Poll: Murkowski and Miller are dead even in Alaska (The Upshot)

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2010-05-2008


The Upshot – A new poll finds Joe Miller and Lisa Murkoswki virtually tied in Alaska’s Senate race. According to a new CNN/Time survey, Miller narrowly leads the incumbent senator by just two points, 38 percent to 36 percent, among likely Alaska voters. Democrat Scott McAdams, the mayor of Sitka, runs a distant third, garnering just 22 percent. […]

To win in November, we have to win in January

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2010-05-2008


You probably received a couple dozen emails today asking you to give money to Democratic candidates. The goal of these fundraising asks will invariably be to help Democrats win on November 2nd.

The truth is, however, that Democrats can’t win on November 2nd unless we also win on the first day the Senate is in session in January. Even if we keep control of both branches of Congress, it will prove a hollow victory unless we change Senate procedural rules on the day when only 51 votes are required to change them.

That’s why, when everyone else is asking you to give to candidates, our fundraising focus today is on our effort to reform Senate rules. Please, contribute to Daily Kos on the Orange to Blue page, to help us continue our work on reforming the filibuster.

At this point, almost no matter what happens, Democrats are going to lose some seats in the Senate. Thus, unless the rules are changes, we will need more Republican votes to confirm nominees and pass legislation. Further, Jim DeMint will continue to put a holds (in other words, deny unanimous consent on the motion to proceed, thus forcing the three-day, 60-vote cloture process) on any legislation or nominee that isn’t cleared through his office. Next year, DeMint may well have a few tea party buddies in the Senate who decide to do exactly the same thing.

There is a two-fold solution to this problem. First, we keep the Senate by beating tea party candidates in November. Second, we reform Senate rules in January. That is the only possible path for Democrats to continue to govern, and it is exactly what we are working toward on the Orange to Blue page. It’s why we need you to contribute to Daily Kos now.

Your donation will go to support David Waldman’s efforts. David is working with Progressive Congress to build a coalition of labor, civil rights, environmental, netroots and multi-issue progressive organizations that are coordinating on Capitol Hill to reform Senate rules. With the help of that coalition, and of the 21,000 members of the Daily Kos community who signed the petition to reform Senate rules, dozens of meetings have been conducted with the staff of returning Democratic Senators and of Democratic Senate candidates.

The takeaway from these meetings has been a big win: there isn’t a single returning Democratic Senator, or Democratic Senate candidate, who is flat-out opposed to changing Senate rules. There is a lot of uncertainty and differences of opinion on how the rules should be changed, but the desire for some sort of rules change appears universal. Also, while some Senators are wary of change, none are a straight “no” anymore. Even Ben Nelson isn’t a straight no!

We need your donation to help David continue his work building this coalition. He started drawing buzz about reforming Senate rules 18 months ago, right here on the pages of Daily Kos. He is the leading public voice on Senate procedure in the country, and is absolutely central to the campaign to reform Senate rules. Please, chip in to Daily Kos to support David’s work now.

Progressive Congress has found a donor who will match the first ,000 in donations you make to Daily Kos to support David’s work (which means until Daily Kos reaches ,700 on the Orange to Blue page). Also, all of the candidates on the Orange to Blue page support Senate rules reform themselves, so contributing to them helps this effort.

Please, contribute to Daily Kos to help reform Senate rules. It’s the only way we can get a real win in the 2010 elections.

Goal Thermometer

House finally passes 9/11 first responders bill, 157 Republicans oppose

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2010-05-2008


The House was finally able to overcome Republican obstruction yesterday and passed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, 268-160. Three Blue Dogs (Berry, Bright, and Cooper) joined 157 Republicans in voting against the heroes who were the first responders in the World Trade Center attacks.

A bill to give up to .4 billion to workers sickened during the cleanup of World Trade Center site after the Sept. 11 attacks passed in the House on Wednesday after a passionate floor debate in which supporters said they were standing up for heroes.

“To the living victims of 9/11, we have good news: Help is on the way,” said Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., a lead advocate for the bill….

Republican critics branded the bill as a big-government program that would boost taxes and kill jobs.

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, called it a “new entitlement program that we simply cannot afford.”

