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Leading Off:

WV Redistricting: This is unexpected but not, to my mind, hugely surprising: A three-judge federal panel hearing a suit over West Virginia's new congressional map just ruled the plan invalid on the grounds that the population differences between districts was too great. Contrary to popular belief, the court held that the state constitution does not require map-makers to avoid splitting counties, but even so, the legislature considered (and rejected) six alternative plans that would have resulted in lower variances without dividing counties. (I say this decision is unsurprising because Democratic state Senate Majority Leader John Unger, who dissented from his party, predicted this outcome in August.)

In any event, the court is giving the legislature until Jan. 17 to come up with a remedial plan; if not, elections will go forward this year under a court-drawn interim map. The judges even went so far as to say which they will likely choose: either one called the "Perfect Plan" (originally put forth by Unger) or another one known as "Cooper Plan 4," both of which had virtually no population variance. (Hat-tips to Charleston Daily Mail reporter Ry Rivard for flagging the court ruling and to reader AK for the link to the Unger map.)

4Q Fundraising:

IL-08: The first fourth-quarter fundraising numbers are trickling in. Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi says he's raised "at least $274K." No word yet on cash-on-hand.

PA-Sen: Steve Welch (R): ~$125K raised (plus $1 mil self-loan); $1 mil cash-on-hand; Sam Rohrer (R): >$116K raised

RI-01: Brendan Doherty (R): >$150K raised


IN-Sen: What a phony. Wealthy auto dealer Bob Thomas said just last month that, in terms of the GOP Senate primary, he "will be a yes, based on everything I know." Now, of course, he's bowing out. When Thomas's name first came up in November, we noted that he claimed he was going to run for Senate in 2010 as well but bailed just two weeks later. At the time, we said "maybe he's not serious about a statewide contest this time either," and it looks like we were right. Anyhow, this is obviously good news (for real) for Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who will now very likely face incumbent Sen. Dick Lugar one-on-one for the Republican nomination.

ME-Sen: Even though two Democrats are already running, and even though prospects for beating Sen. Olympia Snowe look very tough, a third Dem is considering the race: state Sen. Cynthia Dill. If you have an especially good memory, you may recall that Dill, a former member of the state House, just won a special election last year to replace ex-state Sen. Larry Bliss (who in a rather poignant story, resigned his post to move out-of-state because he couldn't find full-time employment in Maine). In any event, if Dill gets in, she'd join former Secretary of State Matt Dunlap and state Rep. Jon Hinck in the primary.

MO-Sen: Yow. GOP Rep. Todd Akin's campaign manager, finance director, and general consultant all jumped ship in December, which can't be a good sign. Sometimes when a campaign bring in new blood, that's a good thing, especially when there's an orderly transition. But that doesn't seem to be the case here, given the number of people departing and the fact that the Akin camp doesn't appear to have announced replacements yet.

TX-Sen: I guess Rick Perry more-or-less just endorsed Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the GOP primary without actually uttering those words. Here's what the Texas governor (and presidential hopeful) said on Monday:

The boost came while Dewhurst and a handful of politicians from around the state appeared with Perry during an evening speech. When introducing two members of the U.S. House that support him, Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina and Sam Graves of Missouri, Perry said, "They’re on the leading edge and there’s more of those members of the United States Congress and the United States Senate — which David soon will be a member of, Lord willing — that understand how important, when we’re talking about making America more competitive, when we’re talking about what this country needs is a president of the United States and a Congress who will work with that president to pass a balanced-budget amendment to the United States Constitution."

Later in the speech, when talking about repealing President Barack Obama’s health care law, Perry said, "You can be the cosponsor in the Senate, David."

VA-Sen: Sheesh, I didn't realize Bob Marshall was still out there teasing us. The loonocrat state delegate says he's still considering a bid for Senate—something he first suggested last February—which would put him up against George Allen's rather intimidating candidacy in the GOP primary. As I noted back then: "Marshall almost stole the GOP nomination for VA-Sen in 2008 from the super-sad Jim Gilmore, but that near-upset took place at a Republican convention—this time, the party's nominee will be selected in a primary." So even if he gets in, I doubt he'll be as successful as he was four years ago. Plus, Allen's nowhere near the pushover Gilmore was.


AZ-09: As expected, state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema launched her campaign for Arizona's swingy new 9th Congressional District on Tuesday. Sinema's been talking about a run since June, well before the first draft maps were published, and she becomes the first Democrat to formally enter the race. One of Sinema's fellow state senators, Minority Leader David Schapira, has formed an exploratory committee but hasn't yet pulled the trigger. There's a reason to hold off, too: Under Arizona law, Sinema had to resign her current post in order to run for Congress, something Schapira hasn't been willing to do just yet. In any event, a couple of other Democratic names are still floating out there as possibilities: 2010 state Treasurer candidate Andrei Cherny and ex-Rep. Harry Mitchell, who represented the 5th CD for two terms until getting swept out last cycle.

HI-02: When EMILY's List endorsed Democratic Honolulu City Councilmember (and former state Rep.) Tulsi Gabbard, it raised a lot of eyebrows—and concern. Gabbard didn't have much of a public track record on EMILY's signature issue, abortion rights, but she did have an ugly history of opposing gay rights, along with other prominent members of her family, including her father, a notoriously anti-gay one-time Republican state senator. For instance, when Gabbard served in the House, she led the opposition to a civil unions bill and spoke out against a resolution requiring the state Department of Education to study the effects of a rule prohibiting harassment of gay students.

Facing public pressure over these issues, she recently posted an essay on her campaign website in which she admits she was once anti-choice (and also acknowledges, as we knew, that she supported an anti-same sex marriage amendment to the state constitution). She says now, though, that her positions have "evolved" and that she now will "fight any efforts to undermine our reproductive freedom" and "fight for the repeal of DOMA." However, she pointedly does not say she supports gay marriage but rather favors civil unions. Instead, she prefers the radical libertarian (and therefore pointless) construct of getting government "out of the marriage business." Since that's never going to happen, I find that to be a very weak dodge indeed. And if you really mean it, then you have to support ending marriage for heterosexual couples, too, if you're going to be consistent.

KY-04: Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Ben Dusing says he won't run in the GOP primary for the open 4th CD. While a ton of Republicans are still considering the race, only two have actually launched bids: state Rep. Alecia Webb-Edgington and Boone County Judge-Executive Gary Moore.

MD-02: Republican state Sen. Nancy Jacobs, who only last month said she was forming an exploratory committee, has pulled the trigger on a challenge to veteran Dem Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger. She's going to need a lot of luck, seeing as Barack Obama took 61% of the vote in this district.

