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Guest Bob Burnett

The 2010 Elections: What’s at Stake?

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Guest Bob Burnett

With the less than three months before the November 2nd elections, the political parameters are clear. Despite the accomplishments of the 111th Congress, Democrats are on the defensive and Republicans smell victory. Regardless of the outcome, it’s likely little will change in Washington; Congress will spend the next two years avoiding America’s most pressing problems.

 

US politics has entered a strange twilight zone where substantial legislative accomplishment is met with contempt and anger. The Democratically-controlled Congress passed a major economic stimulus bill, 2009’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that “helped avert a second Depression”Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to prevent another financial crisis. And of course the signature accomplishment of the 111th Congress was Health Care Reform which guaranteed all Americans access to affordable health care. Nonetheless, voters are angry at Democrats.

 

Meanwhile, Republicans feign disgust and rail against the “overspending, deficits, and debt” they contend characterized this Congress but was actually the enduring legacy of the Bush Administration. The GOP has claimed the coveted political mantle of “outsider” and, at least for the moment, convinced Independent voters the US is best served by dividing power between Democrats and Republicans.

 

Imagine that in November’s mid-term elections, Republicans win control of the House or Senate. What difference will that make?

 

The good news is that it’s unlikely that any of the legislative accomplishments of the 111th Congress will be reversed. Republicans won’t be able to kill the Health Care initiative or the Financial Reform legislation; neither will they be able to privatize Social Security or make fundamental changes to Medicare. Even if these changes passed the House, they’d die in the Senate, as the very same cloture rules that slowed legislation to a crawl in the current session will prevent any draconian legislation from being passed. Of course, if a new Congress passed rollback legislation, President Obama would veto it.

 

The most likely result of the November 2nd election is absolute gridlock. Political constipation on a scale not seen for decades. Extreme partisanship that makes it impossible to pass any significant legislation.

 

Considering how difficult it has recently been for Democrats to enact commonsense legislation such as extending unemployment benefits, it’s unlikely the 112th Congress will make progress on any of the major issues that confront America. If Republicans control the House of Representatives, it will be extremely difficult to pass a reasonable budget. (For example, the GOP will try to undermine healthcare by defunding community health clinics.) Congress will battle on all but the most trivial matters and the combative environment will segue into the 2012 General Election, where voters will get to decide, all over again, whether or not they want Washington power split between the two parties.

 

On November 2nd, voters who chose Republican over Democratic candidates are voting for the US to down shift into neutral for two years. A Republican controlled Congress would be dominated by negativism and accomplish nothing.

 

But there’s a lot that should be done and that’s what’s at stake, progress on campaign finance reform, job creation, and global climate change.

 

In June the House passed campaign finance reform legislation that alleviated the impact of the Citizens United vs. FEC Supreme Court ruling. This legislation was filibustered in the Senate. In a Republican dominated 112th Congress the legislation has no chance of survival; we’d have at two more years where right-wing ideologues spend millions of dollars on independent expenditure political ads.

 

Many economists believe the US needs an additional stimulus package; we need to expend more Federal funds to create jobs and drive down unemployment. Yet the GOP is adamantly opposed to any new stimulus package that has job-creation as its central theme. (Republicans want to remedy unemployment by lowering taxes for the rich.) In a Republican dominated 112th Congress there would be no action taken to alleviate persistent unemployment.

 

Meanwhile, we just experienced the second hottest July ever recorded and 2010 is on track to be the hottest year. Every day we hear news of global climate events ranging from floods to massive forest fires. Yet t he U.S. remains the only major industrialized nation not to have legislated caps on carbon emissions . On June 26, 2009, the House approved the American Clean Energy and Security Act but the GOP blocked similar legislation in the Senate. In a Republican dominated 112th Congress, no action would be taken to cap greenhouse gases; instead there would be efforts to limit the actions of the Environmental Protection Agency.

 

There’s a lot at stake in the November 2nd elections. The US is running out of time to address our most serious problems and having Republicans control one or both house of Congress would be a giant step backward.

 

Get a grip America! Congress needs to solve our problems rather than play blame games.

