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Joe Biden (via the Hill):

Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday said Democrats would defy predictions of major losses in the mid-term elections, instead declaring that "we're going to be in great shape" and predicting continued control of the House and Senate.

"I don't think the losses are going to be bad at all. I think we're going to shock the heck out of everybody," Biden said on ABC’s "This Week."

Biden pointed to a new Las Vegas Review-Journal poll that showed Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who is viewed as highly vulnerable, up seven points on GOP foe Sharron Angle.

"The reports of our demise are premature," Biden said.

You gotta love Joe.

Paul Krugman:

The latest hot political topic is the "Obama paradox" — the supposedly mysterious disconnect between the president’s achievements and his numbers. The line goes like this: The administration has had multiple big victories in Congress, most notably on health reform, yet President Obama’s approval rating is weak. What follows is speculation about what’s holding his numbers down: He’s too liberal for a center-right nation. No, he’s too intellectual, too Mr. Spock, for voters who want more passion. And so on.

But the only real puzzle here is the persistence of the pundit delusion, the belief that the stuff of daily political reporting — who won the news cycle, who had the snappiest comeback — actually matters.

This delusion is, of course, most prevalent among pundits themselves, but it’s also widespread among political operatives. And I’d argue that susceptibility to the pundit delusion is part of the Obama administration’s problem.

Trying to win over David Brooks as the outcomes-based goal is a symptom.

EJ Dionne's take on the center:

The titans of the private sector say President Obama is anti-business. Many progressives say he coddles business. How does the administration manage to pull that off?

The "center" is said to be the most comfortable place in American politics. But this assumes that the center is stable, that most people on either end of the philosophical continuum give would-be centrist politicians the benefit of the doubt and that voters actually care whether someone is "centrist.

DCCC:

NRCC Chair Pete Sessions: "We need to go back to the exact same agenda" (VIDEO)

Actually, we don't. But we do need to let the public know that they want to. Sessions and Cornyn are helping us do so.

The chairmen of the two Republican campaign committees defended the presidency of George W. Bush in television appearances over the weekend, a preview of the GOP's planned pushback against expected Democratic attacks on the last president.

"People had jobs when Republicans were not only in charge but George Bush was there," said National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) during an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press".

John Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" program that "Bush's stock has gone up a lot since he left office," adding: "I think a lot people are looking back with more fondness on President Bush's administration, and I think history will treat him well."

Sunday Times magazine:

But the clinics also truly came to stand alone. In 1973, hospitals made up 80 percent of the country’s abortion facilities. By 1981, however, clinics outnumbered hospitals, and 15 years later, 90 percent of the abortions in the U.S. were performed at clinics. The American Medical Association did not maintain standards of care for the procedure. Hospitals didn’t shelter them in their wings. Being a pro-choice doctor came to mean referring your patients to a clinic rather than doing abortions in your own office.

This was never the feminist plan. "The clinics’ founders didn’t intend them to become virtually the only settings for abortion services in many communities," says Carole Joffe, a sociologist and author of a history of the era, "Doctors of Conscience," and a new book, "Dispatches From the Abortion Wars." When the clinics became the only place in town to have an abortion, they became an easy mark for extremists. As Joffe told me, "The violence was possible because the relationship of medicine to abortion was already tenuous." The medical profession reinforced the outsider status of the clinics by not speaking out strongly after the first attacks. As abortion moved to the margins of medical practice, it also disappeared from residency programs that produced new doctors. In 1995, the number of OB-GYN residencies offering abortion training fell to a low of 12 percent.

Elections have consequences, and providing safe choices for women is among the things on the table.

WaPo:

Meanwhile, the main event took place on CBS' "Face the Nation," as NAACP President Ben Jealous faced off against David Webb of the National Tea Party Federation. Webb said Mark Williams, the former chairman and spokesman of Tea Party Express who came under fire last week for writing a satirical letter in which he called slavery a "great gig," had been expelled from the National Tea Party Federation. Webb blasted the NAACP's "selective condemnation of racism," which he attributed to "fringe elements" within the tea party, and called on Jealous to denounce members of the New Black Panther Party for saying they want to "kill cracker babies."

"We absolutely denounce the New Black Panther Party," Jealous said, adding that the NBPP is a very small organization. "But they aren't in our group. These folks are in your groups."

Courier-Journal (Louisville):

Ten days ago, speaking to county judge-executives, he rejected the whole concept of the federal program that Republican U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers created to fight drugs in Eastern Kentucky, saying such efforts should be up to local governments -- a largely impractical notion in a poor but important region with which Paul seems insufficiently familiar, given those remarks and some he's made about coal.

Paul's philosophy will again collide with political practicality Thursday morning, when he and Attorney General Jack Conway, the Democratic nominee, will face off before the Kentucky Farm Bureau board of directors.

During a primary debate with Secretary of State Trey Grayson on KET, Paul said, "I don't think federal subsidies of agriculture are a good idea," and "I'm not in favor of giving welfare to business."

