'Don't Ask….Don't Tell' is being watered down while under study by the Pentagon……

The Dog has to admit this one caught him by surprise…..When it was reported that the Seante would hold a hearing about the almost 20 year old Clinton policy of the Miliary’s action on gays among their troops ….I though forget about it……Ike Sheldon got up and complianed the next day…..

But The Obama Adminstraion…not the Pentagaon…has pushed the Defense Scetratary and Chair of the Joint Chiefs to move a few inches and lay low while the policy is studied…..at the Pentagon………

Defense Secretary Gates (l.) and Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mullen testify Tuesday on Capital Hill about the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy that bans openly gay people from service.

Don’t ask, don’t tell. Don’t worry.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates says military brass will take a lenient stance toward gays while the Pentagon takes a year to study revising its policy against homosexuals in the service.

The study, expected to be announced Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee, is a step in the slow march toward President Obama‘s goal of eliminating the military’s policy banning gays from military service.

The study will be led by an “active-duty four-star general” and a “senior-level” civilian Pentagon official, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said.

It will recommend the best way to lift the ban without harming the capabilities or cohesion of the military force, officials said.

While the study is being hailed as a good start by gay rights activists, high-ranking military officers have been reluctant to support a change while troops are stretched thin on two battle fronts.

Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are expected to outline a more lenient standard for enforcing the current ban while the study takes place, sources familiar with the stragegy said.

The interim policy would make it harder for a third party to turn in a gay service member and would raise the standard of evidence for dismissing a gay service member.

The Dog still believes that getting rid of the policy is fight the White House doesn’t want to have until January 21st, 2012……

For this reason…….

Few in the audience at today’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” hearingbefore the Senate Armed Services Committee were surprised when Defense Secretary Robert Gates unveiled long-term plans to get rid of the ban on gays in the military.

But many were shocked by Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen’s strong endorsement of those plans, and his decision to tell skeptical lawmakers that he believes the change can only make the military stronger.

For months gay rights advocates have speculated whether Mullen could be their top ally or worst foe in the fight to allow openly homosexual servicemembers to stay in the military. Last year an essay on the merits of letting gays serve appeared in the chairman’s own in-house magazine. Just last month, word leaked that Mullen’s own legal staff was telling him to delay any massive social changes in the ranks until after fighting in Afghanistan is completed.

So, when Mullen read this statement at Tuesday’s hearing, there were audible gasps of excitement from many of those same repeal supporters:

Mr. Chairman: Speaking for myself and myself only, it is my personal belief that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would be the right thing to do.

No matter how I look at this issue, I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens. For me, personally, it comes down to integrity: theirs as individuals, and ours as an institution.

I also believe that the great young men and women of our military can and would accommodate such a change. I never underestimate their ability to adapt.

Mullen was careful to point out that he wants to see results from the year-long study proposed by Gates before making a final decision, admitting that such a dramatic policy change may have adverse consequences he hasn’t anticipated. And he encouraged lawmakers to grill the service chiefs and other top military leaders, saying their opinions should be heard as well.

This from …….

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Thoughts on the Healthcare Bill……….

From  Jonathan Singer, over @ MyDD.Com……

Adding 15 Million to the Rolls of Medicaid, CHIP…..

Ezra Klein is getting pessimistic about the chances healthcare reform will pass based on comments by White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, and I don’t think he’s wrong to be.

But at the risk of beating a dead horse, I really think it’s worth considering what is being given up by giving up on healthcare reform: The prospect of advancing the cause of universal healthcare.

The Senate bill is not a perfect bill — but it is a bill that does a lot of good. Looking at just the toplines, the bill will ensure that 30 million more people have health insurance than currently do today. In doing so, the bill would also decrease the deficit by more than a trillion dollars over the next two decades.

Many have chided the Senate bill for not including a public option. This of course overlooks the fact that the House was unable to round up even a simple majority for the type of robust public option — one with rates tied to Medicare — that could actually help reduce costs. Nevertheless, this is a fair criticism.

