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OH-Gov and OH-Sen: Dems Have Narrow Leads In the Buckeye State 0

Jul10

Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 7/6-7/8. Likely voters. MoE 4%.

General Election Trial Heat: Ohio Governor

Ted Strickland (D) 44
John Kasich (R) 39

Our new Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll out of the Buckeye State shows what other polls (such as this week’s Quinnipiac poll) have also shown: Ted Strickland is going to have to expend a lot of energy to earn a second term as Ohio’s governor.

Strickland still manages a modest lead over former GOP Congressman John Kasich, but he is quite far under the 50% threshold of comfort for an incumbent. Furthermore, Strickland’s favorabilities are cause for concern: 44% favorable, 40% unfavorable.

Kasich can also claim that Strickland’s narrow edge is owed to Kasich’s own lack of name recognition: just 43% of Ohio voters had an opinion on Kasich (31% favorable, 12% unfavorable).

Of course, Strickland can also claim that Kasich’s numbers are artificially high, as he is undefined as a political entity. To be sure, Kasich might have trouble gaining votes as the Strickland campaign works to offer its own definition of what, I don't want to remarry, I just want to fuck younger guys. Hookup adult dating with local milfs now with local horny women a potential Kasich administration might look like.

On the Senate side, the Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll mirrors Quinnipiac’s closely, as we see narrow advantages for both Democratic candidates over leading GOP candidate Rob Portman even if you use the dating sites by casual encounter, they have additional support if you are urgently trying to fuck tonight for finding a fuck right now in your area. The former GOP congressman and Bush administration appointee trails both Democratic Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.

General Election Trial Heat: Ohio Senate

Lee Fisher (D) 42
Rob Portman (R) 35

Jennifer Brunner (D) 40
Rob Portman (R) 36

None of the candidates has anything close to universal name recognition. Fisher’s favorability spread is 36% favorable, 16% unfavorable. He is the only one of the three candidates that a majority of the electorate recognizes. Brunner’s favorabilities are similar to Fisher’s at 33% favorable, 17% unfavorable. Portman is an unknown quantity, but beloved by Republicans (46/5). Overall, Portman stands at 29% of voters with a favorable impression, with just 9% of voters having an unfavorable opinion of him. Worth noting: almost no Democrats have heard of him.

In the Democratic primary, undecided is the BIG winner here. Fisher has a nominal lead over Brunner, but nearly two-thirds of the electorate remains undecided (Fisher leads 22-17).

Barack Obama remains fairly popular in Ohio: 59% of voters hold a favorable opinion of Obama in the state, while just 35% of voters hold an unfavorable opinion. In a state with a flagging economy, these numbers could well be a sign that the emerging media meme that Obama is in the beginning stages of a tailspin might be a tad overblown.

PA-Sen: The Senate’s biggest hypocrite calls someone else a hypocrite 0

Jul10

It boggles the mind.

“Congressman Sestak is a flagrant hypocrite in challenging my being a real Democrat when he did not register as a Democrat until 2006 just in time to run for Congress,” Specter said in the statement. “His lame excuse for avoiding party affiliation, because he was in the [military] service, is undercut by his documented disinterest in the political process.”

His “lame excuse”? Sestak was an admiral, and the military should be an apolitical organization, at least in functioning democracies. That Specter — the sleaziest political opportunist in the entire US Senate (a mighty accomplishment, given the bunch that inhabit that place) — would deign insult a real Democrat for not politicizing his military service is beyond the pale. Given the nature of this attack, it’s as if Specter has forgotten he switched parties, continuing to operate out of the Karl Rove playbook.

Sestak responded:

“Like Colin Powell (who was also registered as an Independent while he served), I believe that military officers should be nonpartisan,” Sestak said. “The military depends on cohesion and unity, and the defense of this nation must never be political.  I’m proud that I was an Independent during my 35 years in the Navy, and I was proud to register as a Democrat as soon as I retired from active duty.”

No fucking shit.