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Guest Racquel Cane

Democrat unions are now able to spend millions to elect or defeat the candidates of their choosing and hide their political activity. We can thank the Supreme Court crooks that fixed the elections for them. That is ok, because we will take back the House in November.

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Guest Tea Party Patriot

Too much federal spending, high unemployment, slow economic recovery and disappointment in Washington is what these elections are about.

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Guest Robert

Through the stories of every day Americans it is clear that we need to take the "For Sale" sign off the Capitol Lawn.

 

As long as politicians are accountable to corporations and lobbyists who finance their campaigns, they are never going to be accountable to the people who elect them.

 

The only way to make Congress accountable to working Americans is to have Fair Elections, where an employee's voice can be heard as clearly as the business owner.

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Guest Mitch

The special interests in Washington are not happy.

 

Since President Obama moved into the White House, this movement has stripped them of their influence, proving we could take on the lobbyists and corporate cash with good, old-fashioned organizing.

 

Now these groups are vowing to get payback in the fall elections -- and they have put all their chips on one man: Congressman John Boehner.

 

Third-party organizations have already spent millions to help Republicans take over the House and make him Speaker -- and you can bet there are millions more to come in the form of nasty TV ads and shadowy robo-calls before November.

 

Here's how we fight back: the largest-scale voter turnout effort this party has ever assembled in an election like this.

 

Another grassroots supporter has promised to match, dollar for dollar, whatever you can chip in today. These matched donations add up fast -- and right now there are 84 donations across Maryland waiting to be doubled.

 

Don't leave this money on the table -- donate $75 or more today and double your impact.

 

It's easy to see why these special interests picked John Boehner. This is a guy who first made national news 14 years ago when he was caught handing out checks from tobacco lobbyists on the House floor.

 

John Boehner said he did nothing wrong -- he was simply helping out his lobbyist friends.

 

And, in all of the fights we've waged together these past 20 months, he's been these special interests' right-hand man.

 

He teamed up with financial lobbyists to do everything he could to stall Wall Street reform and even took time before the vote on health reform to scream "Hell no!" over and over again from the podium.

 

If John Boehner is handed the Speaker's gavel, all that is wrong with Washington is back in business. Their plans are simple -- unravel what this movement has done and stand in the way of the rest of President Obama's agenda. Some Republican leaders have even threatened to shut down the government to get their way -- a heartless move that would hold Social Security checks hostage and shut down veterans' hospitals across the country.

 

With just 48 days to go until the election, this movement is the only thing standing in John Boehner's way.

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Guest August

George Washington's view on paying taxes.

 

http://gwpapers.virginia.edu/documents/whiskey/october.html

 

After hearing what both had to say, I briefly told them--That it had been the earnest wish of government to bring the people of those counties to a sense of their duty, by mild, & lenient means; That for the purpose of representing to their sober reflection the fatal consequences of such conduct Commissioners had been sent amongst them that they might be warned, in time, of what must follow, if they persevered in their opposition to the laws; but that coercion would not be resorted to except in the last* resort

 

*dernier

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Guest DSCC

Polling shows a dead heat between popular Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin and mostly Florida resident John Raese to take the late Sen. Robert Byrd's seat. But your support is helping to expose a man who blames volcanoes for global warming, would eliminate the minimum wage, and promises to protect tax breaks for firms that ship jobs overseas. Raese also offered cash rewards to people writing favorable letters to the editor.

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Guest Julie

For those Keeping Fear Alive and Restoring Sanity - the pre-party is on 10/29/10 and will feature Roy!

 

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Guest ALWAYSRED

If elected the GOP will make the decisions that are necessary to protect our entitlement programs for today’s seniors and future generations. That means requiring a full accounting of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, setting benchmarks for these programs and reviewing them regularly, and preventing the expansion of unfunded liabilities."

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Guest Newt

I think you people need to read this email I received. Jobs and Obamacare. That is it.

 

<READ BELOW>

 

This week, I am sharing with you a memo I am sending Republican candidates around the country because it can be used by any citizen who wants to present the clear choice voters face this fall.

 

I believe there is a devastating and accurate contrast between the Democratic Party of food stamps and the Republican Party of paychecks.