That said, this criticism does miss a key aspect of the Senate healthcare bill: Half of those 30 million newly covered under the legislation would be enrolled in a government program. Here’s the relevant portion of the CBO score (.pdf):

By 2019, CBO and JCT estimate, the number of nonelderly people who are uninsured would be reduced by about 31 million, leaving about 23 million nonelderly residents uninsured (about one-third of whom would be unauthorized immigrants). Under the legislation, the share of legal nonelderly residents with insurance coverage would rise from about 83 percent currently to about 94 percent. Approximately 26 million people would purchase their own coverage through the new insurance exchanges, and there would be roughly 15 million more enrollees in Medicaid and CHIP than is projected under current law. [Emphasis added]

Enrolling 15 million more Americans in a government healthcare program, as well as enabling an additional net 16 million to access health insurance — in the process increasing “the share of legal nonelderly residence with insurance coverage from about 83 percent currently to about 84 percent,” while also reducing the deficit by more than $1 trillion — still seems like a worthwhile achievement, even if not a perfect one. And considering that the alternative appears to be doing nothing, or close to it, I’m not sure that it doesn’t make sense for the House to pass the Senate bill.

The Dog agrees……..

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New Yorks' Senator Chuck Schumer's polling numbers move downward……..

Senator Chuck Schumer’s once rock solid approval rating has taken a slide.  For the first time in nearly nine years, Schumer’s approval rating has fallen below 50%.  According to the latest Marist Poll in New York, 47% of registered voters statewide report Schumer is doing either an excellent or good job in office.  31% rate the job he is doing as fair, and 17% view him as performing poorly.  This is Schumer’s lowest job approval rating since April 2001 when 49% of voters approved of the job he was doing.

Click Here for Complete February 1, 2010 NYS Schumer Poll Release and Tables

The approval rating of New York’s senior senator has declined over the past couple of months. In  Marist’s last survey on January 15th, 51% said Schumer was doing an above average job.  In November, he received a thumbs-up from54% of registered voters in New York, and just last September, his approval rating was 58%.

Schumer’s decline is most pronounced in New York City.  51% of New York City voters currently give Schumer high marks while 57% did the same two weeks ago, 64% in November, and 66% in September.

“Senator Schumer is not immune from the anti-incumbent sentiment among voters, but it would take a major effort to unseat him,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist Institute for Public Opinion.

However, this is not Schumer’s lowest approval rating.  That occurred in March 2000 when The Marist Poll found 39% of registered voters statewide gave Schumer good grades.

The senior Senator from New York owns this seat…..But he needs to back away from the Gillibrand vs Ford thing….and let the voters decide who THEY want….

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The Federal Housing Administration is having trouble…..

The share of borrowers who are falling seriously behind on loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration jumped by more than a third in the past year, foreshadowing a crush of foreclosures that could further buffet an agency vital to the housing market’s recovery.

About 9.1 percent of FHA borrowers had missed at least three payments as of December, up from 6.5 percent a year ago, the agency’s figures show.

Although the FHA’s default rate has been climbing for months and eating into the agency’s cash, the latest figures show that the FHA’s woes are getting worse even as the housing market shows signs of improvement. The problems are rooted in FHA mortgages made in 2007 and 2008. Those loans are now maturing into their worst years because failures most often occur two to three years after a mortgage is made.

If the trend continues and the FHA’s cash reserves are exhausted, the federal government would automatically use taxpayer money to cover the losses — a first for the agency, which has always used the fees it charges borrowers to pay for its losses.

As these loans from 2007 and 2008 go bad and clear off of the FHA’s books, agency officials said, losses are expected to taper off, aided by the housing market’s anticipated recovery and an influx of more creditworthy borrowers, who have flocked to the FHA’s home-buying program in the past year.

Agency officials said they have cracked down on poorly performing lenders and announced higher qualifying fees for borrowers. On Monday, the agency projected that the fees should generate $5.8 billion in fiscal 2011, up from $2 billion this year. That would fatten the FHA’s cash cushion, used to cover unexpected losses.

The base agency has to get better…..no one can deny that…but its recovery is going to slow the recovery in the Housing markets…..

No one can deny that also…….

