Open Thread for February 1, 2011…..

The story these days is Egypt and Snow……

In Egypt in 12 hours or so we’ll see if a million people can make it to the streets to demand that their countries President of 30 years leaves immediately and peacefully….

Or there is going to be a protracted struggle….

I can only hope for stability in that country…

But if Mubarak is toppled….

Look for more unrest in the region….

And cross our fingers on who comes out in the resulting power vacuums and struggles….

As for the Snow….

Mother nature is kicking cold ass…

And….

I’m getting tired to tell ya the truth….

A 60 degree day wouldn’t be a bad thing at all…..

Thanks for visiting this place…

The Dog….

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Democrats target some new GOP House seats already….

Some of the guys here are surprised when I mention that Democrats may be more succesful in recapturing the House than holding the Senate….

Well….

Of the 41 or so GOP margin in seats….

19 are ALREADY under attack by the Democrats even though the seats are not warm yet….

This is gonna be a REAL interesting less than two years folks…..

***

DCCC Targets 19 Republicans Over Spending Cuts, Ethics Issues

David Rivera

The DCCC is already targeting 19 Republicans from marginal districts with local radio ads.

For the most part, the ads criticize the members for supporting GOP spending cut proposals. But they’re also going after a couple of members — Reps. David Rivera (R-FL) and Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA) — who remain under ethical clouds.

“Did you know Congressman David Rivera is under criminal investigation for receiving secret payments from his mother’s company?” says a narrator in the Rivera ad. “Tell Rivera to come clean so he can finally get to work for us.”

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Political Roundup for January 31, 2011…Red Racing Horses…..

By: James_Nola

2012 Presidential Race:
Kansas Primary: Newly elected KS Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) is introducing a bill to skip the Presidential primary in KS, saving the state up to $2 million. It would be the 5th consecutive election in which KS does not hold a Presidential primary.Huntsman: Hunstman is looking like a very likely candidate today. He is resigning as Ambassador to China to explore a Presidential bid.

Polling (PDF): A new Strategic Nationals poll of the MI Republican Primary shows Mitt Romney slightly ahead with 24%, compared to Huckabee and Palin at 19% and 17%, respectively. Next is Gingrich and Pawlenty, with 10 and 4%. Santorum, Huntsman, Daniels, and Barbour all have less than 2%.
Meanwhile, a new PPP poll has Huckabee as the clear front runner in NC. He is ahead of the field with 27%. Running 9 pts behind him is Gingrich with 18%, 16% for Palin, 11% for Romney, 7% for Pawlenty, and 6% for Paul. In WV, Huckabee also leads, with 28%. Palin is next with 23%. Gingrich has 17%, Romney 10%, Paul 6%, and Pawlenty has 5%.

US Senate:
Michigan Former SoS Terri Lynn Land has said for the first time she is considering a bid against incumbent Senator Debbie Stabenow. She plans to meet with another possible challenger, former US Rep. Pete Hoekstra before making a decision. They both share the same base of Western MI, and Land dropped out of the 2010 Gov race because Hoekstra shared her base.

Connecticut Republicans may have found just what they need to win in CT. An uncontroversial state Senator with some big fundraising connections- Sen. Scott Frantz- is being encouraged to run for US Senate. He is not ruling it out.

Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl plans to announce his intentions next month. There is speculation he may retire. The article includes info about the potential leadership battle for Republican Whip and other positions if Kyl retires….

More….

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Politicalwire Quickies….RNC Debt, Huntsman resigns, Scott Brown, Kohl, Tea Party and the GOP…

RNC Debt Hits $23 Million

RNC Chairman Chairman Reince Priebus announced the party has about $23 million in debt as it prepares for the 2012 election cycle, the Washington Post reports.

The committee’s year-end financial report will show $21 million in debt through year end, but a more up-to-date total is closer to $23 million. That’s about $8 million higher than previously reported.


Huntsman Sends Resignation Letter

U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman (R) sent a resignation letter to President Obama today “and now is likely to explore a Republican presidential bid,” Politicoreports.

