28 June 2010

The New S-A Party

Field season is done, and I'm back at it with an all-important question - are you willing to join the new 'Smart-Ass Party?' Trash-talkin' Joe seems to feel that a lot of us might be in it, just for requesting lower taxes. Remember Joe, nice is as nice does.

08 June 2010

Super Tuesday Primaries

The RCP Live Blog for results tonight is here.

Ongoing results for individual states can be found here.

Major results to date include:
South Carolina Governorship, GOP Primary- Haley leads the pack but has not yet passed 50%.
Arkansas, Senate, DNC Primary- With 2% of precincts reporting, Blanche Lincoln is leading Bill Hatler 54% to 46%
Still awaiting results from Nevada and California.  They should start trickling in by midnight EST.

06 June 2010

D Day Commemorated

Sixty-six years ago, the beaches at Normandy were the site of one of the largest invasions in history, as the Allied Forces began the slow recovery of Europe from Germany and the Axis.  Interviews with veterans from last year's celebrations, such as the one in the Telegraph with SGT Ken Scott (UK: 50th Div, Durham Light Infantry), say it all:
'"There's no hatred left, none at all," he says. "We have to move on and forget, but I felt it was my duty to come back and be reverent. There are no stains on the beach now, no bodies being washed up. The tide has cleaned this beach but it is the same beach we came up on. ... What was it like? If you were not there you will never know. Go to a cemetery and look at every cross and think of each one as a son or a husband or a father of children and count them, and then you might know a little."'
By Fox News with Jewish Veteran, Arthur Seltzer (4th Sig BN):
'Not that Arthur was alone in his endeavors. He was one of tens of thousands of young Americans who on June 6, 1944, took part in the D-Day landings, an unprecedented invasion that took so many lives, but ultimately saved the world from being crushed under the Nazi jackboot. ... Arthur did stay alive, and later on that fateful day he saw the sergeant whose idea it had been to sign the dollar bill, a dollar bill Arthur has kept to this day. "He says, 'You and I are the only two survived from that landing craft,' and I said to him. 'You mean you lost your whole squad?' and he says, "Yes I lost my whole squad." ... Arthur Seltzer's war did not end on D-Day. He went on to fight in the Battle of the Bulge, forever known as the greatest battle of the war, and on April 29, 1945, Arthur, who is Jewish, was with the American troops who discovered the Dachau concentration camp. Arthur describes the scene as, "Dead bodies all around, naked skeletons, people dressed in these uniforms with black stripes, they were half starved, the odor was so bad you could hardly take it. The odor of death."'
May we never forget.

04 June 2010

Hiring Up (or not) and Unemployment Down (sort of)

This one page article says it all:
'U.S. nonfarm payrolls expanded by a seasonally adjusted 431,000 in May, but virtually all the new jobs were temporary jobs at the U.S. Census, leaving private-sector hiring very weak in May, the Labor Department reported Friday. ... The unemployment rate fell to a seasonally adjusted 9.7% in May from 9.9% in April, according to a separate survey of 60,000 households. The decline wasn't particularly good news, however, because the drop was due to 322,000 people dropping out of the labor force.'
With fears of a double-dip recession continuing, and remaining volatility in the housing and stock markets, claims of steady economic recovery seem premature at best.

02 June 2010

Change We Can Believe In - UPDATED

UPDATE: Now that the trial of the Governor-from-Hell, Blagojevich, has begun, questions about the role of the White House and presidential associates in 'helping' to pick candidates will continue to bubble up.  Just ask Paterson and Ford about the WH cherry-picking candidates in New York.

Hannity not-withstanding, it's pretty obvious that the vague White House offer, extended by the hand of Bill Clinton, to give Joe Sestak an unpaid advisory position for dropping out of the Democratic Senate primary (against Arlen Specter), will never land the White House in real legal trouble.  The real problem is the appearance that the White House that promised to usher in change, and clear out 'politics-as-usual,' is playing the usual game.  Gibbs' utter inability to give a straight answer to any specific question was on full display during yesterday's press briefing:
'White House press secretary Robert Gibbs indicated Tuesday that Rep. Joe Sestak was not offered a spot on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board but refused to say what was dangled in front of the Democrat in an attempt to remove him from a Senate primary. ... Sestak indicated Friday he was offered a spot on the PIAB by former President Bill Clinton, who was acting on behalf of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.  “I heard presidential board and I think it was Intel,” Sestak said to reporters, describing his conversation with Clinton.  White House counsel Bob Bauer said Friday that Sestak was offered a spot on “a presidential or other senior executive branch advisory board.”  However, Sestak would have been ineligible for such a post. Sestak and the Obama administration both said the congressman would have kept his seat in the House if he took a spot on the PIAB. But the PIAB is comprised of individuals who are “outside the government.”'
Gibbs even seemed unable to explain why he couldn't give a specific answer on the contents of the explanatory memo issued last Friday by White House Counsel, Robert Bauer: '“Whatever’s in the memo is accurate,” Gibbs said, adding that he would “check.”'  To add to the White House's self-immolation, it appears that similar offers were made to Andrew Romanoff who is running as a Senate candidate in Colorado.  Apparently, Jim Messina (White House Deputy Chief of Staff) was dispatched to offer a White House position to Romanoff if he would agree to clear the way for Sen. Michael Bennett in the Colorado Democratic primary.  The Romanoff deal is even less sticky, legally, than the Sestak offer since Romanoff was not a declared candidate at the time.  Again, however, it appears that the more things change in D.C., the more they stay the same.  This impression is only reinforced when the parties involved and the White House refuse to specifically answer any questions about the offers on the table.

01 June 2010

"We Are Ready" (or not)

When Nancy Pelosi predicted that the Democrats would hold on to the House through 2012, there were understandable guffaws on both sides of the aisle.  Claiming that "we are ready ... and in the past when there [have] been these swings, it's been when people have not been ready," Pelosi seems to believe that readiness is enough.  I wonder what she'll make of the radical swing reflected in today's publication of Gallup's weekly polling, that gives Republicans a major jump to +6% over Democrats, the largest Republican margin ever recorded for Gallup. The enthusiasm gap between the two parties also continued to grow, indicating possible deep problems for Democrats get-out-the-vote drives.  The Gallup polling played a major role in once again flipping the RCP Generic Congressional Vote average to +0.8 for the Republicans (from +0.2 for the Democrats the day before).  Rasmussen's likely voter screen gives the Republicans a +7 average, while the Quinnipiac poll (last published May 26) give the Democrats +6.  The RCP Congressional Job Approval average is telling: -50.6, with all recent major polls giving Congress a -40 or greater.  Keep your head in the sand Nancy - it might improve your outlook.

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