The NIMBY candidate 0

Jul10

Despite her offer to campaign for fellow Republicans, it appears the newly-retired Sarah Palin may have some more time on her hands than she bargained for. The GOP’s top two candidates in 2009, New Jersey gubernatorial hopeful Chris Christie and Virginia gubernatorial nominee Bob McDonnell, say they have no plans to campaign with Palin.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley also said that while he’d love her to hold a fundraiser for him, he didn’t need her on the campaign trail.

Meanwhile, Palin has managed to get at least one Republican willing to pal around with a quitter: the pro-secession governor of Texas, Rick Perry.

Update (8:13AM) — The Hill reports even more Republicans want Sarah to stay home.

Health Care Friday 0

Jul10
  • Yesterday, Daily Kos featured two live blogs of interest: Federal Pandemic H1N1 Influenza Summit Today covered the all day summit that reviewed possible H1N1 vaccine recommendations and possible school closures coming down the pike from the Feds.

    School-age children will be among the population groups likely to get pandemic H1N1 flu vaccine in the fall, and they may get their shots at schools.

    Howard Dean Liveblog: His Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform featured Dr. Dean commenting on his ideas about moving the health reform ball forward.    

    The bottom line on healthcare reform is that it is not worth doing if it is not done right….

    Subsidizing Americans to buy private health insurance without giving them the choice of a more rational and less expensive system is simply pouring money into a system that increases costs at twice the rate of inflation, serves preferentially those who don’t need help, and offers not peace of mind to those at risk in difficult economic times.

    In short, the healthcare reform bill is not worth passing unless the American people have the choice of signing up for a public option–a real public option…. If healthcare reform is not the desired outcome, this administration or the Democratic Party or the Congress as a whole should pass guaranteed issue and community rating and be done with it.

  • NY Times:

    The Obama administration warned Americans on Thursday to be ready for an aggressive return of the swine flu virus in the fall, announcing plans to begin vaccinations in October and offering states and hospitals money to help them prepare.

    and

    Vaccinations will begin in October only if tests scheduled to begin in August prove that it is safe and effective. Even then, officials expect only tens of millions of doses to be ready, so they will have to decide who gets vaccinated first. The most likely candidates, Ms. Sebelius said, are school children, health care workers, pregnant women and people with asthma or other conditions that make the flu more risky.

  • DSCC press release:

    Today, as the Obama Administration holds an important summit on flu preparedness at the National Institutes of Health, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is spotlighting Congressman Roy Blunt’s vote against crucial flu pandemic funding.  Blunt voted against the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009, which appropriated $7.65 billion for flu pandemic funding.  

    “When it comes to public health, politics should take a back seat,” said Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Communications Director Eric Schultz. “But as a Washington insider, Congressman Roy Blunt cannot help himself.  While Congressman Blunt’s busy protecting wasteful pork projects, he’s turning his back on the people who will suffer from H1N1 flu. The people of Missouri deserve better.”

    Those funds are badly needed at state level for vaccination programs. It is unfortunate that “just say no” extends to public health. But the larger picture is that public health infrastructure deserves congressional support. There’s nothing wasteful about saving lives, and influenza doesn’t care what party you belong to.

  • From the Gates Foundation, a reminder that there are other diseases that matter:

    An international network of malaria scientists is to be established to map the emergence of resistance to antimalarial drugs and guide global efforts to control and eradicate the disease, thanks to a $20m (£12.5m) grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    The WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network (WWARN), which will be administered and supported from Oxford University, will provide the comprehensive and rigorous evidence base needed for policy makers to select the best antimalarial treatments and to formulate strategies to control the critical problem of resistance wherever it arises.

  • Shocking news: brilliant scientist appointed to important science post.

    It’s official: The White House intends to tap geneticist Francis Collins to lead the National Institutes of Health. President Barack Obama’s announcement today ends months of speculation that Collins, leader of the international Human Genome Project, was about to be named to head the “0.6 billion agency. Collins has been rumored to be interested in the job since he stepped down as director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) last summer.