The letter says that “he wants to return to the United States by May, the associate said. The letter thanks Obama for the opportunity to serve the country and praises the U.S. embassy staff in Beijing.”

Republicans Turn on Scott Brown

The Hotline reports that a small, but well-connected conservative group that supported Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) in 2010 will actively support a primary challenge against him in 2012.

Why it may not matter: “The PAC spent about $95,000 on independent expenditure ads on Brown’s behalf in the run-up to the January 2010 special election. That’s a fraction of the amount other groups, like the Republican and Democratic senatorial committees, spent on the race… The $7 million he has in the bank already will give him a leg up, as well.”

Why it may hurt him: “The threat of a primary challenge can’t make him happy. Brown will already have a difficult general election campaign, given the Bay State’s liberal nature and the roster of Democrats lining up to challenge him, and spending any time placating a Republican base won’t help his chances.”


Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) “loaned his campaign $1 million in the last quarter of 2010, seemingly putting to rest speculation that he may retire instead of seeking re-election next year,” The Hotline reports.

“Kohl, who will be 77 years old on Election Day next year, had been the subject of retirement rumors because of his age and near empty war chest. He finished the third quarter of 2010 with less than $26,000 in his campaign account.”

Tea Party Coordinates Primary Challenges

The New York Times reports that the Tea Party movement has begun organizing primary challenges to establishment Republicans early on, signaling an ability to learn from the mistakes of 2008, “when several Tea Party candidates split the vote in Republican Senate primaries, allowing the most establishment of the candidates to win with less than 40 percent.”

“Leaders of more than 70 Tea Party groups in Indiana gathered last weekend to sign a proclamation saying they would all support one candidate — as yet undetermined — in a primary challenge to Senator Richard G. Lugar… In Maine, there is already one candidate running on a Tea Party platform against Senator Olympia J. Snowe. Supporters there are seeking others to run, declaring that they, too, will back the person they view as the strongest candidate to avoid splitting their vote. In Utah, the same people who ousted Senator Robert F. Bennett at the state’s Republican convention last spring are now looking at a challenge to Senator Orrin G. Hatch.”

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Bush daughter joins, Cheney and McCain daughers and their mom’s in approving gay marriage…

It seems all the women have gotten ahead of the men on this issue after they left office except for Senator John McCain…

McCain’s’ wife briefly let her views of acceptance be know until her husband shushed her up….

His daughter has come out in favor of gay marriage ….

Ah, politics…….

Masking the reality of change …..

Even in high….

Republican families…

Barbara Bush, one of the twin daughters of George W. Bush, will endorse same-sex marriage on Tuesday, publicly breaking ranks with a father who, as president, pushed for a constitutional amendment banning such unions.

Ms. Bush, 29, has taped a video calling on New York to legalize gay marriage. A bill to do that was defeated in the state in 2009. She describes the issue as a matter of conscience and equality.

“I am Barbara Bush, and I am a New Yorker for marriage equality,” she says in the brief message, sponsored by an advocacy group. “New York is about fairness and equality. And everyone should have the right to marry the person that they love.”

The video ends with Ms. Bush, who lives in Manhattan, imploring the state’s residents to “join us.”

Ms. Bush is the latest child of a prominent Republican leader to embrace same-sex marriage, long considered anathema to the conservative movement. Gay rights advocates have been quick to seize on the generational split as evidence that the acceptance of same-sex marriage is blind to party affiliation and family values……

More…

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Federal Judge rules against entire Healthcare Law……

First I want to present this fact…..

The Federal judges appointed by Republican President’s have ruled against the law generally… (2 Judges)

Federal Judges appointed by Democratic Presidents for the law……( 2 Judges )

Judge Roger Vinson of Federal District Court in Pensacola, Fla. was appointed to bench by Ronald Reagan….

And he did afirm that the new law did not …..’violate state sovereignty by requiring states to pay for a fractional share of the planned Medicaid expansion.’