Update:……

Tuesday’s (2/2/10) stock gains came as a forecasting gauge of existing-home sales unexpectedly rose in December, according to a report suggesting the housing market is steadying after sharp swings caused by a government tax credit. The National Association of Realtors’ index for pending sales of previously owned homes increased by 1.0%, better than expectations for the sales to be flat.

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List of the 82nd annual Academy Awards nominations……

As expected ‘AVATAR’ is up there…..with ‘Up in the Air’ right behind it…..

Here’s the top of the list…and link for the rest of it………..

Here are the top nominations for the 82nd annual Academy Awards to be held March 7 at the Kodak Theatre.

Best Picture

“Avatar”
“The Blind Side”
“District 9”
“An Education”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“Precious”
“A Serious Man”
“Up”
“Up in the Air”

Best Actor

Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart”
George Clooney, “Up in the Air”
Colin Firth “A Single Man”
Morgan Freeman, “Invictus”
Jeremy Renner, “The Hurt Locker”

Best Actress

Sandra Bullock, “The Blind Side”
Helen Mirren, “The Last Station”
Carey Mulligan, “An Education”
Gabourey Sidibe, “Precious”
Meryl Streep, “Julie and Julia”

Best Supporting Actor

Matt Damon, “Invictus”
Woody Harrelson, “The Messenger”
Christopher Plummer, “The Last Station”
Stanley Tucci, “The Lovely Bones”
Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds”

Best Supporting Actress

Penelope Cruz, “Nine”
Vera Farmiga, “Up in the Air”
Maggie Gyllenhaal, “Crazy Heart”
Anna Kendrick, “Up in the Air”
Mo’Nique, “Precious”

Best Director

James Cameron, “Avatar”
Kathryn Bigelow, “The Hurt Locker”
Quentin Tarantino, “Inglourious Basterds”
Lee Daniels, “Precious”
Jason Reitman, “Up in the Air”

For the entire list….here’s the link…………

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Merlin on the Kansas GOP Senate primary……

Hi Dog!

Well too bad. My folks over in Verona, NJ didn’t tell me that they were also in the Field in Kansas so it slipped through my fingers. I guess the KY Senate Race was the bigger one. I received an update this morning on the Kansas Senate Republican Primary.

Survey USA Polling Company

Kansas Senate 2010

Republican Primary

Jerry Moran 40 %

Todd Tiahrt 33 %

Undecided 27 %

Link to be added later.

Modest Momentum to Moran in KS GOP Primary for Brownback Senate Seat:

In a Republican Primary for US Senate in Kansas today, 02/01/10, Jerry Moran edges Todd Tiahrt, according to SurveyUSA’s 6th pre-primary tracking poll, conducted for KWCH-TV Wichita and KCTV-TV Kansas City. The primary is in 6 months.

Today it’s Moran 40%, Tiahrt 33%. Compared to an identical SurveyUSA poll released 2 months ago, Moran is up 3 points; Tiahrt is down 1. In 6 tracking polls, Moran has never trailed, but has led by a margin greater than the survey’s theoretical sampling error only once, in October 2009.

Tiahrt, who represents Kansas’ 4th US Congressional District, in Southeastern Kansas, leads by 17 points in that part of the state. Moran, who represents Kansas’ 1st Congressional District, which takes up most of the Western two-thirds of the state, leads by 35 in Western KS, down from a 52-point lead 2 months ago. In Northeastern KS, home to half the state’s population, Moran today leads by 15. In 5 previous polls, Moran has led in this neutral ground by margins ranging between 8 and 23 points with between 1/3 to 1/2 of voters undecided; 2 months ago, Tiahrt held a nominal 1-point lead here.

Kansas political parties decide before each primary whether the primary will be open to voters who are not affiliated with any political party; SurveyUSA includes unaffiliated voters here, where they make up 12% of the electorate. Moran today leads by 5 points among these unaffiliated voters and by 7 points among Republicans.

Incumbent Republican US Senator Sam Brownback is running for Kansas Governor, and is not seeking reelection to his Senate seat.