NJ-05: Former New York Giants hall-of-fame linebacker Harry Carson, whose name popped up as a possible Democratic challenger right after Rep. Steve Rothman said he wouldn't run against GOPer Scott Garrett, says he's looking at the race. Carson, who spent his entire playing career with the Giants (from 1976 to 1988), has since worked as a broadcaster and has personal wealth he could bring to bear. According to the article, he's also spoken with the DCCC, though the D-Trip of course is declining to comment on that.

NJ-09: A piece in PolitickerNJ notes that Dem Rep. Bill Pascrell has been slow to announce endorsements, in contrast to his primary opponent, Steve Rothman, who has already rolled out a ton. Pascrell did, however, just secure the backing of Passaic Mayor Alex Blanco, who is popular with the city's large Hispanic population. (Blanco himself is Dominican.) And another supporter, Passaic County Democratic Chairman John Currie, says Pascrell will soon launch his own list of endorsers.

Rothman, meanwhile, picked up his first Passaic County endorsement from another local heavyweight, Assemblyman Gary Schaer. (Rothman's home base is in Bergen County, which makes up about two-thirds of the new district.) Schaer is well-connected with many Orthodox Jews, also an important voting bloc here.

MA-04: This is quite thin, but Scott MacKay of Rhode Island Public Radio says that unnamed "sources close to" Joseph P. Kennedy III's family are lining up support for him, and that Kennedy is "likely to run" for retiring Rep. Barney Frank's 4th CD seat. MacKay adds that Kennedy "will have something more to say about his plans within a week or so."

MI-06, PA-18, TX-Sen: Now this is the Club for Growth I remember! I'm talking about the one which used to spend money savaging Republicans for insufficient conservative purity—and it looks like they're back. The CfG is forking out half a mil on ads targeting Michigan Rep. Fred Upton, Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Murphy, and Texas LG David Dewhurst (who is running for Senate), calling Upton and Murphy "liberals" and Dewhurst a "moderate." (Oh noes!) Unfortunately, there's little hope that any of this internecine warfare will directly redound to Democrats' benefit, though Barack Obama did carry Upton's district. But the more the NRCC has to spend defending incumbents, the better.

OH-16: Ordinarily Libertarian Some Dudes (is there any other kind?) who qualify for the ballot don't merit our attention, but some eagle-eyed commenters noted that in 2010, Jeff Blevins managed to pull almost 7% of the vote in the high-profile fight between then-Rep. John Boccieri and his Republican opponent (and eventual victor) Jim Renacci. I mention this because Blevins has filed to run in the 16th yet again, the site of an incumbent-vs.-incumbent matchup between Renacci and Dem Rep. Betty Sutton. While Blevins' unusual showing last cycle might be an artifact of what was an unusual year, conventional wisdom suggests that a Libertarian Party candidate ought to draw more votes away from the GOP than from the Democratic side, so if Blevins has any kind of impact this time, it ought to be good news for Sutton.

OR-01: As Nathan Gonzales reports, Republican Rob Cornilles is going up with his first attack ad of the special election, a spot hitting Democrat Suzanne Bonamici for allegedly voting to raise taxes. Props to Nathan for scoring details on the size of the buy: It's for roughly $100K (or 645 gross ratings points), on Portland broadcast TV. You can watch the ad here or below. (By the way, is it just me, or does the announcer's voice sound funny, almost like it's quavering?)

Meanwhile, before Christmas, we mentioned that EMILY's List was reserving airtime for the first week of January. Now their spot is up, an ad attacking Cornilles for his anti-choice views. (Dave Catanese calls it a "low six-figure cable TV ad buy," so about double what the Smart Media Group initially reported.) My two cents: They really need to include subtitles for the segment which features a video clip of Cornilles talking, but anyhow, you can watch the ad here or below:
RI-01: WPRI's Ted Nesi reports that former AG (and 2010 gubernatorial hopeful) Patrick Lynch is considering a challenge to Rep. David Cicilline in the Democratic primary, but adds that he's "unlikely" to do so, according to unnamed sources. Lynch himself has refused to comment, but he'd be a formidable candidate if he got in, thanks to name recognition and access to money. If the name sounds familiar in the context of this race, that's because Lynch's brother Bill, the former chair of the Rhode Island Democratic Party, ran for this seat when it was open last cycle, finishing last in a four-way primary.

Grab Bag:

Campaign Finance: Rick Hasen has an excellent piece explaining the tension between a new Montana Supreme Court ruling that "upholds Montana’s ban on independent corporate spending on state elections" and "seems to run headlong into the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion in Citizens United." Hasen continues:

How did the Montana Supreme Court try to get around the holding of Citizens United? It took SCOTUS’s statement that independent spending cannot corrupt and pointed to evidence that such spending has in fact corrupted in Montana.

But SCOTUS is likely to conclude that this kind of evidence is foreclosed by CU. Why? Brad Smith explains: "In fact, Citizens United’s holding that independent expenditures are not "corrupting" is not a statement of fact, but a statement of law. In this respect, it is similar to contractual doctrines that imply consent where consent is truly a fiction; or criminal doctrines that throw out confessions that were freely given, on the grounds that they were not probative because the accused was not properly ‘Mirandized.’"

Hasen thinks that this legal fiction was cover for what the SCOTUS truly believed but didn't have the guts to say: "We don’t care whether or not independent spending can or cannot corrupt; the First Amendment trumps this risk of corruption." He also thinks, as do several other commentators, that the Supreme Court will reverse the Montana ruling, and that in doing so, "the disingenuousness of this aspect of CU will be on full display for all."

Ohio: Benawu has a roundup of all the congressional filings in Ohio—a huge task, since candidates file with local boards of election rather than the Secretary of State. Democrats have candidates running everywhere except in the 8th (John Boehner's super-red district), while Republicans are leaving the heavily black (and solidly blue) 11th CD uncontested.

WATN?: Ex-Rep. Brian Baird's, nobody's favorite Democrat, is now working as a lobbyist for Vigor Industrial, a shipbuilding company and government contractor. Baird, as has been the case for a while, wouldn't rule out a return to office despite retiring last year, but his hometown of Edmonds was just placed into Jim McDermott's super-liberal 7th CD, a district Baird would never have a hope of winning even if McDermott retired.

Redistricting Roundup:

CT Redistricting: The Connecticut Supreme Court has appointed Columbia poli sci Prof. Nathan Persily, whom both sides agreed upon, as its special master in the state's redistricting litigation. Persily has to submit a proposed map by Jan. 27, and under the state constitution, the court must approve a final plan by Feb. 15.