Second ….

I have no doubt that Congress can mandate you joining the insurance pool under penalty of  a tax penalty…

Third…

I’m willing to bet that in the next few years the penalty for not joining

WILL BE CHANGED…..

In exchange for the rest of the law staying in effect…..

Fourth…

The amendment forcing businesses to 1099 every payment over $600 should and will be repealed…..

Last….

This whole issue will end up before the Supreme Court if Obama and the Senate Democrats don’t cut a deal…..

And I think they will……

I’ve said there will be adjustments to the Law…

I know that will be so….

***

In his 78-page opinion, Judge Vinson held that the insurance requirement exceeded the regulatory powers granted to Congress under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. He wrote that the provision could not be rescued by an associated clause in Article I that gives Congress broad authority to make laws “necessary and proper” to carrying out its designated responsibilities.

“If Congress can penalize a passive individual for failing to engage in commerce, the enumeration of powers in the Constitution would have been in vain,” the judge asserted.

In a silver lining for the Obama administration, Judge Vinson rejected a second claim that the new law violated state sovereignty by requiring states to pay for a fractional share of the planned Medicaid expansion.

The judge’s ruling came in the most prominent of more than 20 legal challenges to the sweeping health law, which was signed last March by President Obama.

The plaintiffs include governors and attorneys general from 26 states, all but one of them Republicans, as well as the National Federation of Independent Business, which represents small companies. Officials from six states joined the lawsuit in January after shifts in party control brought by November’s elections.

The ruling by Judge Vinson, a senior judge who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, solidified the divide in the health litigation among judges named by Republicans and those named by Democrats…….

More….

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Gun laws in Tombstone, Arizona Territory, during the Battle of the O.K. Corral 130 years ago…DSD

I wish I’d sent you the L.A. Times link from a couple of weeks ago that backed up my assertion that the gun laws in Tombstone, Arizona Territory, during the Battle of the O.K. Corral 130 years ago were much tougher than anyone in Arizona (D or R) would dare contemplate today.

When you rode into town, you had to turn in your guns at the Grand Hotel or at the Sheriff’s office until you were ready to ride out. Concealed weapons were forbidden by city ordinance.

So Pima County Sheriff Dupnik’s reference to Tombstone and the O.K. Corral wasn’t out of place.

He cleaned up the country,
The old Wild West country,
Let order and justice prevail,
And none can deny it:
The legend of Wyatt
Forever will live on the trail.

Wyatt Earp, Wyatt Earp…

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Bloomberg has sent NYC investigators to Arizona for unchecked gun buys…..

The Mayor of the City of New York is at it again…

He  ordered undercover investigators to make gun buys at the January 23rd  West  Gun Show in Phoenix, Arizona after the shooting in Tucson…..

Let me make this clear……

Guns can be sold in that state WITHOUT background checks to persons with a felony record….

But…..

It is against the law to sell to convicted felons and persons mentally ill or forbidden to posses a weapon….

The NYC investigator brought guns while relating that they probably couldn’t pass background checks….


While this will play good for a few hours in the New York media…

The fact is it will not stop gun sales anywhere…


The Mayor actually got a very big backlash the last time he did this because the ‘investigators’ off-duty cops technically lie to the sellers…

And once they take possession of the weapons are actually in violation of the Arizona laws themselves….


I don’t think that their should be one more gun sale to people who shouldn’t have them…

But American’s like their guns….

Bloomberg isn’t gonna stop that….


I hear the President may say something about the issue….

The NRA sure hopes he does….

Their fundraising will go thru the roof….


The issue is toxic for any politician….

Obama will find out….

Al Gore learned that the hard way……

***

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s office released several videos this morning detailing the city’s recent undercover investigation into the ease with which one can buy guns at a gun show in Arizona — even if you tell the seller you probably wouldn’t pass a background check, and even in the wake of the Jan. 9 Tucson shootings.