Those statements were remarkable for anyone seeking to represent Kentucky in Washington, even six years after the federal tobacco program was repealed.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 05:03 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Jobs, jobs, jobs (6+ / 0-)

    Krugman is right.  

    Of those that disapprove of Obama, the 29% that supported GWB will never approve.  The farther left of the Democratic party base all have their own pet issues to disapprove of (don't-ask-don't-tell, Guantanamo, single payer).  And then they're everyone else in the middle... who are hurting because either A) their jobs aren't coming back or B) if they do, the pay and benefits are worse.

    The task at hand is to convince those in the middle that reverting to more GOP economics (more tax cuts) is only going to make things a lot worse.

    "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing glove." P.G. Wodehouse

    by gsbadj on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 05:12:23 AM PDT

    •  That won't get them to vote Democratic. (4+ / 0-)

      The only way to get those folks to vote Democratic in November is to convince them that the Democrats will actually make things better...not simply less bad than they'd get under the GOP.

      Obama's belief in the rule of law apparently takes the back seat to Obama's belief in his own ability to make the right call as executive. - Scott Horton

      by GreenSooner on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 05:15:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, because, at this point, the only hammer (0+ / 0-)

        we have is to vote people out until somebody acts like they want to stay in office.

        Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

        by dinotrac on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 05:25:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Acts like they want to stay in office"? (0+ / 0-)

          GWB acted like he wanted to stay in office.  He gave everyone what they wanted without making them pay for it, then silenced everyone who didn't get what they want by creating "free speech zones" far away from the media and the government.

          Its somewhat alarming to hear that Americans are going to try and re-elect the Bush agenda simply because they get what they want without having to pay for it, and never have to hear one word from the opposition.

      •  You know... (0+ / 0-)

        ... when I was writing my comment, I thought about whether the Dems would actually need a big, shiny program to point at as a comprehensive way to make things better.  And to be sure, it would help.  It's always WAY better to be able to present a positive alternative to an electorate instead of just saying "no, no, no" and fear-mongering about the opponent... although it sure has worked against us in the past.

        But if the Dems have an effective, workable, comprehensive program, they should have been pushing it by now, if not have it enacted.  I don't think they have one.

        The Party of NO GOP is going to oppose whatever the Dems propose no matter what, considering that it will be too expensive and won't "create jobs" anyway.  

        But yes, IMO, the Dems need to propose something more limited and very popular (extending unemployment), let the GOP say no and then lambaste them for their saying no.

        "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing glove." P.G. Wodehouse

        by gsbadj on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 05:38:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Do not underestimate the value of (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          neroden

          a negative campaign.  

          With voters, information is king.  

          Just give them the info, they will do the rest.  

          Tax breaks for exporting jobs are wrong.  The R's love em, we are trying to get rid of em, the country wants them gone -- but the recalcitrant minority will not let us do it.  

          There are a hundred such messages to be codified and delivered.  

          Let the voters know, then reap the benefits of lowering the R numbers.

          Youth lives by personality, age lives by calculation. -- Aristotle

          by not2plato on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 06:54:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I fear that what the Democrats need is . . . (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          neroden

          a significantly lower unemployment rate. They are, apparently, not going to get that.

          Anything else is, frankly, a distant second best.

          But I feel very, very secure in saying that the (prospective) awfulness of the GOP will not be enough in the face of our economic situation.

          Obama's belief in the rule of law apparently takes the back seat to Obama's belief in his own ability to make the right call as executive. - Scott Horton

          by GreenSooner on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 08:13:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Not sure that task will do any good. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gsbadj

      It's a variation on blame the other guy, which is what Reagan and the Republicans did in 1982, and they got blasted in the mid-term elections.

      They only lost 26 seats, but that's a bit deceptive because they didn't control Congress.  A straight-line extrapolation that adjusts for the number of seats Democrats currently hold would give a 32 seat loss.

      This year doesn't look like 1994 to me because there is no real Republican leader.  On the other hand, the economy is a lot worse than it was in 1994 and, unlike 1982, one party controls both the White House and Congress. Forty seats would give Republicans the majority.  That's 25% more than the 1982 equivalent of 32 seats.  In the realm of possibility, I guess.  Doesn't seem likely, though, especially in a year when Republicans have done nothing whatsoever to deserve anybody's votes. They have to rely on anger and frustration with the administration to put them over the top, while deflecting the "What the hell have YOU done for me?" questions.

      Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

      by dinotrac on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 05:24:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The difference between 1994 and today. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes, dinotrac

        In 1994 the Republicans offered Americans "the contract with America". No matter how you felt about it it was sold as a positive. People like to vote for something positive. Today the GOP has nothing but negativity to offer. The party of no,no,no. There are no ideas offered, no new ideas, simply cut taxes for the wealthy once again, and ease up on government regulation. Both of those ideas is what got us to where we are today, they simply don't work. It also can't hurt if people are reminded that in 2000 when G.W. Bush took office we had a surplus, a surplus that he took and gave tax breaks to the rich, and then proceeded to run up the greatest debt ever. It would take courage, but perhaps the Democrats need to ask the question, are you better off today than you were two years ago, I think most people will say yes, or at least we are no worse off.