  • Kaiser reports on stalling momentum for a health reform bill, at least in terms of meeting deadlines.
  • Drew Westen:

    Economists may define “middle class” as the group whose income lies some distance from the mean family income (the average of all households) or the median income (the income level above which half of American families fall below and half above). But in the United States, as surveys over many years have shown, middle class is as much a state of mind as a state of wealth…

    As the administration and Congress figure out how to pay for health care reform, they need to bear in mind the meaning of middle class in America, because understanding or failing to do so could make the difference between strong or weak popular support.

  • Want to get in the weeds of making health care cheaper and/or figuring out how to pay for it? Here’s a trio of articles from the simple to the interesting to the complex. But any way you look at it, a health system overhaul has to be paid for.

    House and Senate Democrats appeared on Thursday to be on a collision course over how to pay for a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s health care system, with the House planning to propose an income tax increase on the wealthiest Americans, an idea that Senate negotiators have all but dismissed as unworkable.

    If it were easy, it’d have been done already.

Your Abbreviated Pundit Round-up 0

Jul10

Friday punditry!

Adam Ross:

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today that the United States will set aside billions of dollars to pursue a vaccine for H1N1, commonly referred to as swine flu.

The Obama administration has officially overreacted.

First comment on WaPo site:

Let me guess.

The WaPo editorial writers would rather US tax dollars be spent bombing Iran than defending America, right?

Seriously, are you all brain dead – or were you just dropped on your head as children?

Paul Krugman: Ok, I was right about the size of the stimulus. And don’t pester me with comments about what could and could not pass the Senate after 30 years of ‘govt spending is bad.’

What he needs, in short, is to do for economic policy what he’s already done for race relations and foreign policy — talk to Americans like adults.

William Schneider:

Right now, the economy is a good news/bad news story.

On the one hand, during the second quarter, stocks turned in one of their best performances in years. On the other hand, it would take several more such quarters to bring the market back to where it was before last fall’s crash. And consumer confidence went down last month as job losses climbed sharply. The economy has shed nearly 3 million more jobs than the Obama administration originally forecast.

What to make of it all? Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said last month, “These early signs of improvement are encouraging, but the global economy is still operating well below potential and we still face very acute challenges.”

Challenge #1: jobs

Charlie Cook:

Like the health care and the cap-and-trade proposals that have dominated center stage for months, another stimulus package would not be easy to move through Congress. In the June 12-15 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Americans said, by 58 percent to 35 percent, that keeping the federal budget deficit down was more important than “boosting the economy even though it may mean larger budget deficits now and in the future.”

Michael Kinsley:

Why doesn’t the president give himself a well-deserved treat and slow down a bit on health-care reform? Instead of going for a total overhaul, go for some smaller successes, or what business executives and gorillas call the “low-hanging fruit”? Pick half a dozen, get Congress to swallow them and see where we stand?

More on Sarah Palin’s Republican problem from the likes of Peter Wehner, Dan Schnur, and my favorite, Vin Weber:

…she has a core of supporters that will never desert her but can never elect her.

This is all, of course, good news for John McCain. Except that it reflects on his poor judgment to choose her.

Joe Conason: Franken’s party up, Palin’s party down.

Matthew Continetti:

Something about Sarah Palin riles people up.

Hint: it’s that she was not remotely qualified for the job she auditioned for.

Her charisma is such that she does not need to hold an office to command attention or wield influence.

See Vin Weber.

Green Diary Rescue & Open Thread: Driving Less 0

Jul10

John Petro of the Drum Major Institute writes:

Reducing How Much We Drive Should be a National Transportation Goal

Last month, Senators John D. Rockefeller and Frank Lautenberg introduced a bill that would establish performance-based goals for our surface transportation system. The bill would, according to Senator Lautenberg, “establish a national policy that improves safety, reduces congestion, creates jobs, and protects our environment.”

Among these goals is to reduce the amount Americans drive, or more specifically, to “reduce national per capita motor vehicle miles traveled on an annual basis.” Basically, Americans should be driving less—fewer trips over shorter distances. This has as much to do with the way we use our land as it does with transportation policy. Where we choose to live and work and get the groceries largely determines how much we drive. We are driving longer distances to work and to complete all the other little errands that populate our days.