Filtering: SurveyUSA interviewed 1,500 Kansas adults 01/29/10 through 01/31/10. Of them, 1,321 were registered to vote. Of the registered voters, 519 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely voters in the August 2010 Republican Primary.

Merlin

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President Obama will not go to Madrid in May……….

The Dog has complained often here that the President of the United States spent too much time hobnobbing with foreign leaders during his first year on the job……

While it might play well to the foreign press…..such trips hurt him here back in the states…..the White House might have either read the Dog…of probably figured this out among themselves……

President Obama has decided not to attend a United States-European Union summit meeting scheduled for Madrid in May, and European Union officials found out about the decision through news outlets late on Monday, senior European officials said Tuesday morning.

Indications that Mr. Obama might not attend the summit meeting emerged in Davos, Switzerland, from foreign ministers who had attended the global gathering there. One senior European official suggested that after the loss of a Senate seat to the Republicans in Massachusetts, Mr. Obama would be doing less traveling to supposedly glamorous spots like Europe that would only feed Republican criticism.

American officials said that Mr. Obama was underwhelmed by the previous major summit meeting between the United States and the European Union, last June in Prague, and European Union officials said that the president even skipped a leaders’ lunch at a smaller, similar meeting in Washington last November, sending Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. instead — something they said that former President George W. Bush would never have done.

Charles Grant, the director of the Center for European Reform, a research center in London, said that the Obama snub “is a useful wake-up call for the E.U.” He said the European Union must realize “that no one will court them or have summits with them because Europe is a nice idea. They need to deliver.”

Mr. Obama sees Europe as an important ally, but “Obama clearly has no emotional identification with Europe,” Mr. Grant said. “He has a cool, analytical view of allies and partners, but when the Europeans can’t provide much to help America solve global security problems, he doesn’t want to spend too much time on it.”

Europe and NATO have provided troops for Afghanistan but not many more since Mr. Obama took office, particularly measured against the new American surge. Europe is divided on Russia and the Middle East, and has been very helpful on Iran, but mostly bilaterally.

“It’s unusual, and Europeans will be offended,” said Nicole Bacharan, a professor of political science at the Institut d’Études Politiques, known as Sciences-Po.

The President may chance his mind…but right now he should working his thing here, in the United States……

They will just have to settle with Vice President Biden or Secretary of State Clinton……

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Merlin on Election Day in the "Land of Lincoln"…….

Hi Dog and good morning!

Today is Primary Day in the “Land of the Lincoln”. So here is what I think our Readers have to watch out for:

Illinois Govenor

The first of the two biggies tonight. On the Democratic Side one thing is clear: If Incumbent Governor Pat Quinn wins the Democrats have probably lost this Race in November. Quinn with only a 35 % Job Approval in the latest major Polls is virtually unelectable. I think Hynes wins over Quinn 53-47.
On the Republican Side it’s anyones guess. I’m not predicting a Winner because I can’t. It’s just too close with 4-5 Candidates vying for the lead. I’m just hoping IL GOP Voters are smart and do not nominate fomer AG Jim Ryan so for me it’s anybody but Ryan.

Illinois Senate

In the Dem. Primary things have closed and with all the scandals brewing over Giannoulias this could be a very, very close Race in the end. I predict Giannoulias wins over Hoffman and Jackson 38-36-26

In the GOP Primary the only question remains: Will Kirk win with over 50 % of the vote?

Illinois 8th CD

6 Republicans slugging it out who will take on Incumbent Rep. Melissa Bean (D-IL Eight) in November.

Illinois 10th CD (Open, Kirk running for Senate)

On the Democratic Side will Voters give Dan Seals another Chance to get this Seat (He tried for the 3rd time). I doubt it. I think Hamos will win this time.
To the Republicans: It’s Dold versus Coulson. Again anyones guess who wins this. I’m not predicting a Winner.

Illinois 11th CD

I think Adam Kinzinger will win the GOP Primary to take on Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D-IL 11) in November.

Illinois 14th CD

I think the Son of former House Speaker Danny Hastert, Ethan Hastert will win this to take on Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL 14) in November.