      •  The GOP has no solution though (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes

        What?  More tax cuts are going to create jobs?

        GWB and the GOP cut taxes and the economy, at its most elemental basis, has deteriorated.  Workers' standards of living have gone into the toilet.

        Yes, a comprehensive legislative program by the Dems would be nice.  But they might not need one to retain control.

        "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing glove." P.G. Wodehouse

        by gsbadj on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 05:45:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Obama DID cut tax on 95% of wage earners. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          neroden

          So why doesn't anyone realize that?  Not one GOP'er I talk to will even admit the tax bite out of his paycheck has gone down since Obama took office.

          The Democrats ARE going to need a positive jobs message to take into the elections, and if the economy isn't improving and the unemployment rate falling (and neither is happening right now), they better have some sort of plan to at least try to turn that around.

          "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

          by SueDe on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 07:33:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nobody realizes it because the cuts were next to (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            neroden

            nothing unless you were a first-time home buyer.

            And...it's going to be a tough sell with serious tax increases around the corner.

            Think about that $8,000 tax credit.  It's available to a realitively small group of people AND it's taxable income.

            Compare that to the child tax credit that is set to expire.

            A family with 4 children that doesn't bust the income limits can get a $4,000 non-taxable credit every year.

            A family with 2 children, $2,000.

            There are a lot of kids out there, and a lot of parents who will be paying substantially higher taxes.

            Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

            by dinotrac on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 07:45:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The "negative income tax" helped the poor too (0+ / 0-)

              Obama's stimulus included an additional "help the working poor" package which effectively doubled the Earned Income Tax Credit by tacking on an additional EITC-type program.

              I don't remember the name of the program, but when I was helping a friend with a sub-poverty-line income do his taxes, despite his having no taxable income and an employer which had forgotten to withhold anything, my friend still received an $800 "tax refund".  Normally his EITC "refund" is about $400 from EITC alone.

              When your income is less than $10,000 annually, $800 is a substantial chunk of money, slightly more than a month's income.

              Handing that kind of money to the poor is better for the economy than any tax cut to the rich.  Rich people will just salt away their incomes in foreign investments and non-small-business investments, sucking money out of the economy (the REAL "sucking sound").  Poor people will spend their money right away and use it to patronize small businesses in their neighborhoods.

    •  I think if these people don't know this by now (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gsbadj, QuestionAuthority, coffejoe

      no amount of convincing will help. The President keeps saying without the Stimulus things would be worse, and although it is difficult to prove a negative, there needs to be a way to drive this point home better. The opposition says it is Obama's economy now and it is, with owning the economy means not taking the blame for what got us here, placing it exactly where it belongs, but taking credit for the benefits of the stimulis and do it proudly. The unemployment rate has dropped, albeit slightly, but it has dropped instead of risen. Some of the jobs lost are never coming back and unless there is an energy bill passed where good paying new jobs will be created we will find ourselves with unemployment numbers inching dowwnward, but ever so slowly. Green jobs are the answer, not only to our environment, but to unemployment and American prosperity. With the mess in the Gulf people should be alot more receptive to this solution and the harder it is sold, the more it might just make the opposition STFU.

      •  And why aren't those jobs going to come back? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        not2plato, coffejoe

        It's the result of GOP "laissez faire."

        IMO, the problem is that reversing the type of structural damage that's been done to the economy is going to require the kind of tax and corporate legislation that the largely pro-corporate types in the Administration and Democratic Party have no stomach for, either politically or ideologically.

        "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing glove." P.G. Wodehouse

        by gsbadj on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 05:50:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Those jobs are not coming back because they (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gsbadj, not2plato

          have all been outsourced to other countries. Under a Republican administration and a Republican Congress. Democrats were not blameless, but the outsourcing was done to insure large corporations increased their profits, and it is obvious that Republicans are on the side of Corporations, and increasing their profits.

          •  Sure (0+ / 0-)

            But the way to correct it (IMO) is by taxing corporations on the products or components that are brought here and produced overseas, no matter whether it's by a foreign supplier or a foreign subsidiary transferring the product.  

            As far as I've seen, the Dems have no will to change this... and yes, it was the GOP that pushed this initially.

            "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing glove." P.G. Wodehouse

            by gsbadj on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 07:19:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Another one of those Krugman days... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT, gogol, aaraujo

    I'm not a Krugman fan, but the guy is smart and does manage to be right on a number of things a number of times.

    Today is one of those times.

    DKers should know that in their bones, especially the ones who like to rail at the stupidity of the electorate.

    Stupid or not, there are a few things we know with certainty:

    whether or not we're working,
    whether we can pay our bills,
    whether the wolves are at the door,
    whether or not we are losing our home, etc.

    I think Krugman is wrong to think bigger instead of more smaller, but he's right as rain on the administration simply not seeming to care out those of us who are twisting in the economic wind.