FL Redistricting: The newest Congressional map from Florida's GOP-controlled state Senate makes a few nips and tucks beyond the existing proposals, but there's one that's particularly worth a mention: Vern Buchanan's FL-13 picked up some additional turf to its south in Charlotte County which seems to push it a little closer to swing territory. The GOP still has the numeric edge here, but remember that Buchanan has a big ethical/legal cloud hanging over him and could be a potential retiree. Click here for our Google Doc doing a side-by-side comparison of the 2008 presidential results by district under the old and new Senate maps. You'll see that the Sarasota-based 13th has the biggest blue shift of any district, from 47.3% Obama to 48.3% Obama; St. Petersburg's 10th and Tampa's 11th also improve, while the 8th and 12th get a bit redder. (David Jarman)

MS Redistricting: On Friday, Dec. 30, the three-judge panel which drafted a revised congressional map for Mississippi entered a final order (PDF) confirming the new plan and explaining its rationales. Since there were no objections to the map, it seems very doubtful any appeals will be filed. And because the plan was drawn by a court rather than the legislature, it doesn't need to be precleared by the Dept. of Justice under the Voting Rights Act. So this should be it.

NY Redistricting: I've certainly spitballed this idea before, but  I believe Shira Toeplitz is the first reporter to suggest in print that anyone is actually concerned about the possibility. Says Shira: "Congressional Republicans are increasingly worried their state Senate colleagues will cut a deal to save their own seats on the legislative map, meanwhile throwing their Congressional colleagues to the wind." If this were to happen, the question is whether the legislature can convince Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign such an obvious incumbent-protection gerrymander, seeing as he's threatened to veto any maps that were not "independently" drawn. Alternately, the lege could try to over-ride a veto, which would likely be easy in the Assembly but very challenging in the Senate, where Republicans don't have a lot to offer their Democratic colleagues (whose votes they'd need to oppose Cuomo).

And speaking of which, the legislature's redistricting panel (known as LATFOR) will reportedly release its first maps next week, but it sounds like we're only talking about legislative plans, not congressional ones. Still, it'll be very interesting to see what they do with the Senate.

And on a related note, Democratic state Senate Minority Leader John Sampson filed a brief in support of a lawsuit asking a federal court to take over redistricting and appoint a special master, claiming there's an "impasse" on account of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's firm-yet-vague veto threats. That certainly seems a bit premature, and what's more, Democratic Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver and Republican Senate Leader Dean Skelos both oppose the suit. So it's hard to know what to make of this move, but it could just be a way for Sampson, who is basically irrelevant to this whole process, to insert himself into the mix.

WA Redistricting: Things wrapped up over the holiday weekend in Washington, with the independent redistricting commission finishing up business at 10 p.m. on December 31, about two hours before their efforts would have been junked and it would have gone to the courts. (The legislature can make minor changes by a two-thirds vote, but since the Dems don't have a supermajority, these maps are basically a done deal.) The major hangup wasn't the Congressional map unveiled a week ago, but rather the last set of legislative districts, where there was a standoff over creation of a Hispanic-majority seat in the Yakima area. (David Jarman)

Hungary Redistricting: If you're a regular reader of Paul Krugman's blog at the New York Times, you've probably encountered a series of guest posts by Prof. Kim Lane Scheppele about the chilling anti-democratic developments in Hungary, where a right-wing party, Fidesz, recently came to power and forced through a new constitution and other legal changes that all but lock it into permanent power. As Scheppele explains, one thing Fidesz did that will be of particular interest to Daily Kos Elections readers was radically gerrymander the districts used to elect the parliament and change the law so that a two-thirds vote is required to alter district lines in the future. The new districts would have meant Fidesz victories in 2002 and 2006 (PDF), even though they lost both elections. Much more here—all worth reading.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Correction (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, Setsuna Mudo, Sanuk

    The Washington Redistricting Commission approved the CD and LD plans at 9:55 pm on January 1, not December 31. The statutory deadline was midnight on the 1st.

  •  I want to be a Special Master when I grow up. n/t (6+ / 0-)

    But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

    by Rich in PA on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 06:06:55 AM PST

  •  Does Romney have this wrapped up? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah, TofG

    That seem to be the idea from a lot of people here over the last week or so. Theoretically, it makes plenty of sense, but at the same time, he (a) received a lower amount of the vote in Iowa in 2012 than he did in 2008 and (b) it's not clear he can outpace someone like Santorum in South Carolina or beyond, even if he has money.

    The first part in particular is really incredible to me. While the difference isn't that drastic, you'd think several years more worth of campaigning, in addition to being the only person you'd probably trust with his own belt, would count for something. Apparently not.

    Also, is the field as divided as we think? I can't remember who said that the results from last night showed how un-unified the party is. And given that the turn out was somehow lower this year than in 2008, what does that say about that side's enthusiasm?

    •  Pretty much (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Gingrich will be his real threat in South Carolina.  Santorum has had his moment in the sun.  But even if Romney loses there, if he comes back and wins Florida, the race is over.

      “If you think I can be bought for five thousand dollars, I'm offended." Rick Perry.

      by Paleo on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 06:31:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Gingrich will be no threat in SC or elsewhere (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen, sacman701, MichaelNY, jncca

        Newt is not going to have money to challenge now.  I don't buy his claim of raising $9.6M in Q4, if that were true he would've aired a lot more ads in Iowa.  Newt is going to suck wind in NH, leaving him without anymore ammo for SC.  And if Newt himself is sucking wind, his superpac is not going to be so enthused to help......this is what "independent" really means for indy spending groups, it means that the rich financiers can simply take their money back!

        The only potential threat is, in fact, Santorum.  And he's a threat only if the GOP electorate nationally gives him the same polling surge they so generously gave much less serious candidates like Cain and Newt.

        43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

        by DCCyclone on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 06:44:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Divided (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I haven't yet really understood this.  Santorum, Perry and Bachmann were in many ways competing for the same if not similar voters.  Add in Gingrich and these 4 probably have what, 80-90% overlap.  

      I don't think its divided at all, its just not focused.  If/when Bachmann and perry drop out, its hard to see how their supporters get behind Romney, so whoever is left except Romney and Paul stand to gain.

      I don't think last night did much unless people start dropping out.  Reading into Romney's vote totals isn't that important, it's Iowa, it's a caucus, I mean who cares if he got 5,000 fewer or more votes.  Its not an extrapolatable figure or conclusion.  

      I mean if Romney outpolls his 2008 NH numbers will the conclusion be that Romney is suddenly super-strong?  Of course not.

