Sunday open thread

This thread is for anything on your mind this holiday weekend.

President Obama gave a great speech this morning at the Vermont Avenue Baptist Church on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's legacy:

[UPDATE] Jerome Armstrong:

Three more polls out since yesterday. Brown leads by 10% in an MRG poll and a PJM/CT poll (my posting their numbers isn't a validation of their results-- its info), and PPP has Brown leading by 5% in their final poll. In the final week of the election, only one poll (BMG/R2K) has shown a Coakley lead. My own calculations show Brown/Coakley/Kennedy at 51-47-2.

Looking at the PPP results, they show Coakley's favorables to have dropped from 50 to 44% over the past week, while Brown's favorables have dropped from 57% to 56% in the same time frame. Brown pulls in "64-32 with independents and is winning 20% of the vote from people who supported Barack Obama in 2008" which tells us that Brown has been able to pull off the similar task that Obama did in '08-- when he was an empty vessel for which the voters filled with their own wishes and expectations.

Ya kind of have to chuckle at the two-step pattern that the Obama administration does with these 'losses' ahead of time. Gibbs/Axlerod/Emanual go off the record to lower the boom that they expect Coakley to lose, with only an Obama-inspired miracle to to hope for... and then trot Bill Burton out to say on the record, 'no no no' and play the line. For the media, its a game, a bit of a secret they are in on, and so, who is the joke on?


Tags: Barack Obama, Martin Luther King Jr (all tags)



If a Republican takes Ted Kennedy's Senate seat in Massachusetts....

does it spell trouble for the Democratic party this early in Obama's term, especially since he personally supported Coakley's campaign?

Just a question. Anyone have the answer?


by MainStreet 2010-01-17 10:10PM | 0 recs
RE: If a Republican takes Ted Kennedy's Senate seat in Massachusetts....

Jerome Armstrong sees it as a net positive, electorally... The Dems will have a boogeyman they didn't have before in terms of obstruction... but, it makes the agenda difficult, if not impossible to continue...

by LordMike 2010-01-17 10:16PM | 1 recs
Great speech and President Obama answered my question:
"Why I should care who wins the MA Senate race?"
by srliberalguy 2010-01-17 11:11PM | 1 recs
RE: If a Republican takes Ted Kennedy's Senate seat in Massachusetts....

Yes it spells trouble.

by vecky 2010-01-18 12:30AM | 1 recs

Final Poll 51 - 46 Brown is ahead ...

by lori 2010-01-17 11:11PM | 0 recs

They give some hope that continued Democratic enthusiasm can pull her over the top...  but, PPP seemd to be hinting at much better results, yesterday.  Maybe sunday's samples were not so hot...

by LordMike 2010-01-17 11:20PM | 0 recs

Coakley was one of the worst candidates I have seen in recent

years--Obama got some bad advice (Axelrod?) and ahould have stayed out.

by esconded 2010-01-17 11:23PM | 0 recs

Nah, he's the leader, its his job to show up and do as much as possible, regardless of the consequences.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-01-17 11:40PM | 2 recs
It is Obama's job to go out and fight for the party

They after all, got him elected and he will need the support of elected Democrats in 2012 to forestall any type of primary challenge.  He has already pissed off the Dean wing of the party. 

by Kent 2010-01-18 12:26AM | 0 recs
The Dean wing?

is that the 11% who never liked him at all?

by ND22 2010-01-18 12:49AM | 1 recs
RE: The Dean wing?

Consider this from the PPP poll:


Q: Do you think that Congressional Democrats
are :
Too Liberal...................................................... 53%
Too Conservative............................................ 14%
About Right ..................................................... 33% "


If Coakley losses it's pretty clear what lessons Dems are going to take from it.

by vecky 2010-01-18 01:21AM | 0 recs
orestes, jeopardy, Jerome
anyone want to spin this?
by ND22 2010-01-18 01:31AM | 0 recs
RE: orestes, jeopardy, Jerome

I hope PPP is wrong, like they were in NY-23, though granted that was an odd race to poll with Soccafava dropping out and endorsing Owens at the last minute. Nothing quite so dramatic has happened in this race.

by vecky 2010-01-18 02:17AM | 0 recs
RE: orestes, jeopardy, Jerome

wow, you guys really are full of hostility against people who disagree with you, huh? calling us out because there's some internals in a poll that you like? Really? You are doing that?


anyways, there's a number of ways to "spin it" such as the fact that it has a likely voter screen and it could be that people who think the Dems are being too conservative are less like to go out and vote for either candidate (and would therefore not show up in the poll). 