Polls close in IL at 8pm ET and http://www.chicagotribune.com as well as http://www.wgntv.com will have Extensive Coverage. WGN-TV may even have a Live Stream.

But before the counting in IL begins we’ve also have a Special Election Primary in South Florida for the Seat former Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL) vacated when he resigned in early January.

I expect the Democrats to nominate Ted Deutsch. I don’t know much about the GOP Candidates down there so we’ll see. Republicans have virtually zero Chance to win this Seat in an April 13th General Election because it includes the heavy Democratic strongholds Broward & Palm Beach Counties.

Polls in Florida closing at 7pm ET and you should find Results here: http://election.dos.state.fl.us/ and then click on the FL – 19 Special Election.

Merlin

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Update on Haitian adoptions and medical evcuations…….

Haiti resumed allowing orphans already in the adoption pipeline to leave the country, as it continued its child-trafficking investigation of 10 American missionaries arrested Friday for allegedly attempting to ferry 33 children out of the country.

In an email to the United Nations on Monday, an American human-rights activist recounted meeting the leader of the missionaries before they entered Haiti and warning that the group’s plan to collect 100 Haitian orphans was illegal because they lacked proper authorization.

HCHILDREN

U.S. military personnel division talk to children last week at an orphanage in Port-au-Prince.

Separately, the U.S. military resumed medical evacuations from Haiti to the U.S., with the first transport plane to arrive in Florida Monday night, according to the White House. Evacuations had been suspended since Wednesday.

Florida hospitals were expecting 20 Haitian patients initially, said Jaime Caldwell, vice president of the South Florida Hospital & Healthcare Association. The federal government said Monday it will reimburse hospitals through the National Disaster Medical System for treating critically ill Haitian earthquake victims, after Florida Gov. Charlie Cristcomplained last week that the state’s health-care system was overwhelmed.

Over the weekend, the government of Haiti agreed to the departure of 165 orphans to the U.S., a State Department official said. About 95 arrived over the weekend in Florida, according to the Department of Homeland Security. A few dozen more were due to leave Haiti on a flight late Monday.

Concerned about child predators, the government of Haiti 10 days ago barred minors from leaving the country unless authorities had signed off on their cases. That led to an abrupt halt of a Washington policy designed to expedite the adoption of about 1,000 children who had been assigned to U.S. families before the Jan. 12 earthquake.

The Dog is sure the people being held will be freed…but it IS important for people taking children out of the country to get authority to do so….The Dog is also not naïve and believes that children have been, and are, being taken from the country without authoriztion…while it is better for the children..it is not the right thing to do……

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The Dog is not for any middle class tax breaks going away…..

Grappling to contain record deficits, President Barack Obama is seeking to end a middle-class tax break he once said would be permanent.

The $3.8 trillion budget request rolled out by the White House on Monday would renew the Making Work Pay tax credit for fiscal 2011, but then would have it sunset.

That’s a switch from last year, when Obama’s budget called for making the tax credit permanent.

The cut costs the federal government about $63 billion in annual revenue while putting up to $400 in the pockets of workers making less than $95,000. It was approved for the first time in last year’s $787 billion stimulus package.

An administration official said the tax credit reflects changing realities in Congress on climate change legislation.

The tax initially was intended to compensate middle-class families for increased energy costs related to a cap-and-trade mechanism that would have capped greenhouse gas emissions by businesses while setting up a system allowing emissions credits to be bought and sold, the official said. The credit was to be paid for by revenue from the cap-and-trade system.

Now that Congress is considering different ways of compensating middle-class families for higher energy costs related to a cap-and-trade bill, using the Making Work Pay credit is not necessary, the official suggested.

The Dog is very unhappy about this…..any and all tax breaks for middle class couples are something the Dog wants to stay….Now the Dog again, leans Democratic…but that doesn’t mean that Dog wants to see any new taxes (except for Healthcare) and will not fail to mention this whenever the Dog can…..

The 2010 budget said that with “families squeezed, this tax cut will put needed money in their pockets for them to make ends meet and cover the costs of necessities.”

They where right…and that need is still there Congress should leave this alone….

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The White House makes a run at improving "No Child Left Behind"…….