      The real problem is if Perry or Bachmann stay in through South Carolina.  Technically Bachmann shouldn't be voted for by anyone in SC, but we'll see.  If Perry stays in then he destroys any chance of beating Mitt in SC for Santorum.

      What needs to happen is a no more than 2 of the 4 conservatives be remaining heading into February.  Those 2 will need money of course.  But with Paul grabbing some votes along the way, Romney could be denied momentum, and heading into some of the winner-take-all states later on, could end up not having the delegates for a clean nomination.


      •  It's not really a "Not Romney" vote (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marcus Graly, drmah, sacman701, MichaelNY

        The "Not Romney" vote is not as big as the combined conservative support.  That's what a lot of people don't realize.

        Each of those crazies or bad candidates, like Bachmann and Newt and Perry, has a non-trivial share of supporters who are willing to move to Mitt.

        And it's a given Bachmann and Perry are dropping out immediately.  Bachmann is announcing later this morning.  Perry said last night he's returning to Texas to "reassess," which means he wants a day or two to write his exit speech and decide whether to endorse someone else.

        43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

        by DCCyclone on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 06:47:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well it's there (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          There's a reason to not vote for someone and a reason to vote for someone.  Voters almost always do the latter.

          I just think that consolidation of the not Romney candidates helps them more than Romney.  I'm not entirely sure what Romney's ceiling is on the conservative vote, but I'm sure that he's closer to his ceiling than Santorum is to his ceiling with a 6-person primary.  

          I think if you have a viable social conservative, people will vote for them.  I think the reason mitt has always been the popular second choice for people is that they do like their candidate (whoever it may be) but realize that if it's not their candidate, then they'd just rather win and the best chance their is Romney.

          I don't believe supporters of non-Romney's are moving to Romney because they like him, they just liked their candidate a lot and once they aren't viable they vote to win.

          •  Your last sentence is why Romney will win (0+ / 0-)

            Voters are multidimensional.  Each voter wants a nominee who agrees with them broadly ideologically.  And also on particular issues of personal importance.  And can beat Obama.  Problem is, there's no magical candidate.

            There are a lot more conservatives than some of us want to admit who can live with Romney.  That's all he needs, that they can live with him.

            Think back 4 years ago to what happened on our side.  Hillary voters were very sticky.  But they came around, despite all the HillaryWorld spin and media speculation that somehow they wouldn't.

            Conservatives will come around to Romney.  And frankly they'll do so sooner rather than later.

            I've been wrong several times in my predictions this cycle, and could be wrong here again, but the only way I see being wrong on this one is if Santorum really experiences a massive national polling surge akin to Perry/Cain/Newt before him.  But there was no sign of that before Iowa despite his Iowa surge, making it less likely we'll see one post-Iowa.

            43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

            by DCCyclone on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 07:14:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  We weren't wrong with predictions (0+ / 0-)

              We were right at the time they were made, and no one can prove us wrong...we have the polling evidence to prove it LOL.

              Joking aside, I thought Newt might beat Romney but I never really was able to put the pen to paper and see if Mitt could stop him.  With the proportional vs the winner-take all primaries, closed vs open primaries, etc I was never sure of the arithmetic.  

              I still don't know if Mitt can take the winner-take-all races in the south later on if its him, Paul and 1 other conservative, but it depends on the sheer strength and $$$ of the other conservative.  If Newt stays in past Florida I mean Mitt could end up with like 80% of the delegates come convention time.

              I'm wondering if Perry doesn't endorse Romney and then try to help Romney win Texas.  He's got nothing to lose, and getting involved with Romney could help train Perry and his people on how to campaign for a possible run in 2016.

            •  Santorum (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I think he wasn't moving nationally because he wasn't getting much attention even though he was gaining in Iowa. Now that he's done well in Iowa he should get much more exposure, and his national numbers should move. We'll see how much they move.

              SSP poster. 42, CA-5, -0.25/-3.90

              by sacman701 on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 08:11:57 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  His lack of money (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Means i think we'll see his poll numbers move, but I'm not so sure his vote numbers will match polling.

                I can't imaging Romney not taking down no-money Santorum pretty easily.

                •  $ (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Santorum should be able to raise more money now. He'll still be at a disadvantage, but he may be able to raise enough to put up more resistance than Newt did.

                  SSP poster. 42, CA-5, -0.25/-3.90

                  by sacman701 on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 08:47:55 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I don't see how (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    I mean it takes some time to raise money, and he literally has none.  Florida is insanely expensive, even if he wins SC I don't see how he competes in Florida.

                    •  I mostly agree, the only difference is... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      MichaelNY, jncca

                      ...I have the impression Santorum is willing to do the much-hated call time.

                      Newt wouldn't.

                      Neither would Bachmann.

                      Romney and Perry do it, which is why they've raised and spent the most.

                      Santorum is willing but no one would give him money.  Now that will change.

                      But yes, time has pretty much run out.  TV stations want payment right away.

                      43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

                      by DCCyclone on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 10:48:16 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

      •  I get that support for these guys (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        won't go to zero and that Romney's support might not go that much higher for any number of reasons, but at the same time, to drop below what he saw in 2008 has to be an indication he's got some issues with the base. I just don't understand how it can be seen otherwise.

        The path forward for him seems clear enough, yet again, he can't seem to put the pieces in place. It's like he's trying to get ready for work and, after leaving his house, he realizes he forgot his gloves. When he goes back inside to get them, he leaves his brief case. When he does back inside to get that, he realizes he left his lunch. After finally having that, he realizes he never started his car to let it warm up. And once he's finally on his way to work, he realizes he left his presentation on his desk at home, meaning he has to either go back or wing it. None of this is fatal, but it does prevent him from getting to work (getting the nomination) as quickly as possible.

      •  The Not-Romneys (0+ / 0-)

        Bachmann clearly has no path forward. If she can't contend in Iowa, where she worked hard and had a bit of home-field advantage, she can't contend anywhere.

        Not sure what Gingrich's viable future is. Everyone has seemingly remembered why he vanished the first time around. The only things he's got going fo him in NH are an organization a bit more extensive than Santorum's and that Union-Leader endorsement. I don't see how he goes on w/o a unexpectedly strong NH showing.

        Perry flopped too but has the money and organization to keep going. He can at least make it to Florida. If Santorum tanks by then he's still got a shot.

        Santorum seems to have a shot at consolidating wavering Bachmann, Perry, and Gingrich voters. He has to survive NH w/o losing all his momentum. The NH primary is going to feature a lot of moderates, independents, and libertarian types, and Santorum doesn't appeal to any of those groups except (for cypto-Dems voting crossover) as easy prey for Obama in November.