    Come election day, we may not know all the ins and outs of Congressional infighting and which faction of which caucus has the upper hand on which day, but we'll know whether or not we're working, paying our bills, losing our homes, etc.

    Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

    by dinotrac on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 05:13:47 AM PDT

    •  "Kitchen table" issues, they're called. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinotrac

      We have to pound home that the Republicans will make things worse and that the Democrats will make things better at that level...the "paying the rent and grocery bill" level.

      "Ridicule may lawfully be employed where reason has no hope of success." -7.75/-6.05

      by QuestionAuthority on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 05:38:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Promises, promises...that's the problem. (2+ / 0-)

        As the election comes closer, it looks more and more like the Democratic argument will come across as

        "Look, we've ignored all your whining up til now because we had more important stuff to do, but we promise to get around to all that jobs stuff after the election"

        It's awfully late in the game to avoid that impression.

        Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

        by dinotrac on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 05:41:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  More Krugman - "Can Mr. Obama do anything in the (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gogol, dinotrac, eXtina, coffejoe

    time that remains? Midterm elections, where turnout is crucial, aren’t quite like presidential elections, where the economy is all. Mr. Obama’s best hope at this point is to close the "enthusiasm gap" by taking strong stands that motivate Democrats to come out and vote. But I don’t expect to see that happen.

    What I expect, instead, if and when the midterms go badly, is that the usual suspects will say that it was because Mr. Obama was too liberal — when his real mistake was doing too little to create jobs.

    "History is a tragedy, not a melodrama." - I.F.Stone

    by bigchin on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 05:14:36 AM PDT

    •  I am tired of hearing the (0+ / 0-)

      too liberal meme. David Brooks on NPR last Friday said "Americans don't like liberals that is why Obama is failing." Ironic because Obama had stayed in the middle.

      I want someone to ask Brooks and other "Why don't Americans like liberals?"

      How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened. Thomas Jefferson

      by coffejoe on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 06:31:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The President's Numbers (7+ / 0-)

    are almost exclusively tied to the recession.  What's more Republicans have done a pretty good job of making his victory seem like crimes against the nation.  It's what they do.  

  •  I'm not sure I would use Harry's meager 7 pt (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gogol, Bush Bites, JaxDem, dinotrac

    lead over a fruitcake as justification for saying how well the Dems might do....

    But, I love his optimism..

    •  You gotta take it any way you can. (4+ / 0-)

      Nevada and Florida were two sure losses this spring.

      Now, they're looking like a win and half a win.

      Kentucky, which also looked like a Repub layup, is bordering on competitive.

      The teabaggers are better than Grover Norquist at hurting the Repub brand.

      "Philosophy is useless; theology is worse"--Dire Straits

      by Bush Bites on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 05:23:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But it is a justification, it says, even (0+ / 0-)

      though people don't like Harry Reid, they don't want this tea bagging nutcase in the Senate. Hopefully that will spread across the entire country. Rand Paul will be defeated in Kentucky, and Marco Rubio in Florida. Additionally, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin might be silenced for a while too.

  •  Wish that Biden quote made me feel better. (0+ / 0-)

    At this point it reminds me of Dick Cheney's confident predictions about the upcoming election in the fall of 2006.

    Obama's belief in the rule of law apparently takes the back seat to Obama's belief in his own ability to make the right call as executive. - Scott Horton

    by GreenSooner on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 05:16:26 AM PDT

  •  As long as Repubs keep nominating nuts. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    conlakappa, Pinto Pony

    "Philosophy is useless; theology is worse"--Dire Straits

    by Bush Bites on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 05:16:28 AM PDT

  •  re: EJ Dionne (4+ / 0-)

    This may be a bit simplistic but I used to manage indoor swimming pools and the water temperature was always a contentious issue...seniors wanted it at 87 and swim team wanted it at 78.  I knew I had it right when everyone was complaining.  Seems to me Obama has the "pool temperature" just right...just saying

  •  Thank you Paul Krugman for nailing it (6+ / 0-)

    once again

    But the only real puzzle here is the persistence of the pundit delusion, the belief that the stuff of daily political reporting — who won the news cycle, who had the snappiest comeback — actually matters

  •  Bush should go out stumping for rethug candidates (6+ / 0-)

    eh Cornyn?

  •  I recently heard that the Fortune 500 (3+ / 0-)

    companies are holding onto over a trillion dollars of unused capital that should be used for investing and job creation but are hording instead.

    The cynic in me says that it is to slow down recovery long enough to get a Republican congress back.

    This Machine Kills Fascists

    by aaraujo on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 05:22:17 AM PDT

    •  The more reasonable answer is uncertainty over (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aaraujo, QuestionAuthority, coffejoe

      the economy.

      Figure that a lot of those companies have laid people off and are working their employees pretty hard.  Real expansion will require hiring -- and that's a risky thing, especially with all the change in the air.

      Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

      by dinotrac on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 05:28:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not so reasonable an excuse. (0+ / 0-)

        Corporations aren't spending their cash to expand their business and hire workers because there is no demand.  If that's what you mean by "uncertainty about the economy," fine.  But it certainly doesn't mean uncertainty about the business environment (regulations and taxes).  Corporations are actually working their employees LESS, not more.  Hours worked per week have actually gone down since this economic mess began, not up.  From Dean Baker's blog at the Center for Economic and Policy Research website (cepr.net):

        The number of hours worked per worker has plunged in this downturn and risen only modestly from its lowpoint. The current average of 34.1 hours is almost 2 percent lower than the 34.7 avearge in December of 2007, the month the recession began.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 07:50:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  On average, you feel pretty good if your head is (0+ / 0-)

          on fire and your feet are freezing.

          You are, of course, correct about the importance of demand. The question is how companies will meet an increase in demand, which is certain to come.

          Companies that cut back hours, froze or cut wages, and otherwise avoided layoffs are well positioned to increase output, but won't need to hire because their current workforce isn't very busy.

          I know that at least some people at companies with significant layoffs are being asked to do a lot more work than before. Whether or not that gets into the statistics, I don't know.  Those companies are in a bind. They can't increase output much without hiring, and hiring is a risky venture.

          Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

          by dinotrac on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 08:13:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Or spend it on electing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aaraujo

      the people that will give them more money by more tax cuts...

      How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened. Thomas Jefferson

      by coffejoe on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 06:32:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Corporations hoarding? Say it ain't so! (0+ / 0-)

      Better give them another trillion dollar tax cut so they'll have some extra money to "trickle-down", since the last trillion dollar tax cut didn't give them enough play money.

  •  Clueless Republicans (8+ / 0-)

    MR. GREGORY:  And we are back, continuing our Decision 2010 debate with the four leaders responsible for winning congressional races for their party this fall.
    And, Congressman Sessions, I want to go back to you.  This has been a debate so far this morning about, you know, the relative merits of Republican rule during the Bush years and what this president has or has not accomplished so far.  I think what a lot of people want to know is if Republicans do get back into power, what are they going to do?
    REP. SESSIONS:  It's quite simple that the American people do understand the agendas that are before us.  They understand what the president and the speaker stand for, and they understand what Republicans stand for. Republicans, and especially our candidates who are all over this country, very strong standing with the American people back home, we need to live within our own means.  And certainly the projections that are ahead including health care and the projections for unemployment for a long time and debt for as far as we can see is staggering.  We need to live within our own means.  Secondly, we need to make sure that we read the bills.  These bills are so bad, which is why we don't have a budget that is being looked at now.  The 2011 budget is staggering in terms of taxes, and the, the discipline that is lacking from this House Democratic leadership to even debate and bring the bill for the budget and appropriations to the floor is a lack of leadership.  And lastly...
    MR. GREGORY:  But, Congressman, that's a, that's a pretty gauzy agenda so far.  I mean, what specific--what painful choices are Republicans prepared to make?  Are they going to campaign on repealing health care, for instance, repealing financial regulation?  Would you like to see those two things done?
    REP. SESSIONS:  Well, first of all, let's go right to it.  We're going to balance the budget.  We should live within our own means, and we should read the bills and work with the American people.
    MR. GREGORY:  How do you do it?  Tell me how you do it.  Name a painful choice that Republicans are prepared to say we ought to make.
    REP. SESSIONS:  Well, first of all, we need to make sure that as we look at all that we are spending in Washington, D.C., with, not only the, the entitlement spending but also the bigger government, we cannot afford anymore. We have to empower the free enterprise system.  See, this is where...
    MR. GREGORY:  Congressman, these are not specifics.
    REP. SESSIONS:  Oh, they...
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    MR. GREGORY:  And voters get, get tired of that.
    REP. SESSIONS:  That, that...
    MR. GREGORY:  You want to deal with entitlement spending...
    REP. SESSIONS:  They are...
    MR. GREGORY:  ...will you raise the retirement age on Social Security, will you cut benefits in Social Security?
    REP. SESSIONS:  Let, let--let's go...
    MR. GREGORY:  Will you repeal health care?
    REP. SESSIONS:  Let's go right to it.
    MR. GREGORY:  Do it.
    REP. SESSIONS:  And Chris talked right about it.  He wants to diminish employers' abilities to be able to be competitive across this world.  We need to make sure that we allow employers, which was in that 52-page report that was presented to the president of the United States by CEOs in this country, we need to go back to the exact same agenda that is empowering the free enterprise system rather than diminish it.
    MR. GREGORY:  Senator, I'm sorry, I'm not hearing an answer here on specific--what painful choices to really deal with the deficit.  Is Social Security on the table?  What will Republicans do that, that, that would give them--like '94, there was a Contract With America.  What are voters going to say, "Hey, this is what Republicans will say yes to"?
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    SEN. CORNYN:  Well, the president has a debt commission that reports December the 1st, and I think we'd all like to see what they come back with.  We've got three of our most outstanding members on that commission--Mike Crapo, Tom Coburn and Judd Gregg--and I--my hope is they'll come back with a bipartisan solution to the debt and particularly entitlement reform, as you, as you mentioned.  But I...
    MR. GREGORY:  But wait a minute, conservatives need a, a Democratic president's debt commission to figure out what it is they want to cut?