While private, unlicensed sellers at gun shows are not required to run background checks, it is against the law to sell guns to people that sellers suspect are felons, mentally ill or are otherwise prohibited from buying guns….

More….

For the video’s of the buys…..Gunshowundercover.org via Youtube

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The Marines pivot and remind the troops the DADT policy is changing….

What’s interesting is that Gen. James F. Amos, the commandant of the Marine Corps testified against the policy change up on the Hill when asked by Congress….

I see his stepping out to the troops as a correction designed to get the Marines in line….and a face saver for him….

No matter….

He seems to be on board for the changes….

[Gen. Amos and Sgt. Maj. Kent…US marine Corps]

Gen. James F. Amos, the commandant of the Marine Corps, has said that allowing gays to serve openly in the military could result in more casualties because openly gay troops on the battlefield could pose “a distraction.”

But in a new video, Amos and Sgt. Maj. Carlton W. Kent, the Marine’s top enlisted man, remind the rank and file that a change in policy is coming and they expect them to follow the new orders.

“The Marine Corps is a diverse force, and all have earned the privilege to wear the Eagle globe and anchor,” Kent says in the video. “As Marines, we are confident you will continue to treat each other with dignity and respect. The commandant and I have trust in the great leadership of our Corps, from junior Marines to the most senior. As always, engaged leadership will be the key to implementation.”

Later, Amos says: “I want to be clear to all Marines: We will step out smartly to faithfully implement this new law. It’s important that we value the diversity of background, culture and skills that all Marines bring to the service of our nation. As we implement repeal, I want leaders at all levels to reemphasize the importance of maintaining dignity and respect for one another throughout our force. We are Marines, we care for one another and respect the rights of all who wear this uniform. We will continue to demonstrate to the American people that discipline and fidelity, which have been the hallmarks of the United States Marine Corps for more than 235 years, will continue well into the future.”

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Egypt does NOT have much oil…..What does that mean?…..Nate Silver….

Egypt, Oil and Democracy

By NATE SILVER

Revolutions are, by their very nature, difficult to predict. The unrest which gripped Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union between 1989 and 1992, and led to the overthrow of Communist governments there, was anticipated by very few policymakers and political scientists in advance.

If a similar transition is now underway in Egypt, as well as other parts of North Africa and the Middle East, it too will have come as a surprise to most in the international community. Tunisia, for instance, where President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was overthrown earlier this month, had ranked just 118th out of 177 countries according to Foreign Policy magazine’s Failed States Index, a measure of the likelihood of regime change. Egypt’s ranking, 49th, was considerably higher — and a few experts can be said to have seen some of last week’s events coming — but some of the brightest minds in the business were predicting it would remain intact, even after the ouster of Mr. Ben Ali in Tunisia.

One thing that links Egypt and Tunisia, however — and which forms part of the background against which attempts at revolution might have been more likely in those countries — is that as compared to most of the region, they do not have very much oil…….

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Missouri Senate status for 2012….Scott….

Here in the land of competitive race # 2 the decision of fmr. Sen. Jim Talent to sit out the 2012 Senate race looks to ensure a rather large pool of contenders to challenge Claire McCaskill

This morning the guy who narrowly lost to my Congressman Russ Carnahan in Nov–Ed Martin announced he is upping the ante and will run for Senate

Other Missouri Republicans who have won House races are also looking to jump in–including Jo Ann Emerson and Sam Graves.

Sarah Steelman–the former state treasurer who lost a GOP primary for Gov. in 2008 is the only other candidate besides Martin to announce.

The MO Republican establishment has little use for Steelman, but she came close to knocking off their pick for Governor 3 yrs. ago–then Rep. Kenny Hulshof.

If the establishment can’t rally around one of these folks Steelman could win a contested primary, but will the party be as unified as they need to be to knock off McCaskill?

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West Coast…San Francisco…..Talkandpolitics…

Blue skies over Fog City..

San Fransisco and the Golden Gate bridge..