However, Gabriel Roth argues in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that reducing the amount we drive should not be a policy goal of the federal government.
Reducing the total miles traveled—whether the length or number of trips—means people would have to reduce the activities they want and need to do. People would be “coerced,” in effect, to live in less desirable places or work in less desirable jobs; shop in fewer and closer stores; see their doctor less frequently; visit fewer family members and friends.

Roth’s claim of coercion is absurd.

= = =

The rescue begins below and continues in the jump. With this edition, the Green Diary Rescue departs for a two-week vacation. The next GDR will appear on July 26. If you haven’t yet joined DK GreenRoots, you’re missing out on a dynamic group of eco-blogger advocates.

= = =

Haole in Hawaii posted Another Random Photo Diary from his island retreat. This is a shot from last winter off Laie Point.

Bruce Nilles announced a Milestone: 100th Coal Plant Stopped: “As of today, 100 coal plants have been defeated or abandoned since the beginning of the coal rush. Late yesterday, news came down that Utah-based Intermountain Power Agency is abandoning plans for a third coal-fired generator in the state. This news comes as President Obama is at the G8 summit in Italy discussing action on global warming. As other countries like China say they will not act until the U.S. does, these 100 stopped plants are a sign from Americans. We are taking action against global warming, and it’s time to join us.”

= = =

Open Thread and Diary Rescue 0

Jul10

Please enjoy reading these outstanding, ranger-selected diaries:

  • Gabacha reports on the latest unpleasant surprise from Congress: Senate Requires Mexico Border Wall Be Completed By 2010. (taylormattd)
  • arodb claims he’s too old to be an activist, but he sure seems like one as he becomes enmeshed in challenging the recent police overreaction at a Francine Busby fundraiser: Just back from speaking at City Council. (ItsJessMe)
  • ShadowSD analyzes Progressive vs. Moderate Voters: The Conservadem and GOP Myth. (ybruti)
  • First-time diarist snaxattack explains the importance of the insurance exchange model in The future of health insurance portability? (dadanation)
  • jimluce discusses one way to obtain an affordable, high-quality college education in Fall Pick: American University of Nigeria. (taylormattd)
  • BenGoshi reports that India Hikes Science Budget, Hard Times Notwithstanding. (ybruti)
  • greendem highlights how, in retaliation for losing a lawsuit to the residents of Richmond, California, Chevron gets busted, fires workers, attacks local tax laws. (dadanation)
  • Nulwee discusses an innovative scientist who radicalized conservation and re-branded it as a potent force for change: Richard Jenkins and Thinking Through Your Environmentalism! (taylormattd)

jotter has High Impact Diaries: July 8, 2009.

va dare has Top Comments 7.9.09 – Coal Country Film finds new WV venue.

Please feel free to promote your favorite diaries in this open thread.

Polling and Political Wrap-Up, 7/9/09 0

Jul10

While John Ensign looks for his checkbook, and Tom Coburn gives relocation advice, the political and polling axis continues to turn.

MN-Gov: Coleman Bruised Badly By Electoral Contest, Says New Poll
So, all that talk about the inevitability of a Coleman gubernatorial bid might have taken a little bit of a hit. PPP polls Minnesota, and finds that Coleman’s favorables are a painful 38/52, and that he would lose to either former Senator Mark Dayton (41-39) or Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak (45-39). Here’s an “ouch” for the Coleman-loving Wall Street Journal to ponder: 54% of those polled said that Coleman’s conduct during the post-election phase had made them LESS likely to vote for him.