        I feel like Ron Paul is going to win NH and embarass the hell out of Romney.

        Stuck Between Stations : Thoughts from a bottomless pool of useless information.

        by Answer Guy on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 08:02:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bachmann just dropped out and Perry (0+ / 0-)

          headed back to Texas today. Ron Paul will stay in until the very bitter end. Gingrich is going to nuke Romney to help Santorum. He said exactly that last night in his speech.

          20, Dude, Chairman DKE Gay Caucus! (College IN-09) (Raised IL-03, IL-09) Tammy Baldwin and Elizabeth Warren for Senate!

          by ndrwmls10 on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 08:07:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yes he does (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tietack, Marcus Graly

      Romney destroyed everyone but Santorum last night.  And Santorum has no campaign at all outside Iowa.

      The focus on Romney's vote total or percentage is misplaced.

      Obama was "crushed" by "Not Obama" 61-39 in Iowa, 63-37 in New Hampshire, and so on in so many states.

      But there was no "Not Obama" vote, so that was fiction.

      For you youngsters, did you know George H.W. Bush, a few months before crushing Dukakis in '88 to become the 41st President, was destroyed in Iowa and came in 3rd behind Bob Dole and freakin' Pat Robertson?!

      Same with "Not Romney."  Yes there is a large majority who want someone else, but there is not a large majority that wants anyone else.  Rather, each of the alternatives has a non-trivial share of supporters who would pick Romney as a 2nd choice or 3rd choice, or otherwise are open to simply changing their minds in favor of Romney.

      Oh, and regarding Romney "campaigning" in Iowa, this business of his failing to gain on his '08 vote total and percentage is so much wishful spin.  Equally valid spin says he ignored the state completely this time, parachuted in for 4 weeks, and vanquished more aggressive campaigners to win anyway.

      43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

      by DCCyclone on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 06:40:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  While I'm interested in Gingrich going "nuclear" (5+ / 0-)

        and want to believe that he could destroy Romney in some way.

        I'm thinking such an approach might sound like Bob Dole '88, the rantings of a bitter old man.

        Alternatively, Santorum needs the endorsement of both Perry and Bachmann -- and someone with a Koch sized wallet willing to fund a super PAC -- if he's going to consolidate enough of the evangelical vote to stop Romney.

        Absent that kind of development, Romney just has to execute the same sort of attack on Santorum that he did to Gingrich. Errors still happen, but it's like Queens have been exchanged, and Romney is now three connected passed pawns up against the not-Romneys.

        "I hope; therefore, I can live."
        For SSP users, see my Tips for Swingnuts diary

        by tietack on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 06:56:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  As I'm teaching chess now to my 5-year old girl... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tietack, MichaelNY

          ...I wish I could give you multiple recs for that comment.

          I'm not sure Romney has even surrendered a queen.  More like he took everyone else's queen and gave up a bishop.

          But I agree 100% with your comment on where things stand.

          43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

          by DCCyclone on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 07:08:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Romney still has to execute (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            drmah, DCCyclone, MichaelNY

            which I translate to Romney not having a queen any more.

            But once he does the work, and gets one or more of those pawns to the back row (aka win SC and/or FL), then we'll see the not-Romneys begin to endorse Mitt.

            Conversely, that sets up the bar for the not-Romneys -- they have to win both SC and FL to keep those Romney pawns from becoming queens and survive to super Tuesday.

            "I hope; therefore, I can live."
            For SSP users, see my Tips for Swingnuts diary

            by tietack on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 07:35:36 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Damn you and your facts and logical points! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DCCyclone, MichaelNY

        Seriously, thanks for this response. You make a lot of good points about this race.

        I guess if it is in fact inevitable, I should prepare myself mentally for the general. As I've said before, it's a little crude, but I hope that the Obama campaign uses the clips of Republican crowds chanting "flip flop, flip flop!" from 2004 to attack Romney.

      •  Given how many times you've been sure before (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DCCyclone, MichaelNY

        and turned out wrong, I don't feel like I need to trust your certainty this time.

        The nature of the 2008 Democratic field was much different than the 2012 Republican field.  That was a field of candidates that the vast majority of Democrats would have supported regardless of who we nominated.  In 2012, Republicans are searching desperately for a candidate they actually want.  They may be willing to tolerate Romney, but they don't want him.

        I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate, perhaps that's what no one wants to see. -6.38, -4.15

        by James Allen on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 08:07:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You need not trust my certainty at all (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          James Allen

          I'm just a commenter on a blog, no claim to a crystal ball, just trying to think things through as rationally as possible like you.

          But I do think there are people who let their analyses become clouded by wanting someone weaker than Romney to be the nominee.  Which I, too, want.  But I also don't want to be heartbroken as the result of failing to prep for a reality I should've seen in advance.

          It gets harder every week to see someone other than Romney win.  Which is the exact opposite of 9 months ago, when it was hard to see Romney winning it.  It's been largely linear, the race moving steadily in Mitt's direction.  And last night only reinforced that.

          Oh, and today reinforced it even more when we learned shockingly that Perry is staying in after all, and heading down to SC to campaign--skipping NH altogether.  Mitt is dancing and laughing even harder this afternoon.

          43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

          by DCCyclone on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 10:36:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  That seemed to be attitude of MSM on am shows. No (0+ / 0-)

      mention was made of only an 8 point difference with second place. Democrats need to keep Primary numbers in their info, and be prepared to hit Romney a the weat-tea choice by Republicans.

    •  It depends if others do truly get out. (0+ / 0-)

      If you can maintain one other relatively well financed candidate in the race besides Paul and Romney so that Romney can't run the margins up in any states he wins.. then come April due to proportional representation you have three candidates whose delegate total counts may not necessarily be all that different from each other.

      Then come April 3rd let us say which is completely possible.. that Romney loses Texas and all it's electoral votes.  And then loses Mississippi two days later on the 5th.

      What does the math start looking like as far as Romney ever getting the necessary majority?  And assuming that not Romney candidate is Santorum... the next large winner take all contest almost a month later is Pennsylvania.

      After that comes a lot of rural and southern states until you get California.  A state where the crazy right has often pulled off upsets in the primaries.

      If the right were smart they wouldn't throw in the towel no matter what happens in South Carolina and New Hampshire.

  •  Alright (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    live1, James Allen, MichaelNY

    here's the standing of the GOP candidates right now:

    Mitt Romney: Undisputed Frontrunner
    Rick Santorum: Anti-Romney/De facto Conservative candidate
    Ron Paul: Odd man out
    Newt Gingrich: Kamikaze aimed at Romney
    Jon Huntsman: Should of stayed in China
    Michele Bachmann: FINISHED
    Rick Perry: GONE

    Going to be interesting how South Carolina plays out this time because Romney won't be able to win by a small plurality like McCain in 2008. Romney will have to engage Santorum and Santorum will have to step up in a big way.