From the photographer:

This came out of my new year’s day hike, about 10:00 AM PST, at 920 ft elevation above sea level, from Battery 129 on Hawk Hill that was part of the historic military installations (now defunct) that guarded the entrance to the San Francisco Bay. The Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco’s skyscrapers were floating in and out of these low-hanging marine clouds, which would appear as thick fog to the beings on the ground.. Two helicopters flew by, and they were dwarfed by the pillars of the bridge. Just enormous human creations interacting with nature’s Sea of Clouds!

More..

Talkandpolitics….

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New York State Governor Cuomo calls budget a ‘Sham’…..

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is arguing that the state’s budget woes are fueled by state laws that dictate unsustainable growth in aid for schools, health care and other programs.

In an opinion piece being distributed to newspapers today, Cuomo says that he has found that state budgets and deficits are based on permanent growth rates put into budgets—instead of what the state can afford.

Cuomo’s argument is expected to be the cornerstone of his budget presentation Tuesday, when he unveils a 2011-12 budget for the fiscal year that starts April 1. The budget carries a $10 billion deficit.

His op-ed piece is titled, “The Real Albany Sham: The Budget.”

“As Attorney General, I uncovered schemes by lenders to exploit students, plots by insurance companies to defraud patients and attempts by Wall Street to deceive homebuyers,” Cuomo, who took office Jan. 1, writes.

“In the past 30 days, as I have prepared the state’s budget, I was shocked to learn that the state’s budget process is a sham that mirrors the deceptive practices I fought to change in the private sector.”

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Top 10 most competitive Senate races for January….Politico

Modeled after 2010’s Daily 10, POLITICO’s Monthly 10 is a list of the most competitive Senate races in the country — measuring candidate entries, polling, the latest developments on the trail and other intangibles.  The higher the ranking, the closer the race, with 1 being the most competitive and 10 being the least competitive contest. Here’s our inaugural 2012 list, which will appear in this space towards the end of each month.

1. VIRGINIA – George Allen’s official entry into the race sets up a potentially epic rematch with Sen. Jim Webb, but only if the former Marine decides the slow-moving Senate is worth the grind of another campaign.  Either way, because of its proximity to the Beltway, a simmering tea party challenge, the star power of Allen and the close margin of the 2006 race (9,329 votes), Virginia tops our debut list because it’s the showdown that will inevitably remain in the national spotlight through all seasons.  Virginia Democrats have their fingers crossed that Webb is just being his apolitical self, but if not, don’t take Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine at his word that he wouldn’t be interested.  A dial from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue can change that in an instant.

Who Won January: Allen

Latest Poll: Webb 41%, Allen 40% (Clarus Research Group 12/7-12/9 600 voters)…..

For other nine……Here….

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Obama will win New Hampshire in 2012….Even with a Romney primary start there….

While Romney is strong in the state and hopes to anchor his GOP primary start from there….

The popular feeling is the state belongs to Presdient Obama…..

As New Hampshire GOP Eyes 2012, Obama Faces Enthusiasm Gap

Some New Hampshire Republicans privately concede that whichever candidate emerges from the cloudy field of GOP presidential hopefuls is unlikely to defeat President Barack Obama in the general election.

“Let’s face it, the chances of Obama being defeated anyway are slim,” one top New Hampshire Republican operative said. “I’m just being a realist. The guy’s going to raise $1 billion.”

Despite the pessimism, evidence on the ground suggests a second term for Obama is by no means a sure thing. The enthusiasm gap that plagued Democrats across the nation last November was on display in the Granite State last week…

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Like the Dem’s and Liberals…..the Teaparty is gonna be left standing alone at the altar….The Debt ceiling WILL be raised…

Debt Crisis Averted?

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) conceded to Fox News that Republicans ultimately will have to agree to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.

Said Boehner: “That would be a financial disaster not only for our country, but for the worldwide economy. Remember, the American people on Election Day said we want to cut spending and we want to create jobs. You can’t create jobs if you default on the federal debt… I don’t think it’s a question that is even on the table.”

More from Bloomberg…..

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