The Money Chase: Lots of New Figures, And Several Impressive Ones
As we have seen throughout the week, a lot of candidates for office in 2010 are posting their second-quarter fundraising totals now. Most impressive, without question, was the haul for the establishment candidate in the Florida Senate race. Florida Gov. Charlie Crist Florida Governor raised an eye-popping $4.3 million for the quarter. Crist outraised Republican insurgent candidate Marco Rubio by a 14-to-1 margin. Meanwhile, the Democrats have a reason to smile as well, as one of their rookie challengers, Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, banked over $200,000 for the quarter. In the race for Texas Governor Rick Perry announced a huge haul: $4.2 million in nine days. He starts the campaign against Republican primary opponent (and US Senator) Kay Bailey Hutchison with about $9 million on hand.

TX-Gov: Perry Has Double Digit Lead in GOP Primary, Says UT
A new poll out today from the University of Texas gives Governor Rick Perry a twelve-point edge (38-26) over Kay Bailey Hutchison in the GOP primary for Governor. While this poll confirms others with a Perry lead, I remain a bit mystified that so many folks would be undecided in a race with two major players in the party.

NJ-Gov: Christie Loses Ground, But Maintains Lead, According to Rasmussen
In this year’s New Jersey gubernatorial campaign,  Rasmussen gives Republican nominee Chris Christie a seven-point edge (46-39) over Democratic Governor Jon Corzine. While this is still a significant edge for the challenger, it is roughly half of the advantage he enjoyed in the afterglow of his primary win. A June Ras poll gave Christie a twelve-point advantage (51-39). Rasmussen notes that 42% of voters are either truly undecided or are still persuadable, which is excellent news for the incumbent, who needs to claw back from a deficit he has been burdened with throughout.

Incidentally, Corzine’s troubles, as well as sagging poll numbers for many incumbent Democratic governors, will be the topic of my essay this Sunday during Sunday Kos.

NY-State Senate: Espada Returning To Dems?
Well, this is an amusing development: it is now being reported that apostate Democrat Pedro Espada is planning to return to the Democratic fold in the State Senate, thus breaking the 31-31 deadlock and returning the Democratic Party to the majority they held until Espada and his co-conspirator Hiram Montserrate decided to start this whole mess a month and a day ago. In the strangest part of the saga, Malcolm Smith, whose role as Senate leader was allegedly the crux of the dispute, will be reinstated as Majority Leader. Anyone with good theories on what the holy heck happened here–please share.

A new kind of purity troll 0

Jul10

Fox & Friends host Gretchen Carlson discusses the results of study conducted in Finland and Sweden showing married individuals are less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimers…which prompts her sidekick Brian Kilmeade to launch into a stream of science-babble that would make a eugenicist blush:

KILMEADE: We keep marrying other species and other ethnics.

CARLSON: Are you sure you’re not suffering from some of the causes of dementia now?

KILMEADE: You see, the problem with, uh. The Swedes have pure genes because they marry other Swedes because that’s the rule. Finland, Finns marry other Finns, so they have a pure society.

In America, we marry everybody, Italians, Irish.

MORRIS: So the study does not apply to us?

KILMEADE: The study does not apply to us.

The most charitable explanation for Kilmeade’s comments is that he was saying that he doesn’t think the study applies to the ‘mutts’ in America (who marry “other species” and “other ethnics”) because it was conducted in Finland and Sweden (who have “pure genes” and “pure society”).

When that’s the most charitable explanation, you know you’ve said something really loony — a special kind of ignorance right up there with “the Earth is 6,000 years old.”

Apparently, Kilmeade is so hung up on his belief that people of different colors belong to different “species” that he failed to grasp that even if his views were right, this study measured the influence of a lifestyle choice (i.e., the environment) on Alzheimer’s and dementia. In other words, even if you accept Kilmeade’s demented predicate, the conclusion he’s drawing is moronic.

The larger point is that even though there are some diseases that plague certain ethnic groups more than others, it does not necessarily follow that the reason for the difference is genetic in nature. In fact, it usually doesn’t. Take, for example, Alzheimer’s: research shows that the genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease is the same among African-Americans and whites.

You wouldn’t expect Kilmeade to know that, however. He’s too busy fantasizing about the “pure society” of Finland.

Also see Stroszek’s recommended diary, “Fox and Friends” Host Argues for Racially “Pure Society”.

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