Texas Republican Lamar Smith complained the measure “creates a huge slush fund open to abuse, fraud and waste.”

The bill would provide free health care and compensation to rescue and recovery workers who fell ill after working in the trade center ruins.

Entitlement program slush fund. There’s definitely no compassion in conservatism. Prospects for the bill passing the Senate are unclear at the moment, with a huge backlog of legislation waiting for the lame-duck session, including what could be an extremely ugly budget fight.

AP sources: Emanuel leaving White House on Friday (AP)

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2010-05-2008


FILE - In this April 27, 2010 file photo, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel laughs as he takes some good natured ribbing about his recent comment about someday wanting to be mayor of Chicago while participating in the sixth annual Richard J. Daley Global Cities Forum in Chicago. Two people familiar with Rahm Emanuel's plans, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they did not want to pre-empt Emanuel's announcement, said Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010, that  he will resign as White House chief of staff on Friday, and will begin his campaign for Chicago mayor by meeting with voters in the city on Monday. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)AP – Rahm Emanuel will resign as White House chief of staff on Friday and will begin his campaign for Chicago mayor by meeting with voters in the city on Monday, two people familiar with Emanuel’s plans said.

CT-Sen: McMahon wants to lower minimum wage

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2010-05-2008


Speaking at a press conference described as ‘abruptly shut down’ by her staff:

Connecticut’s Republican U.S. Senate candidate says future increases to state and federal minimum wages should be evaluated, and she isn’t ruling out reducing the current rate to help struggling businesses.

Former professional wrestling executive Linda McMahon made the remarks Thursday in East Hartford after receiving an endorsement from the National Federation of Independent Business, which opposes any increases to the federal minimum wage. When asked if she knew the current rate, McMahon said she did not remember and would have to double-check.

Connecticut’s minimum wage is .25 an hour, while the federal wage is .25 an hour.

More from a local paper (The Day):

Republican Linda McMahon accepted the endorsement of a prominent business interest lobby on Thursday, but her campaign staff abruptly shut down a press conference in which McMahon was asked to explain whether she agreed with all of the organization’s positions.

Most notably, McMahon said she believed Congress should consider lowering the federal minimum wage in times of economic distress for small businesses, such as the current recession.

“The minimum wage now in our country, I think we’ve set that and a lot of people have benefited from it in our country, but I think we ought to review how much it ought to be, and whether or not we ought to have increases in the minimum wage,” McMahon said.

McMahon did not directly answer a question about whether she would support having a federal minimum wage at all. The National Federation of Independent Businesses, the lobbying group that endorsed her Thursday morning, opposes increases in the federal minimum wage, and has denounced it as harmful to small business interests.

One gets the feeling that if it were up to McMahon and business lobbies, they’d rather prefer not to pay wages at all. We know she doesn’t want to take responsibility for the dead wrestlers (plural) that worked for her. She’ll have the opportunity to explain her position in the debates starting next week, but campaign staffs hate it when their politician actually says what they think in unscripted settings. And with her track record, who would want to have Linda McMahon as an employer? Everything she’s done is to enrich herself at the expense of her employees.

By the way, partisan polls released by the Blumenthal campaign suggest a 12 point lead for the Democrat (the aggregate on pollsrter.com is a 50.2-44.4 Blumenthal lead.) That’s interesting, because right now the only other available polls are Rasmussen  (Blumenthal by 5) and the Quinnipiac poll (Blumenthal by 3), which are setting the media narrative around the state. That’s unfortunate because the Q-poll especially may well be flat out wrong.

In any case, and taking no chances, the DSCC is spending some bucks in CT on the assumption that they don’t want this one getting away. If McMahon keeps opening her mouth, it won’t.

House foils FLOTUS nutrition bill (Politico)

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2010-05-2008


Politico – A bloc of progressive House Democrats resisted a late push to broker a compromise on the measure.

Emanuel leaving White House on Friday

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2010-05-2008


White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel listens to President Barack Obama deliver remarks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House on Sept. 10. Rahm Emanuel will resign as White House chief of staff on Friday. NBC News has confirmed that Pete Rouse, senior advisor to President Barack Obama, will be named as successor — likely on an interim basis.