 

There is also a clear case that the Democrats’ vote for adjournment guarantees a tax increase for virtually every working American, which means more food stamps and fewer paychecks.

 

Here is the memo I am distributing:

Paychecks versus Food Stamps:

 

A Memo for Republican Candidates on the Winning Closing Argument for the Last Four Weeks

 

Dear Candidate,

 

We are in the home stretch of the campaign. In less than 30 days, voters will head to the polls to voice their choice for the future of their family, their community, their state, and their country.

 

With less than 30 days left, it’s time to present your closing argument to the voters that you will aggressively repeat over and over until Election Day

 

A closing argument is the central choice you want voters to have in mind as they head to the voting booths. It should be very simple and resonate at a personal, emotional level with the American people.

 

In 1980, Reagan’s closing argument was “morning in America” versus the malaise of Jimmy Carter.

 

In 1994, our closing argument was the Republicans’ “Contract with America” versus decades of broken promises from the Democrats.

 

This year, the House Republicans’ Pledge to America has set the stage for a powerful, symbolic closing argument for candidates seeking to unseat the left-wing, big-spending, job-killing Democrats: paychecks versus food stamps.

 

It is an unassailable fact that in June, more food stamps were distributed by the government than ever before in American history. (It turns out that Barack Obama’s idea of spreading the wealth around was spreading more food stamps around.)

 

It is also an unassailable fact that in January 2007, when Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid took over Congress, unemployment was 4.6% and food stamp usage was around 26.5 million Americans. Today, the unemployment rate is 9.6% and over 40 million Americans are on food stamps.

 

Compare this to our record after we took control of Congress in 1994.

 

In four years, unemployment fell from 5.6% to 4.2% and food stamp usage dropped by 8 million Americans thanks to record job creation. Furthermore, we turned a $107 billion deficit into a $125 billion surplus in four years, paying off more than $400 billion in federal debt. And we did it with a liberal Democrat in the White House.

 

You can use this vivid contrast between the record of the Pelosi-Reid Democratic Congress and the last time the Republican Party took control of Congress to powerfully illustrate the difference for every American between the Democratic Party of food stamps and the Republican Party of paychecks.

 

You can also present this clear choice to voters by hammering Democrats on their decision to adjourn Congress without fixing the tax code. In January 2011, taxes are scheduled to rise on virtually every American. Considering the perilous state of the U.S. economy, this decision by the Democrats to raise taxes is the very definition of irresponsibility.

 

This tax increase can be specified for every income group with vivid personal impact on most families. As the Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee have documented:

 

* A family of four earning $50,000 per year could pay more than $2,100 in higher taxes.

 

* A single mom earning $36,000 per year could pay over $1,100 more in taxes.

 

* Married senior citizens earning $40,000 per year could pay more than $1,400 in higher taxes.

 

For families struggling to pay their bills and put food on the table, the idea of having to pay even more in taxes will be devastating.

 

Furthermore, small business owners who may be considering hiring new employees must now operate under the assumption that their taxes will rise in January. That means a smart businessman will decline to hire anyone new since there will soon be less money to pay their employees. In other words, more food stamps, fewer paychecks.

 

Republicans have made it clear they intend to prevent these tax increases on working Americans.

 

You should use this vivid contrast between the tax-raising, job-killing agenda of the Democrats and the low-tax, job-creating agenda of the Republicans as a way to reinforce the choice for voters this fall.

 

Which future do I want? More food stamps? Or more paychecks?

This is the choice we want to drive home again and again for voters from now until Election Day.

 

Your friend,

 

Newt Gingrich

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Guest Chuck

I really think Heathcare is the issue that lost it for the Democrats. They did a piss poor job explaining such a complicated piece of legislation. I really do not know if it is good or bad.

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Guest human

It is the singular root "and not route" of politics of which this country is founded upon.

 

It's not just the Economy. It's what makes this Country so Great.

 

It's what makes this country so unique.

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Guest i am the anonymous

Sometimes you do not want a just man to be your counselor in the purchase or sale of property; a man who is knowing about property would be better for that, would he not?