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 05:23:05 AM PDT

  •  I don't understand the abortion article. (0+ / 0-)

    It's sort of lazily pushing for more abortions in hospitals...but that's exactly what you don't want. An abortion is a relatively straightforward procedure, and there's absolutely no reason to take a patient to same-day or to an OR for it. It unnecessarily institutionalizes the practice - oh, and by the way, it makes it expensive as hell, too.

    As for fewer and fewer OB residencies offering abortions as part of the curriculum (12%)...that sounds very low, but I doubt more than 12% of OB/GYNs would be comfortable performing therapeutic abortions. I know I wouldn't, and I'm pro-choice.

    I understand that it's a more concentrated pool of people that perform abortions, and that makes it harder to find an abortion provider in many areas. Something needs to be done. However, the move to outpatient clinics still makes finding an abortion provider easier - you can't call up a hospital and ask for a procedure to be done in the same way you can at a clinic (hospitals won't take incoming referrals unless they're from a physician!)

    •  It's more a question of perception and policy (0+ / 0-)

      Whenever ANY branch of medicine is isolated and left on the street, its reputation nose-dives and people start thinking of it as "not necessary" or worse.

      We saw this happen with midwifery, which was once a respected and honorable profession. Generations of knowledge were lost when the doctors abandoned the midwives and the midwives were driven to the fringes. We're still painfully rediscovering things that were once well known.

      It's probably not a coincidence that both midwifery and abortion pertain exclusively to women and reproduction - that whole topic is "squicky" to a lot of people, perhaps due to residual Victorian prudery. (You can't pin that one on the Puritans - they weren't the ones who put bloomers on piano "limbs" or started calling male chickens "roosters". They had a very good grasp on the facts of life, thankyouverymuch, and while they may not have approved, they did not ignore them.)

      If it's
      Not your body
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      AND it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 07:39:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is an excellent article (0+ / 0-)

        on the "new" abortion providers in Sunday's NYT Magazine, including interviews with doctors who are moving abortion services back into their offices.  It's a long article, but well worth the read.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 07:55:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  But it's not about banishment... (0+ / 0-)

        A hospital is an inappropriate place for such a straightforward procedure. We wouldn't expect to go to a hospital (I mean the actual hospital, not just a hospital-affiliated clinic) to get vaccinations or a checkup. Abortions, just from the medicine of it, are super easy. There's not really much to know, or to do.

  •  Who has said the following yet?: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gogol, JaxDem

    "It's ok to start buying new cars again.  It's ok to apply for credit.  It's ok to buy a new living room furniture set.  It's ok to update the household computers.  It's ok.  You can buy it now."

    "The term 'Sloppy Joe' takes on new meaning...once your tribe descends into cannibalism." - Stephen Colbert

    by Detroit Mark on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 05:23:56 AM PDT

  •  Banks caused hunger during 2008 food crisis (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beltane, QuestionAuthority

    Food-Commodity Speculation by Banks Caused Hunger, Anti-Poverty Group Says

    Higher food and crude-oil prices reduced real incomes worldwide, with the greatest effect on the poorest people, the London-based anti-poverty campaign group said in a report. Speculators accounted for 65 percent of bets on rising corn prices between 2006 and 2008, according to United Nations Conference on Trade and Development figures cited in the study.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 05:30:20 AM PDT

    •  Another reason to hate the banks (0+ / 0-)

      and the speculators.  Speculation in the oil market is the main cause of the $4.00+/gallon spike in gasoline prices two summers ago.  Every time the greedheads decide to play their market games on basic necessary commodities, the rest of us pay dearly.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 07:59:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  He may be mostly an idiot libertarian (4+ / 0-)

    but Paul is absolutely right on Ag subsidies.  It disgusts me to be told to vote for Conway to save these handouts to people, who in my experience, complain about every minimal subsistence payment the government makes to kids and out of work adults.

    I'll vote fo Conway but I don't expect much from him, he'll be a true Blue Dog, and I don't think Reid can competently manage a majority ayway.

    •  a poillster noted that an unenthusiatic vote (4+ / 0-)

      counts as much as an enthusiastic vote.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 05:34:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  He's absolutely right on that narrow point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden

      But Bush was right on a handful of significant issues: Immigration Reform, the Hawaiian Marine Reserve, ... okay that's all I can come up with.

      And Paul's batting average would be as bad if elected.

      "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

      by Egalitare on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 06:20:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The way to deal with Ag subsidies (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mjd in florida, neroden

      is to limit the subsidies to privately owned enterprises with net income of less than $500K/year.  "Family farms" (a favorite of Republicans) would be protected, and we could stop shoveling money to large ag conglomerates such as ADM.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 08:04:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I come from a long line of farmers (0+ / 0-)

      And frankly I'm a lot disgusted about farm subsidies.