    "Viewing time at the zoo!" - America on the GOP Presidential primaries

    by ehstronghold on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 06:41:46 AM PST

  •  I actually am ashamed to say that I was (0+ / 0-)

    once a donor to EMILY's List; I gave them lots of money over a long period of time. I thought that it would be nice to have more women in Congress (and still do). What I learned over time, and is once again illustrated here with this Hawaii situation, is that they are so focused on supporting pro-choice Democratic women that they will support pretty much ANY pro-choice Democratic woman, no matter how weak she is, and/or no matter how awful she is on other issues that matter (such as gay rights), and/or no matter how solid her male Democratic opponent may be on all of these important issues. I eventually came to the conclusion that they have become a sexist organization, and supporting sexism is in the long run counterproductive if what I really want is equal opportunities for women politicians. They could be really great if they just were willing to bend here or there when a controversial situation arises.

    •  Use it as guide to help you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      sort through the candidates and then figure out which ones you like. Once you've got a list, then you can donate.

      I don't think I've given anything to any organization, aside from the official party organizations, besides MoveOn in 2004, at least in a political capacity. Thankfully, it's easy to give directly to the candidates. The harder part, at least for me, is to sort through who is running and where, and harder still to find all of their positions. But like I said, you can use something like EMILY's List to help you aggregate and then make your own moves. The best of both worlds, no?

      •  But EMILY's List is not that helpful (0+ / 0-)

        in terms of recommending candidates. Their criteria is so simple (woman? check. Dem? check. pro-choice? check.) that I don't see the value of their imprimatur.

        •  It's not about taking their recommendations. (0+ / 0-)

          Like I said, use it as a guide. I could be speaking from own position of relative ignorance here, but I am not nearly as knowledge as many others here about who is running and where. Some organizations or sites help us combine all of that information rather than forcing us to start searching district by district, state by state. One you know who is running, you can pick and choose based on your own standards, not theirs.

        •  Out Of Date (0+ / 0-)

          With the exception of a few entrenched incumbents, you don't see many anti-abortion Dems left outside of areas where pro-choice candidates are generally unelectable anymore, especially at the Congressional level.

          It was a substantial bloc of Massachusetts Dems a generation ago. No more. Some died (they tended to be older on average), moved away (either to retire in warmer states or as part of the greater Sunbelt migration), drifted into the GOP, or changed their mind on the abortion rights issue.

          Stuck Between Stations : Thoughts from a bottomless pool of useless information.

          by Answer Guy on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 08:15:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I wish you were right but .... (0+ / 0-)

            you haven't been to Ohio. I still believe the key reason we lost the governor's race in Ohio last year and were forced to spend millions of dollars and hours working to repeal onerous and extreme legislation is because the Ohio Democratic Party placed an anti-choice (and anti-gay) radical on its statewide ticket for secretary of state, and spent five months doubled down on its support of her despite outraged howls of protest from activists across the state. As a result, even though she was ultimately pulled off the ticket following the refusal of the state's largest county women's caucus to lift a finger on her behalf, those activists were decidedly less enthused about canvassing, phone banking etc.

            In addition, we had a bunch of Democrats in Congress – including our now gone Blue Dogs, several borderline Blue Dogs (also now gone) and even a progressive Democratic — who tossed the anti-choice grenade into the health-care debate, despite the provable phoniness of their argument that anything about the health-care reform bill allowed public money to fund abortion.

            Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07.

            by anastasia p on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 08:27:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Not sure its sexist (0+ / 0-)

      But it is litmus test-ish.  I mean it was always sexist technically if they were supporting only women.  

      One thing i remember from Swing State project was the belief that electoral progress was a two-step process, first more Democrats, then better Democrats.

      But this situation probably just raises ire since the person in question is so far right on gay rights from what people would expect from a pro-choice woman.

    •  So what's your opinion on Kyrsten Sinema? (0+ / 0-)

      just curious? She's a Democratic, bisexual, pro-life woman running for a seat in Phoenix (AZ-9)?

      A house divided against itself cannot stand. Abraham Lincoln

      by YoungArizonaLiberal on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 07:11:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Modestly related -- Chris Gregoire's movement (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dc1000, sapelcovits, MichaelNY, jncca, askew

      towards a full endorsement of gay marriage in WA state.

      I am soooooo pleased that the WA Gov is choosing this as what is likely the last big fight of her career.

      "I hope; therefore, I can live."
      For SSP users, see my Tips for Swingnuts diary

      by tietack on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 07:21:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  In the case of Hawaii it's a bit (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dc1000, MichaelNY

      unfortunate, but as of now Gabbard may be the best candidate. We definitely don't want Hanneman. He'd be so much worse. At least Gabbard is willing to "evolve" her views. We can definitely hope someone else gets in, I certainly do.

      As far as Emily's List is concerned they do a lot of good work. Like every organization they have their faults and occasionally mess up, like with Niki Tinker.

      Their mission to elect pro-choice Democratic women is a great one. They are trying to give legitimacy to women, some of which are just tossed aside by the establishment. They played a heavy role in helping Kathy Hochul and Suzanne Bonamici raise money. They get in early and help as much as possible.

      I don't see how it's sexist in anyway. Then again I associate things like sexism and racism with power. It's very hard to exert bigotry when you have very little power and/or exist in an oppressed minority.

      20, Dude, Chairman DKE Gay Caucus! (College IN-09) (Raised IL-03, IL-09) Tammy Baldwin and Elizabeth Warren for Senate!

      by ndrwmls10 on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 07:25:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't want to get philosophical (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, doc2

        But the Tinker example represents what they do that's wrong.  It's admirable to want to support a more representational congress with more women.  And i think its great to support an issue.

        However, when you combine the 2, I get kind of an uneasy feeling.  Do men who support pro-choice views matter less to the cause of the pro-choice issue?  Sadly, the Tinker incident proved that this is in fact their belief, as I don't think Steve Cohen is pro-life in any way really.

        And when gender matters, it kind of worries me that we end up with this discussion, we want women simply because we want women who agree on 1 issue.  And we'll take women who support a women's right to choose but we'll reject a man who might be pro-choice and pro gay rights because he is a man (no specific candidate referenced, just laying out ideology).  

        •  I realize what you are saying, but (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dc1000, MichaelNY, askew

          it's not as if Emily's List hasn't produced fantastic results. More often than not, they do. When women represent only 17% of Congress and in some cases that number is backtracking, they have to do a lot to build that number up.