The Obama administration is proposing a sweeping overhaul of President Bush’s signature education law, No Child Left Behind, and will call for broad changes in how schools are judged to be succeeding or failing, as well as for the elimination of the law’s 2014 deadline for bringing every American child to academic proficiency.

The Dog is happy to see the Adminstartion try to affect change to this law……

While they will need Congress’s ok to do so something must be done…….The current law has set up a sysytem where children are taught for half of the semester …and ‘teaching to the test’ is the norm for second half of the semester…..where teacher’s, principal’s and school board’s fight feercly to ‘make the grade’ in the Federal School report card numbers…..least they be branded a ‘failing school’…while states and local disrtricts receive no funds to help them correct problems…….

Educators who have been briefed by administration officials said the proposals for changes in the main law governing the federal role in public schools would eliminate or rework many of the provisions that teachers’ unions, associations of principals, school boards and other groups have found most objectionable.

Currently the education law requires the nation’s 98,000 public schools to make “adequate yearly progress” as measured by student test scores. Schools that miss their targets in reading and math must offer students the opportunity to transfer to other schools and free after-school tutoring. Schools that repeatedly miss targets face harsher sanctions, which can include staff dismissals and closings. All students are required to be proficient by 2014.

Educators have complained loudly in the eight years since the law was signed that it was branding tens of thousands of schools as failing but not forcing them to change.

In recent meetings with representatives of education groups, Department of Education officials have said they also want to eliminate the school ratings system built on making “adequate yearly progress” on student test scores.

Amen….This is much welcomed change…and Congress should go along……

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NASA's Budget get's clipped…no moon trips… Commerical transportation and shareing with other nations will be the future…..

The ambitious space initiative that President Obama unveiled for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on Monday calls for sweeping changes in mission and priorities for the 52-year-old agency, yet it omits two major details: where the agency will send its astronauts and a timetable for getting them there.

If Mr. Obama’s proposed budget is implemented, NASA a few years from now would be fundamentally different from NASA today. The space agency would no longer operate its own spacecraft, but essentially buy tickets for its astronauts on commercially launched rockets. It would end its program to return to the moon and would pursue future missions to deep space by drawing more cooperation and financing from other nations.

As expected, Mr. Obama’s proposal seeks to cancel the Ares I rocket, in development for four years as a replacement to the space shuttles. More unexpected, the request also would kill Orion, the crew capsule that was to sit atop the Ares I. The Orion is the only spacecraft in development that would be capable of traveling beyond low Earth orbit.

Over all, Mr. Obama’s request would add $6 billion over five years to the NASA budget. The agency is projected to receive $100 billion over the 2011 to 2015 fiscal years.

Whether Congress agrees to the restructuring of NASA remains to be seen. After spending $9 billion on Constellation, the program to return to the moon, canceling the contracts with Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Alliant Techsystems and other companies would cost an additional $2.5 billion, NASA officials said.

The Dog is generally happy with these decisions…..

The Orion program is a move backwards……sending Us Astronauts into space in a modified phone booth is asinine…..If NASA can’t do it safely then why not turn to commercial companies?

Millions of people fly around the globe on commercial aircraft…why can’t NASA?

Why in hell do we want to spend money to go to the friggin Moon when we need money for more basic things?

This a change in direction that has been long in coming…I give the President props for his proposals…now…. Can Congress keep the lid on this spending?

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The Mannings of New Orleans will root for the Colts……

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning with his father, former NFL quarterback, Archie Manning, after the Colts’ 30-17 win over the New York Jets on Jan. 24.

Archie and Olivia Manning’s galleried Greek Revival home is well known in this legendary city. It is a recommended site for visitors touring the city’s famed Garden District. While the building, a tan house with a front porch swing, is storied for its architecture, it may be most famous for being the childhood home of the N.F.L. quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning.

But outside its black wrought-iron fence on a recent afternoon was a white Kia Sorento with “♥ Saints ♥” and “Who Dat?! Here We Come!!” written on its windows in white shoe polish.

