conservation Police, the boat is not registered in Illinois, either.

. . . Carnahan’s new campaign manager, Angela Barranco, said the reason the boat — built in 1968 — is not registered is because it is currently inoperable.

Insert sinking-ship metaphor here.

This is likely to be an expensive race, but Republican Ed Martin is doing rather well, having raised $582,276. In terms of cash-on-hand, the incumbent barely leads, $520,545 to $478,779.

Tags: Barack Obama , Horserace , Joe Biden , Something Lighter

Can Someone Take David Paterson to Court?


Earlier today, I noted New York governor David Paterson appears to be refusing to hold a special election in the district that was represented by Eric Massa until March 8. If no election is held, the seat – a Republican-leaning district – will go without representation for more than 300 days, almost a year.

A reader sends along this legal decision from the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2004, stemming from Jim Traficant’s expulsion from Congress in Ohio, and wonders if there’s a path for legal action to force Paterson’s hand: to hold a special election in the district that was represented by Eric Massa until March 8:

In summation, we conclude that Article I, section 2, clause 4 imposed a mandatory duty upon Governor Taft to hold a special election to fill the vacancy in the District created by the expulsion of Traficant. Although there may be situations where an executive’s duty is excused because the time remaining on the Congressional term is truly de minimis, this was not such a situation. While legislative balancing of the state’s and its voters’ interests is entitled to deference, a special election that complied with Ohio’s election code could have been held in this case. Therefore, we hold that Governor Taft violated his duty to call a special election under Article I, section 2, clause 4 and denied ACLU members the rights to vote and to equal protection in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Anyone in the district want to take Paterson to court?

Tags: Barack Obama , Horserace , Joe Biden , Something Lighter

This Is a Pretty Meek Result for Florida Democrats


By Rasmussen’s measure, Charlie Crist would lose the Florida Senate race in an independent bid; Rubio leads, 37 percent to 30 percent.

But that’s actually the second-most-surprising result of this poll. Could Democratic candidate Kendrick Meek really get only 22 percent in a major swing state’s Senate race?

Kendrick Meek’s 22 percent in today’s Rasmussen poll seems impossibly low, but he was at 29 percent in Mason-Dixon in March.

Tags: Barack Obama , Horserace , Joe Biden , Something Lighter

To E.J. Dionne, Democratic Fortunes Are Always Looking Up


E.J. Dionne, today, writing about the financial-reform proposal:

Suddenly, it’s Democrats — and, in particular, the often conflict-averse Obama — who are relishing a fight. This raises what might be the essential question for November: Can Democrats finally put the Republicans on the defensive? Obama is betting that they can.

This is the same E. J. Dionne who wrote last October 29:

In New Jersey, by contrast, incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine has hugged Obama as hard as he could, and the election has been moving his way . . . According to a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday, Daggett is drawing roughly three votes from Christie for every two he is taking from Corzine. The poll gave Corzine, who has trailed for much of the year, a lead of 43 percent to 38 percent.

Of course, Christie won by 4 percentage points, and won a lot of counties and communities that had been tough for Republicans for the past decade. There’s no shame in a bad prediction; even I suspected, in a supremely cynical moment, that the Corzine campaign would “find” enough last-minute votes in Camden and Trenton to eke out a victory.

But when looking at politics and trying to get a sense of how things will play out, there’s always the temptation to see what you want to see. For the past year, just about every other Dionne column has been a variation of “things aren’t as bad for Democrats as they seem,” and yet few would doubt they’ve had a thoroughly bruising year. It’s not just Christie and Bob McDonnell and Scott Brown; it’s also GOP victories in some of the most unlikely places and races, like Nassau County executive and Westchester County executive and Pennsylvania’s state supreme court. There’s a strong argument that this era of all-Democratic governance has fundamentally damaged the party’s image with a lot of voters who gave Obama and his party a shot in 2008.

Could Democrats greatly mitigate their losses between now and November? Sure. But I doubt that beating the populist drum about Wall Street will be sufficient. There will need to be real declines in unemployment – not just a tenth of a percentage point here and there, but visible and tangible changes – for them to change a fundamentally difficult political environment.

Tags: Barack Obama , Horserace , Joe Biden , Something Lighter

New York’s 29th Congressional District, Where Free Elections Are Optional


Over on the home page, a look at the strange circumstances of New York’s 29th congressional district. Eric Massa resigned on March 8, yet New York governor David Paterson has not yet declared a vacancy, and no special election is yet scheduled. There’s some talk that there may not be a special election, which would leave the residents without any voice in the House of Representatives for more than 300 days, nearly a year.

What, is he too busy taking illegal gift tickets to Yankees games to schedule an election?

Too busy meeting with a criminal-defense attorney?

Tags: Barack Obama , Horserace , Joe Biden , Something Lighter


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