          20, Dude, Chairman DKE Gay Caucus! (College IN-09) (Raised IL-03, IL-09) Tammy Baldwin and Elizabeth Warren for Senate!

          by ndrwmls10 on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 07:41:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Maybe they just need to update their mission (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ndrwmls10, MichaelNY, doc2

            All of us can agree that pro-choice Democratic women are great and that we need more of them.  But I think most activists and donors are looking for more than that in their candidates nowadays.  Same-sex marriage is not a litmus test issue for everyone but when it comes to choosing candidates in Democratic-leaning seats we are rapidly approaching that point.

            •  When women sit at 51% of the population (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              anastasia p, askew

              and only hold 17% of seats, absolutely not. Based on voting patterns, women should make up a majority of the Democratic part and even that isn't near to being a reality.

              20, Dude, Chairman DKE Gay Caucus! (College IN-09) (Raised IL-03, IL-09) Tammy Baldwin and Elizabeth Warren for Senate!

              by ndrwmls10 on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 07:56:01 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't disagree with you (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                The question is one of donor and activist management.  For most of the organization's history, supporting pro-choice women was enough for the people who provide the "Early Money" (Is Like Yeast).  It may not be any more.

    •  In addition, (0+ / 0-)

      they will NOT support a strong pro-choice Democratic woman if the Democratic establishment in D.C. is supporting her male primary opponent who is so timid that he conceals his pro-choice record. To me, they are the feminist version of the Human Rights Campaign, more concerned about their access and invitations to the right cocktail parties than in doing anything significant.

      Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07.

      by anastasia p on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 08:22:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yay! Go AZ District 9! Any word on Ben Quayle and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo, MichaelNY

    David Schweikerts battle?

    A house divided against itself cannot stand. Abraham Lincoln

    by YoungArizonaLiberal on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 07:03:31 AM PST

  •  How cool would it have been (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If the GOP used Dems rules and a lot of the Perry/Bachmann/Gingrich voters had to go to another candidate?  

    Would have been interesting to see how that played out.

  •  NY Senate Republicans (7+ / 0-)

    will absolutely throw every NY Republican congressmen under the bus in order to preserve their seats.

    Furthermore, every local Republican official will support this. The entirety of the NY Republican Party is dependent on the pork that the Senators can deliver. Many of the Republicans in the US House are Tea Partiers who don't care about pork and the state party won't bother to help them.

    And the NY Senate Dems will support such a gerrymander as they themselves will get nice, safe districts. Expect a Cuomo veto to be overridden.

    What a way to run a state.

    •  I wonder what might happen (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dc1000, Setsuna Mudo, MichaelNY

      if each side were to see its seats gerrymandered but then had individuals win in spite of that. In other words, could the Democrats get the state senate back regardless?

      •  Possibly (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Setsuna Mudo, MichaelNY

        But only if the GOP got caught doing criminal activity at the same rate Democrats get caught.

        I still think upstate north of Albany there are great opportunities once the seats are open (in their current configuration).  We could pick up a few seats north of Albany with good candidates in open seat races.

      •  The problem with most gerrymanders (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Setsuna Mudo, MichaelNY

        is that you pack the other party's voters into a small number of districts, thus making most of your own districts marginal. Democrats have in fact picked up a few Republican NY Senate districts that way, particularly after popular incumbents retire.

        But there is another problem: Because the courts do not require equal population in state legislative redistricting, an insidious way of adding to the power of a gerrymander is to make your party's seats smaller. And that is in fact what was done in NY. Assembly districts in NYC, mostly Democratic are smaller than in upstate Republican areas. Senate districts in Long Island and upstate are smaller than in NYC. That is one you can't get around. The courts really should require the same standard for legislative districts as for congressional districts.

    •  Selfishly as a Virginia Dem, I'd support this (5+ / 0-)

      Not living in New York, but being affected by the votes in Congress of Members of the New York delegation, there's no way I can't be happy at this prospect.  I'd love nothing more than a deal that throws the NY GOP U.S. House delegation completely under the bus, giving the state GOP the state Senate in return.  Since Dems have all statewide offices and a supermajority in the Aseembly, and state Senate GOPers have enough moderates that they already passed gay marriage, it's hard for me to think this a bad deal for Team Blue.

      43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

      by DCCyclone on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 07:32:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  FL-13 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo, MichaelNY

    It is worth noting that the previous boundaries were drawn up to give Katherine Harris as safe a district as possible that she could have presumably kept as long as the sun shines and the grass groes.  No such arrangement was made for Vern.

    Have you heard? The vice president's gone mad. - Bob Dylan, 1966

    by textus on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 07:12:40 AM PST

  •  Wisconsin redistricting. (9+ / 0-)

    A 3-judge federal panel ripped the WI GOP a new one in the lawsuit over redistricting in Wisconsin, sanctioning the GOP's attorneys and awarding fees to the plaintiff's attorneys.

    From the opinion:

    Quite frankly, the Legislature and the actions of its counsel give every appearance of flailing wildly in a desperate attempt to hide from both the court and the public the true nature of exactly what transpired in the redistricting process...

    (we) will not suffer the sort of disinformation, foot-dragging, and obfuscation now being engaged in by Wisconsin's elected officials and/or their attorneys.

    Giles Goat Boy has a diary up on this right now.

    Mere passive citizenship is not enough. Men must be aggressive for what is right if government is to be saved from men who are aggressive for what is wrong. - Robert M. LaFollette

    by stcroix cheesehead on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 07:12:53 AM PST

  •  WA Gov. Gregoire to push for marriage equality (9+ / 0-)

    Or at least that's what this article assumes will happen.

  •  All Fidesz in Hungary has done... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo, MichaelNY ensure that change, or the self-destruction of Hungary, will come via the barrel of a gun.

    As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.

    by Palamedes on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 07:28:10 AM PST

    •  Hungary? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Setsuna Mudo, MichaelNY

      Is Hungary a European Union member?  Or a NATO member?

      •  yes. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate, perhaps that's what no one wants to see. -6.38, -4.15

        by James Allen on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 08:14:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hungary (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The European Community also has rules about its members being democratic.

          •  Expect to see them suspended from the EU (0+ / 0-)

            Not only are they in violation of the rules on being democratic, but they are also trying to avoid honoring their debts in any reasonable way. I'm not saying countries should have to kowtow to the IMF; I like what Iceland did. But just expropriating things and doing accounting tricks won't hack it, and the EU won't tolerate that indefinitely.