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I will say if the District of Columbia Health Department is a representation of National Health care, I do not want it.

 

The way paid public servants have treated my friend Joe is horrific.

 

Maybe, the level of income in an area is not representative of the quality public service the taxpayers receive.

 

Maybe that is why we lose faith in it.

 

I am hoping Vince Gray will bring about true change as Mayor.

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Guest human

Hummmmm! cute. Do you know what makes this country unique? The answer is simple, but it is also a dual concept.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sometimes you do not want a just man to be your counselor in the purchase or sale of property; a man who is knowing about property would be better for that, would he not?

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Guest ALWAYSRED

Democrats and their allies can't get enough of the Americans for Tax Reform tax pledge -- which, as we've reported, they've falsely equated in a number of ads with "protecting tax loopholes for companies that ship jobs overseas." Still, Democrats continue to use the bogus charge against Republicans, including in West Virginia's Senate race and House races in Connecticut, New York, Maryland and the state of Washington, to name a few.

 

And now, there's a new twist on the false tax attack in the Massachusetts' gubernatorial campaign. A labor-financed political committee accuses Republican Charlie Baker of "favoring tax loopholes that encourage corporations to ship our jobs overseas" and signing "a pledge to protect those loopholes." However, the pledge for gubernatorial candidates -- a single sentence promising to oppose or veto any new state taxes -- is different than the one for federal candidates, so the attack on Baker makes even less sense.

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Guest HUMAN

I practice what I preach while your group has been messing up this economy; I've been not only getting my group to work, but getting the people that I have helped get better jobs in this economy.

 

Pretty sure that you can't say the same, and I did NOT need the help of the Democrasts in any way shape or form.

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Robber Barons give the marching orders, once the Republicans are back in the majority.

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Guest Nate

Sure you can do it on your own. That is why Fox News' parent company has written another mega-check to the Republican Governors Association.

 

That's right -- they couldn't stop at $1 million. Over the weekend, the NYT revealed an IRS report showing a new $250,000 donation from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

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Guest Martha McKenna

Karl Rove just announced another $4 million of spending into 4 key races: WA, IL, NV, CO. This is a significant amount of money and threatens the gains

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Guest Gus

What are Republicans planning to do if they win the election. Minority Leader John Boehner promised this week that Mike Keown would be placed on the House Agriculture Committee. Boehner also promised Charles Djou of Hawaii his support for a seat on the House Appropriations Committee.

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Guest LAW

October 21, 2010

Press Gaggle by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs Aboard Air Force One en route San Francisco, CA

Aboard Air Force One

En Route San Francisco, California

 

Q The President did an event today on women in the economy. How important are women going to be on November 2nd?

 

MR. GIBBS: Well, look, they are -- they’re certainly -- they’re important. Look, every vote is important. We have -- traditionally, Democrats have enjoyed strong support among women and I think if you look at certainly what this administration has been able to do, starting with one of the first things we passed was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act -- it’s been something that the President -- issues that the President has been focused on for quite some time. And I think we'll do well on Election Day.

 

Q Some are defecting to Republicans, though. Some are saying they’re sort of -- because they’re becoming more of a work force staple, that the economy is affecting them and they’re becoming disheartened and they’re sort of going over to the Republican side. How do you guys feel about that?

 

MR. GIBBS: I mean, look, there’s a lot of frustrated voters, men and women. Look, I don't doubt there’s a lot of frustration, as we always see with the pace of where we are in this economy. But I think if you look -- go back and listen to what the President says at these rallies. Are you going to be with the folks that have got us -- that got us into this mess and have done virtually nothing to help get us out, or are you going to support the guys that have been working hard to get the economy turned around again? I mean, the truth is that's not just a campaign speech; that's the reality of what’s happened over the past two years.

 

Q How much trimming back of expectations will the President have to do if Republicans gain a lot of seats November 2nd, or even if they take over the House?

 

MR. GIBBS: Trimming back expectations?

 

Q In terms of what you want to get done for the next couple of years.