Such a sight would not usually be remarkable, but with the New Orleans Saints making their first Super Bowl appearance in the franchise’s 43-year history Sunday against Peyton Manning and the Colts in Miami Gardens, Fla., it illustrates the predicament of Archie Manning, a former Saints quarterback.

“I appreciate the Saints, but I can’t cheer against my own son,” he said in a telephone interview.

Regardless of the outcome of the Super Bowl, Archie Manning and his family will continue to be revered here. They are lauded by city leaders as national ambassadors and praised locally for their charitable and civic involvement, especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation four and a half years ago.

The family operates a football camp in the area, and Archie makes appearances on behalf of the Saints.

While Peyton attended Saints games growing up, he never talked about someday playing in the Super Bowl, let alone against his hometown team, Fountain said.

Fielkow, the City Council president, called the Saints’ and Colts’ conference titles “the dream scenario for New Orleanians.”

“As the season unfolded and you saw the success that the Saints and the Colts were having,” he said, “you kind of hoped that this would be the ultimate matchup.”

And it is one that is a win-win for this vibrant city, regardless of Sunday’s outcome.

The Dog calls the game for the Saints……

Who DAT!…..Here They Come!

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Merlin with a New Florida Senate and Governor looks……

Game Over for Crist?

New Republican Poll in Florida puts Crist down 14.

Fabrizio & McLaughlin Associates (R)

Florida Senate 2010

Republican Primary

Rubio 44 %
Crist 30 %
Undecided 25 %

General Election (3-way Race with Crist as Independent)

Rubio (R) 31 %
Crist (I) 26 %
Meek (D) 24 %
Undecided 19 %

Rubio (R) 32 %
Crist (I) 29 %
Ferre (D) 19 %
Undecided 20 %

Crist (R) 47 %
Meek (D) 29 %
Undecided 24 %

Crist (R) 49 %
Ferre (D) 27 %
Undecided 24 %

Rubio (R) 42 %
Meek (D) 30 %
Undecided 28 %

Rubio (R) 43 %
Ferre (D) 27 %
Undecided 29 %

Florida Governor 2010

Republican Primary

Crist 39 %
McCollum 31 %
Dockery 4 %
Undecided 25 %

General Election

Crist (R) 48 %
Sink (D) 31 %
Undecided 22 %

McCollum (R) 41 %
Sink (D) 32 %
Undecided 27 %

Merlin’s Thought:

Crist is finished as Senate Candidate when you look at the Internals of this Poll.

Merlin

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CD…on the Alabama Races……

For everyone on here:

The list of statewide candidates in Alabama:
http://www.politics1.com/al.htm

US Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL) appears to be the likely Democratic gubernatorial nominee at this point……

…….. while the AL GOP will have a NASTY primary to see who’s more conservative, which is heading to a July runoff.

Governor Bob Riley (R) is barred from seeking a 3rd consecutive term, and his term ends on January 17, 2011.

Lieutenant Governor Jim Folsom, Jr., (D) will win BIG in his re-election bid to a 4th term (he’s won 5 statewide elections, including the Public Service Commission).

State Attorney General Troy King (R) will get re-elected to a 2nd full four-year term, in which he will become the state’s longest-serving State AG by 2014.

State Treasurer: former State Treasurer George Wallace, Jr., (R) will get his old gig back for a 3rd non-consecutive term.

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Barack Obama is running for President…..again……

For all you that think Obama is done……

Read your History…….

……Clinton was in the same place…but he came back……

……while the Democrats lost the House…and he had a trial going on which took him outta it..

……and he still rolled the Republican’s…

…… Obama’s a smart guy..he’ll be there for another seven years….. He’s gotta be talking to Clinton..

…..and has started his re-election run as of last week…

… Freeze spending…..cut’s in the budget…..tax breaks for the middle class….raise taxes for the rick…..go after the banks…..and wish for Healthcare but let Congress hash it out if they can…… He hasn’t left the country in the last few weeks since he came back from vacation, right?

He’s put David Plouffe back in charge of the political machine right?

He’s running…

…… And he’ll make it….with Healthcare out of the headlines…

…..hopefully his democratic congressmen can go home and not get chewed on….

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