      They are basically identical to social welfare programs, with the added bonus that you have to do less work to get them.  Poor people these days have to put in 20 hours or more work a week to get assistance, and they have to jump through all kinds of paperwork hoops.

      Farmers have government agents who come by to help with the paperwork, and the government gives farmers money to encourage them to work less.

      Then the farmers turn around and declare that big government is evil and we all need to vote Republican.  If a state is largely farmers and gets millions in social welfare in the form of farm subsidies, then the state is usually Red and always votes "against social welfare...except for the kind we get, of course."

      Or as Opus of "Bloom County" tried to say (and failed) as part of his "learn how to be a farmer" training, "Keep those flat-footed goombahs in Washington out of my hair...Hurry up with my federal bail-out check."

      Farm subsidies have brought us the terrible non-substitute for oil called "ethanol"; feeding cows grain instead of grass, resulting in overuse of antibiotics and sick cows slaughtered for meat intended for humans; and farmers who plant pesticide/fertilizer-intensive GMO corn (which produces sterile seeds) instead of "heirloom" corn because the subsidies help them afford these environmentally-damaging seeds.

      The only subsidies which make any sense are those which encourage farmers to not farm on erosion-prone land, such as right next to rivers and streams.  Anything else is just a big government payout to hypocrites screaming that government payouts are evil.

  •  Obama on the offensive today against the Repukes (5+ / 0-)

    I have to leave and won't be able to watch this today, but there will probably be a video of it.

    President Obama this morning will suggest that Congressional Republicans are obstructionists and hypocrites, stepping up his criticism on an issue that's languished for weeks. In a statement to the press in the Rose Garden at 10:30 a.m., Obama will highlight the pending measure to extend unemployment insurance and say that Republicans are "denying millions of people who are out work and trying to find a job the needed relief."

    A White House official told TPM that Obama also will say that Republicans want tax cuts for the wealthy but are filibustering this bill to help the unemployed. The official said Obama "will tell the stories of Americans in need of the extension and he will have strong words for Republicans who have previously supported unemployment extensions under Republican Presidents but refuse to offer relief to middle class families today."

    Link

    I'm tired of being the shovel brigade after those elephants. - Sen. Tom Harkin

    by RhodaA on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 05:37:01 AM PDT

    •  What he should also say, is the reason is they (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RhodaA

      want me to fail, and my failure is their only goal, they care nothing for the American people, the people who are unemployed and living in virtual poverty. Their goal is to make people suffer, because they think if people suffer they will blame the Democratic party and vote them out of office. This is their goal, their  goal is not to do the jobs they were sent to Washington to do, improve the lives of the American people, all they care about is winning the next election, and he should say it over and over where ever he goes. There are no new jobs because of the Republicans, people are suffering because of Republicans, and now they are saying G.W. Bush was a great President. Are these people nuts or what?

      •  He pretty much said that in (0+ / 0-)

        his Saturday address, and Sen. Tom Harkin said it explicitly in the Senate last week.

        So they're starting to go strong.

        I'm tired of being the shovel brigade after those elephants. - Sen. Tom Harkin

        by RhodaA on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 12:53:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  So -- Does that mean you support tobacco (0+ / 0-)

    subsidies?

    It does seem weird to tax tanning but support tobacco.

    Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

    by dinotrac on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 05:38:57 AM PDT

    •  Tobacco subsidies will be (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden

      completely phased out by 2014 under the buyout program legislation passed in 2004.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 08:12:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Buyout program? What is that? n/t (0+ / 0-)

        Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

        by dinotrac on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 08:14:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It transitions tobacco growers off subsidies (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dinotrac

          The USDA - Farm Service Agency's "Tobacco Transition Payment Program" (TTPP) is the U.S. Government's way of stopping tobacco grower subsidies and transitioning tobacco farmers into the "free market" (i.e., ending tobacco subsidies).

          It may be one of the few things the Bush Administration, and the Republican-controlled Congress, did which was a good thing.  Strangely enough, it is also one of the few things they did which was consistent with the claimed "deficit-reduction, shrink government" philosophy of conservatives.  Somewhat surprising behavior on their part since it was entirely out of line with their usual "its not really freedom unless people die" policy on everything else.

          •  thanks. (0+ / 0-)

            I didn't know about that.

            As to freedom without dying, a lot of people who know about such things also give Bush high marks on his policies towards and assistance to Africa, especially on the HIV/AIDS front.

            Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

            by dinotrac on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 02:19:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Nate Silver now has Blanche Lincoln at 0% (4+ / 0-)

    ..to win. On the bright side for Blanche, she can only go up from here. Although co-sponsoring bills with Jon Kyl to lower estate taxes is a curious strategy to go about that.

    http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/...

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 05:41:14 AM PDT

    •  Interesting and she (0+ / 0-)

      is a conservative Democrat.