 

MR. GIBBS: I think the President, over the course of the past several weeks -- look, I think the President -- what you heard the President talk about today in the backyard event, whether it is leading the way on creating a clean energy economy, whether it’s doing something serious about our fiscal picture -- our deficits and our debt -- look, those are all problems that we're going to have to tackle.

 

Regardless of the outcome of the election, voters are going to want Democrats and Republicans to work constructively to solve those problems. It’s not always happened in the past two years, but that's what the American people are going to demand. And quite frankly, the only way we're going to make progress on them is to have two parties working to solve some very complex issues. And I think that's what we'll see after Election Day as well.

 

Q On Harry Reid, are you surprised that the race is so close at this point? Sharron Angle is someone who’s made some controversial remarks about Social Security and other things. Are you surprised that the Majority Leader is neck and neck with her at this stage in the race?

 

MR. GIBBS: I'll say this. I think the reason that Senator Reid enjoys a lead in the polls is because of exactly what you talked about. I think people are going to have to -- do you want somebody that questions whether or not their Social Security should exist? Do you -- look at the number of controversial comments that get made about -- just recently, about how students look.

 

I do think people make judgments about whether somebody has the judgment and the wherewithal to serve and represent an entire state in the United States Senate. And I think on Election Day, they’ll register their opinion and make up their mind on behalf of sending Harry Reid back as somebody who works hard for constituents in that state, who’s working hard to turn the economy around in a place that's been very hard-hit, as you mentioned, by housing and foreclosures -- rather than somebody who seems to be well out of the mainstream of where voters are in the state of Nevada.

 

Q So her comments about Hispanics should be an issue for voters, you think?

 

MR. GIBBS: They are among some of the stranger comments that we've heard in an otherwise strange election.

 

Q A quick question on this special interest spending. Washington, California, Nevada, some of the states where we're seeing the most money spent on these kinds of ads -- is the President going to change his message or reference that at all in his remarks?

 

MR. GIBBS: He certainly mentioned it in Seattle. I mean, look, I think it’s interesting today when you look at -- I think you saw the money figures that came out for the national parties. The RNC is down $10 million behind I think where the Democratic National Committee is. And normally that would be a pretty big story, and I think it says a lot certainly about the RNC, but it also shows you that even with that you’ve got these outside groups that are spending tens or hundreds of millions of dollars cumulatively, without even knowing who they are.

 

You’ve got people -- I saw a report today -- people that are giving $10 million just as an individual to get involved in these secret groups that otherwise wouldn't tell you who their names were. And, again, I think it is pertinent and I think you see in -- if you look at the NBC polling, people are concerned about the agenda of those people that come in, write big checks to influence elections in states they don't live in, wondering what are they looking for in return, and what are the people that they’re ultimately going to send to Washington going to do on behalf of an agenda that is likely to be unknown to the voters when they cast their votes but I have no doubt that will be told to those who get sent to Washington what they needed to do and say in order to make the investment worth their while.

 

If that wasn’t the case, then you’d know who those donors were because they wouldn't be so ashamed to tell you what their names were.

 

So the President will certainly mention it. I mean, it’s definitely a case in Patty Murray’s race in Washington and certainly so in a fairly expensive state to advertise in like California.

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Guest Derek

Karl Rove just announced another $4 million of spending into 4 key races: WA, IL, NV, CO. This is a significant amount of money and threatens the gains

 

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee today assaulted the Republican Party establishment and former Bush adviser Karl Rove in particular, blasting the "elitism" and "country club attitude exhibited by Rove and others in the Republican Party.

 

"I was very disappointed in some, particularly Karl and others, who were so dismissive of Christine O'Donnell," Huckabee told Aaron Klein on the latter's WABC radio show Sunday.

 

"Unfortunately, there is an elitism within the Republican establishment," Huckabee told Klein. "And it's one of the reasons the Republicans have not been able to solidify not only the tea party movement but solidify conservatives across America."

 

"It's about, again, to be blunt, the kind of country club attitude that we're not sure there are certain people we really want as members of the club and we're not going to vote them in. And we don't mind showing up to events to put up signs and making phone calls and going door to door making those pesky little trips that we don't like to do, but we really don't want them dining with us in the main dining room," he said.

 

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=6AUpmXEDvps

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