            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

            by MichaelNY on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:41:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's what I was wondering (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              If Hungary was an EU or NATO member, whether it would feel pressure from these organizations if the government limits democracy.

            •  Actually, Iceland cowtowed to the IMF. (0+ / 0-)

              And they just got their last IMF loan payment because of it.

              •  They did? (0+ / 0-)

                I understood that the punk rocker government refused to bail out the banks and instead prosecuted the bankers and refused to honor their debts.

                Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                by MichaelNY on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 09:34:19 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Common myth. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  There were a couple people sent to jail, but most got off scott-free (for example, Björgólfur Þór).  Iceland took IMF loans (and had to implement significant austerity to get them).

                  Now, Iceland did refuse to make private banking debt public (and rejected in 2 referendums repayment plans to the UK and Dutch governments, who were suing them to get back money that they spent bailing out their citizens when the Icelandic banks crashed).  But instead what they did instead was borrow money to shore up their banks, so that they're now worth enough to pay back their unpaid debt obligations (and have started paying them back).  The British and Dutch are still suing them over the delay in repayment, however, wanting interest and penalties.

                  The reason that the markets haven't been punishing Iceland heavily is precisely because Iceland never defaulted.  It's always honoured its public debts.  And here, pumped nearly a year's worth of GDP into its banks so that they could honor their debts.

    •  I haven't been keeping track of events there (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but I read Krugman's latest column on it. There's an absurd diary up on this site, calling Santorum a "neo-Nazi" with no evidence whatsoever. Hungary, on the other hand, seems to be a fascist state now - not neo-Nazi, but yes, fascist, an authoritarian state with the government controlling everything and, as you said, having gotten rid of all checks on the power of the ruling party.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:39:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My guess is that.. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah, Setsuna Mudo, DCCyclone

    Romney has this thing sewn up.

    I can look forward to Santorum getting skewered by the media this week. Was he really voted the most corrupt politician?  

    I can also look forward to have Joseph Kennedy running for Barney's seat.  Would love to see that!

  •  Obama appointing Cordray (9+ / 0-)

    Yes this has a legit horse race angle in my mind.

    The key story is TPM's here:

    It's key because Obama is maximizing conflict with the GOP by not just making the appointment, but destroying the customary practice of respecting pro forma sessions of Congress as a basis for refraining from recess appointments.

    This goes directly to the campaign message of running against a Do-Nothing Congress.  And it's a strong message, since public opinion is going to side 100% with the President on getting to appoint his favored people in various jobs.  That Congress holds them up over reasons having nothing to do with the appointees' qualifications or character is damning of Congress.  And it's not just the GOP, even Mark Pryor held up Treasury appointees over completely unrelated beefs concerning a few of his constituents needing federal disaster aid or some such thing.

    I'm glad Obama is doing this.  He's being bold and tough, taking a stand on this that's both good to energize the base and also get sympathy from swing voters.

    43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

    by DCCyclone on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 07:40:32 AM PST

  •  Gatewood Galbraith died (4+ / 0-)

    It's trending on Twitter.

    25, Male, CA-24, DK Elections Black Caucus Chair.

    by DrPhillips on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 07:49:27 AM PST

  •  NY Redistricting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The legislature has not drawn Congressional lines in the state since 1980.  After both the 1990 and 2000 census, the Congressional lines ended up in court (state and federal) and the legislature passed maps drawn largely by court appointed special masters (I believe it was the state court maps both times).

    It would be nice if they did their job this time but I expect you will see a similar outcome this year.

    •  Let the GOP eat their own (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This selfishness is why I wondered why it was supposedly believed that the PA GOP was working with congressman to protect all of them, when in reality they really didn't need to care that much.  

      Their goal was to create a great map for 10 years for Republicans, not incumbents, and it happened that they did the former 100% and the latter about 80%.  

      In the end if I were a state Senator in NY, what would I care about congressional house districts...unless I was going to run one day.

    •  NY (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      My memory says that the legislature failed to pass a Congressional redistricting plan, the court showed a map that it intended to impose if no plan was drawn, and then the legislature passed the current map, for 2002 -1012

  •  If the Supremes overturn MT law, I would think it (0+ / 0-)

    would be the final push needed to get the ball really rolling on a Constitutional amendment.

    We don't want our country back, we want our country FORWARD. --Eclectablog

    by Samer on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 07:56:08 AM PST

  •  The religious nuts at the end of the street (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dc1000, sapelcovits, MichaelNY, jncca

    have a Bonamici sign in their yard.

    I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate, perhaps that's what no one wants to see. -6.38, -4.15

    by James Allen on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 08:30:04 AM PST

  •  Not an Orban Fan (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dc1000, MinnesotaTwins, MichaelNY, jncca

    But calling Hungary a gerrymander is a bit unfair. Fidesz actually won the popular vote in 2006 42-40, but ended up with about 12 less seats. And in 2002 the margin was 40.3-39.7.

    This map is arguably more proportional than the current system, its just that as in the UK, the Left were the beneficiaries of an unfair system(as the Republicans are in the United States), and therefore changing it is a gerrymander.

    That analysis is pretty disingenuous in that its comparisons are not to actual vote totals, but the existing seat distribution which it admits disadvantages Fidesz. And the major casualties will be Jobbik, the neo-Nazis.

    This would make non-Fidesz governments harder, but thats because Fidesz has actually generally won more votes than anyone else. If they actually got voted out they would be.

  •  trying to defeat Snowe a bad idea. (0+ / 0-)

    Having a moderate prochoice republcian in the Seante actually helps Democrats get legislation passed. Those on the left need to learn you cannot run a very liberal Democrats in a conservative stae, or not try to take down pro-choice republicans.

    godo poltical strategy is tp put your money and effort into states where a Dmcrat can win, and then try to get a more liberal Democrat.

    And the majoirty of voters are in the center and always ahve been.

  •  On Hungary: Apartheid was maintained in South Afr (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, geoneb

    by a similar strategy. I read a story on (don't know if it's archived) on how gerrymandering was used to keep the pro-Apartheid South African National Party in power by creating districts with majorities of rural Afrikaners. This helped dilute the strength of moderate and liberal whites.  

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 10:35:54 AM PST

  •  That 'job creator' crap (3+ / 0-)

    that Cornilles keeps spewing is so easy to refute.  His business in now 3 people, and the 'business"is a PO Box.  My favorite is the ad with his kids, where his wife says, "We want our boys to be able to find jobs in Oregon."

    Okay - assuming these boys will go to college, and with the fact that their father owns his own (albeit, failing) business, either Mom is lying or the kids are stupid.  And I'm not the only Oregonian to make that observation.

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