Update Jan. 30 HostRocket.com, the hosting company where the site runs, was hacked yesterday.
This site and many others were affected. They were fairly quick about finding the vulnerability, but they
had to completely reload the server from a backup, which took several hours. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Appropriate measures are being taken.
State of the Union Was Small Bore
After Bill Clinton was humbled, he fought back with popular small-bore initiatives
like school uniforms and V-chips in TV sets to protect children from violent content.
While President Obama didn't go that far, his state of the union speech yesterday
certainly was not about grandiose plans for saving the planet or even providing
health care for all Americans. It was more about jobs, Don't Ask Don't Tell, and student
loans. Clearly he is taking the loss of the Senate seat in Massachusetts seriously.
But while Obama is an inspirational speaker, many of his critics are starting to
ask if he is willing to actually draw lines in the sand and say: "This far and no
farther." For example, he can rail against how the system is working great for Wall Street
but not for Main Street, but in the coming weeks he may be forced to take positions
on legislation that Wall Street doesn't want and then the real test will come about
whose side he is on. Here is the
of his speech.
The Democrats are clearly in for bad news in November unless
something changes and speeches aren't going to be enough. In particular, if after
spending a year trying to get a health-insurance reform bill through Congress, the
whole project dies now because the Democrats have only 59 seats in the Senate--a luxury
the Republicans haven't had since 1923--many voters will conclude that the Democrats
spend all their time bickering with each other and are incapable of governing.
Everyone in Washington knows very well what the Democrats have to do, namely, get the House and
Senate to stop squabbling with each other over abortion and the Medicaid limit
and come to a compromise bill that 50 Democratic senators and 218 Democratic representatives support. Then the House
has to pass the Senate bill intact followed by both chambers passing the
compromise bill polishing the rough edges, in the Senate via reconciliation, even
if that means firing the Senate parliamentarian, Alan Frumin, and replacing him with
a Democrat. Some Democrats believe they will be better off in November with no bill than
with this bill, but if that were true, minority leader Mitch McConnell would long ago
have given Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) permission to vote for cloture in order to pass
the bill and thus saddle the Democrats with an awful bill they would have to defend
in the midterms. But McConnell knows that some aspects of the bill (like forcing
insurance companies to accept uninsured sick children)
will kick in the day the bill is signed and are wildly popular, thus giving the
Democrats something to campaign on.
Crist Has to Make a Choice Today
Today Obama is flying to Tampa to announce an $8 billion grant for high-speed
rail on the East Coast. The project is expected to create
in Florida over
a period of time. The question for governor and Senate candidate Charlie Crist is
whether he wants to appear with Obama and express gratitude for the money and jobs.
Normally, candidates love to show that their clout has brought in jobs for their state,
but the latest
shows Crist actually trailing his primary challenger Marco Rubio by 47% to 44% and being associated with Obama
could be the kiss of death for Crist. Of course, Rubio also is in a bind about
whether to accept federal pork for his state but since he is not governor, he can just
lie low and attack Crist either for (1) cozying up to Obama or (2) not caring about jobs,
depending on what Crist does.
Coons, Rather than Biden, May Run for Senate in Delaware
Many Democrats have been praying that Joe Biden's son, Beau Biden, the Delaware
Attorney General, would run for the state's open Senate seat. Biden has now
that he won't run for it, leaving the Democrats in the lurch.
The most likely Democratic candidate at this point
to be New Castle County Executive Chris Coons.
While Coons does not hold statewide office, Delaware isn't very big and his county
covers more than half the population of the state. The Republican is eight-term
congressman Mike Castle. Coons is 46 and Castle is 70 and it takes forever to get
seniority in the Senate, so expect Coons to argue that Castle is too old for the job.
In some ways, Coons might be a
than Biden since the Republicans
won't be able to say: "If you don't like the Obama/Biden administration, don't
vote for a dynasty here." This race also poses a test for the tea partiers.
Will they accept a moderate Republican with whom they disagree on many policy issues
but who might be electable in this very blue state or would they rather go down in
flames by challenging him in a primary?
Hayworth to Challenge McCain
Speaking of possible primary challenges, former Representative
J.D. Hayworth is likely to challenge
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in a primary from the right, thus setting up another
Florida-type Republican primary. McCain is the clear favorite at this point, but
so was Crist at the time Rubio entered the race and now they are essentially tied.
Pence Won't Challenge Bayh
In a bit of bad news for the Republicans, the #3 Republican in the House, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN)
not to run against Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) in November. Polls showed that Pence might be
able to win this race, putting yet another Democratic seat in jeopardy. With Pence
running for reelection in the House, Bayh has dodged the bullet and is safe because
the Republicans don't have anyone else who is a credible threat to the popular Bayh.
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