      How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened. Thomas Jefferson

      by coffejoe on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 06:35:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I guess she assumes (0+ / 0-)

      that keeping the Waltons happy is all she needs to do to win.  Surprise, Blanche!  There are other voters in Arkansas besides Walton family members.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 08:14:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Depends on the definition of what "win" is... (0+ / 0-)

        ...don't it?

        Some people are speculating that Blanche is looking beyond this stupid, nuisance election for greener pastures.

        Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

        by Scarce on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 10:01:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Re: Krugman (0+ / 0-)

    We had Capt. Kirk heading the ship for 8 years; maybe it's time we try a Dr. Spock led nation.

    Not another dime of my money, not another minute of my time until there is concerted effort to repeal DOMA & DADT.

    by BlueMindState on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 05:51:48 AM PDT

  •  We at DailyKos All Condem the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NCJan

    The National Black Panthers actions in intimidating voters on election day.

    We here at Daily Kos want everyone to vote who is a citizen over 18 and older.  (Unlike the GOP.)

    If ignorance is bliss, they why are all the tea baggers so angry?

    by NCJim on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 06:35:53 AM PDT

    •  There was no voter intimidation (0+ / 0-)

      and it wasn't the "National Black Panthers".

      How come the dove gets to be the peace symbol? How about the pillow? It has more feathers than the dove and doesn't have that dangerous beak. Jack Handey

      by skohayes on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 07:21:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  New Black Panthers (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NCJim

      Asking the NAACP to denounce the New Black Panthers.  A game the Republicans have been playing for years--with some success. Remember when Obama was asked to denounce Louis Farrakkan?

      Why not ask the teabaggers to denounce the KKK--or better yet, Tim McVeigh?

      Why can only one side play this game?

  •  Krugman has it right (0+ / 0-)

    The D's are way too concerned about how they look, will look in the media.  The R's have learned that they can ignore the image thing and concentrate on the results they want.  

    Its just too bad.  

    In addition, the D's who handle the President's appearances and image are flubbing it: he should be out among the people two or three days a week denouncing the R obstructionists, the bankers, the oil companies and etc.  He should work on lowering their numbers as much as he can.  

    Your job was shipped over seas and the R's gave your bosses a tax break for doing it.  I am trying to stop that practice, the nation wants it stopped, but this obstructionist minority wants to continue rewarding job exporters with tax payer money!  What is so hard about saying that over and over and over again?  

    But we won't see any of that.  The handlers think the President is not able to use the bully pulpit that way because....  Well, I'm not sure, but I feel certain their reason is a bad one.

    Youth lives by personality, age lives by calculation. -- Aristotle

    by not2plato on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 06:51:53 AM PDT

  •  Once again EJ Dionne (0+ / 0-)

    says lots of smart things while missing the point.

    Nobody cares about Obama's ideology except score keepers and biographers.  

    The voters what to understand what is happening and why.  You don't need to explain YOURSELF, Mr. President, because you are not the issue.  

    What you need to do is lead: and that can only be done by educating your followers about what you are doing and why it is the right thing to do.  

    Explain your actions and your intentions -- not your fundamental beliefs.  

    To educate is to lead, and to lead is to educate.  

    So, start persuading: the R agenda is an anti-American agenda.  The D agenda is a pro-American agenda.  

    Get busy explaining that, day in and day out, and watch your numbers grow.

    Youth lives by personality, age lives by calculation. -- Aristotle

    by not2plato on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 07:04:45 AM PDT

  •  The Republican are right... (0+ / 0-)

    ..."No, he’s too intellectual, too Mr. Spock, for voters who want more passion."

    Agreed. I yearn for a president who handles a crisis by running in circles, tearing at his hair and screaming.

    Oh! Some wild-eyed tongue-lolling would be nice, too.

    •  Or equally insane behavior... (0+ / 0-)

      Being told that hundreds of people are dying in New York from a terrorist attack, and quietly continuing to read a book about goats for several more minutes.

      And then mixing it all together by telling Americans that the biggest sacrifice they're going to have to make over the next eight years is that they should max out their credit cards at the mall.

      I've just realized that GWB essentially started his Presidency by telling Americans to run up huge amounts of debt that they probably can't afford to pay off.

      How ironic.

  •  Go to Teapartyexpress.org (0+ / 0-)

    They've got one guy in Alaska and Sharron Angle they're supporting.  Yes.  That Sharron Angle.

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 07:15:39 AM PDT

  •  Anyone without training in abortions (0+ / 0-)
    is not a qualified OB/GYN.  This is fact.  It is disgraceful that the various certification boards for obstetricians and gynecologists allow people to get their seal of approval without essential training in lifesaving emergency procedures.

    -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

    by neroden on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 05:59:53 AM PDT

    •  Well, its official (0+ / 0-)

      The "American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology" allows board certification without the ability to perform abortions.  In fact, they'll let you keep your certification even if you refuse to make abortion referrals.

      Makes you wonder about the people who want an abortion ban with exceptions: exactly where are these women going to get an abortion on the allowed exceptions?

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