Attacked on both sides, Whitman offers to take polygraph (The Upshot)

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2010-05-2008


The Upshot – California GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman told reporters at a news conference Thursday that she would take a lie detector test to prove she was “stunned” when she found out that her housekeeper was an illegal immigrant in 2009, CNN reports. The former housekeeper’s lawyer, celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, produced a copy of a letter […]

Midday open thread

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2010-05-2008


  • There are 34 days until the November 2 elections. Early voting is now taking place in Georgia, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Vermont, and Wyoming.
  • If you haven’t already done so, follow Daily Kos at Twitter and “like” us at Facebook.
  • This is both heartbreaking and infuriating:

    It started with a Twitter message on Sept. 19: “Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into molly’s room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.”

    That night, the authorities say, the Rutgers University student who sent the message used a camera in his dormitory room to stream the roommate’s intimate encounter live on the Internet.

    And three days later, the roommate who had been surreptitiously broadcast — Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old freshman and an accomplished violinist — jumped from the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River in an apparent suicide.

  • This isn’t too surprising:

    Longtime Republican congressman Mike Castle has ruled out a write-in campaign in the U.S. Senate race in Delaware.

  • But we  do have another write-in candidate for the U.S. Senate:

    One more cook is jumping into the stew that is the South Carolina Senate race.

    Nathalie Dupree, a prominent Charleston chef and cookbook author, is announcing her write-in candidacy Thursday in an 11th-hour challenge to Senator Jim DeMint, the Republican incumbent, and Alvin Greene, the unemployed Democratic nominee.

  • Ninety of the members of Congress who voted for the bank bailout also voted against financial regulatory reform. This election cycle, those 90 have collected .8 million in campaign contributions from the financial establishment because they’re Wall Street’s Favorite Politicians. — Meteor Blades
  • Do as I say

    Gubernatorial candidate Duke Aiona has spent his almost eight years as lieutenant governor urging good health practices including getting vaccinations.

    At a state news conference last month, Aiona stressed the dangers of the flu.
    “It stops us from working. Stops our children from attending school and in general it puts a hole on the household in general so we want to have every tool in every household to address this,” said Aiona, a Republican. […]

    But Aiona has ignored his own advice

    “I have never really been vaccinated in the past and I guess I am a creature of habit and I seem to take care of myself fairly well, exercising and dieting and I do brag about that,” said Aiona on Tuesday.

    Aiona said he is neutral about the information about flu shots.

    “I have read the literature on it, I have read the science on it and I say it has some merit to it and I am not convinced that vaccines are more beneficial that harmful. But I don’t think in any way my personal views hamper our efforts to get people to get vaccinated. I encourage people to get vaccinated,” said Aiona.

  • Comedy:

    Billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch sparred with congressional Democrats on Thursday over why his support for a broad immigration overhaul – with a path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants – is at odds with the anti-immigrant rhetoric often espoused on his Fox News network.  […]

    “We are not anti-immigrant on Fox News,” Murdoch replied, adding that his views are reflected in The Journal “every day.”

  • McDonald’s says it will drop its mini-medical plans for low-wage workers unless federal regulators waive a requirement that 80 to 85 percent of premium revenue be spent on medical care (instead of administrative costs, such as executive salaries). — Meteor Blades.
  • Honeybees have a monarch, but they choose a new place to live democratically. Two-thirds of worker bees and the old queen leave when a hive gets over-populated and camp out somewhere nearby for a few days while “scouts” check out the local real estate market in hollow trees. Scouts return and do a dance announcing each site. “A scout adjusts how long she dances according to the goodness of the site,” said [Thomas Seeley, professor of neurobiology and behavior]. “She has a built-in ability to judge site quality, and she is honest; if the site is mediocre she won’t advertise it strongly.” — Meteor Blades
  • Tony Curtis dies at 85.

Women a key on Nov. 2; Dems’ gender edge closing? (AP)

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2010-05-2008


New York Republican House candidate Nan Hayworth, shakes hands with members of the Westchester Putnam Association of Realtors in Westchester, N.Y., Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010.  (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)AP – They’re worried about putting food on the table and paying the bills. They’re frustrated that more hasn’t changed since President Barack Obama was elected. And they feel like nobody in Washington — Republican or Democrat — has a clue what they’re up against.