Or perhaps the mandate is seen as "liberal" instead of "conservative.

But we also know that something like 60% want supposedly "liberal" policies like the PO.

by jeopardy 2010-01-18 04:03AM | 0 recs
RE: orestes, jeopardy, Jerome

Where is the hostility? It was a simple question.

Another internal showed Coakly gaining the support of 90% of liberals, but only 42% of moderates.

As I said I hope the poll is wrong, but we'll know Wednesday.

by vecky 2010-01-18 11:50AM | 0 recs
RE: orestes, jeopardy, Jerome

again, that's for likely voters.

It's entirely possible that the liberals who think that the Dems are screwing up are not likely to vote for either of those candidates and wouldn't show up in the poll at all. 




by jeopardy 2010-01-18 12:46PM | 0 recs
exit polls

The exits polls will be interesting. I suspect (don't know) that they will show liberals breaking for Coakley by 9-1 while moderates support Brown by 5-10 pts.

by vecky 2010-01-18 01:11PM | 0 recs
I also suspect

they'll show liberals showing up at or near the amount they did in the past, but they were swamped by moderates who once voted with them and now voted Republican.



by ND22 2010-01-18 06:37PM | 0 recs
RE: orestes, jeopardy, Jerome

I'll spin it...

The sample has 44% of likely voters approving of Obama.  That is certainly less than what Rasmussen has polled int he state.  The sample is more conservative than it would be in a normal general election.

by LordMike 2010-01-18 05:05AM | 0 recs
RE: orestes, jeopardy, Jerome
There is no need to spin. I already know that Obama is going to move toward the ''center' and 'bipartisanship' with a hard right to begin 2010.
by Jerome Armstrong 2010-01-18 11:40AM | 0 recs
RE: orestes, jeopardy, Jerome
I fear that too. This administration is too enamored by its bipartisan image and what people like David Broder has to say than actually listen to its base. Ironically we are in this position because of the Obama brand of kumbaya politics. He held out on this bill indefinitely after reneging all responsibility of this bill to Max Baucus and Chuck Grassley (remember Obama praising the efforts of his good friend Chuck?). The it was Olympia Snowe and finally Joe Lieberman. All the while the bill was stripped of cost-control and effective reform measures. Right now if I was Republican strategist I would pillory the Democrats by labeling this bill as an insurance company bailout (rep. Shadegg already has said so). This is just abysmal leadership.
by tarheel74 2010-01-18 11:59AM | 0 recs

that appears to be what the people want Jerome.

by ND22 2010-01-18 12:01PM | 0 recs
RE: Well

Let me just put it this way. When Liberals control the Democratic Party, the Party gains power and when conservatives or the so called moderates control the Democratic Party, the Party the loses power.

If you check history you will know this is true, but what can we learn from history? Right nd22?

The most recent example is Liberals were in control of the Party during the 2008 elections and look what happened major gains in Congress and we won the Presidency. And our reward for all this is being told to shut up and sit down and let us moderates take over. Well good luck with that.

by srliberalguy 2010-01-18 12:35PM | 0 recs
RE: Well

Obviosuly it would have helped if in 2006-2008 liberals had won 218 seats in the house and 60 in the senate. But they didn't. Rather there are about 180 (?) progressives in the house and about 30-45 in the senate.

by vecky 2010-01-18 01:15PM | 0 recs
In other words

liberals are the majority of the party but should shut up and sit down?

by srliberalguy 2010-01-18 02:07PM | 0 recs
RE: In other words
No. Liberals can advocate but if they want to get anything done they should realize this is not an exercise in debating amongst themselves.
by vecky 2010-01-18 04:16PM | 0 recs
RE: In other words

you need to learn just because you make up the (bare) majority of the party doesn't mean all your goals are going to met.

In fact it means half your goals will be met.

by ND22 2010-01-18 04:36PM | 0 recs
RE: In other words

Liberals learned a long time ago that most of our goals are not going to be met by the party establishment.  We're just sick of it, especially given the perilousness of the times.

by orestes 2010-01-18 04:53PM | 0 recs

it sucks, I know. Perhaps if the public didn't keep reflexively voting for Republicans everytime we try to do something even remotely liberal, some of the goals will be met.

You can't look at a situation where 20% of voters in a blue state who voted Democratic a year ago are suddenly flipping to a Republican and pretend like they're doing cause they want more liberal legislation. It's just crazy

by ND22 2010-01-18 05:17PM | 0 recs
RE: Sorry

I would disagree with the contention that the party has tried to do anything "remotely liberal" in the past year.  In fact, that's what was promised during the campaign, but the results have been quite the opposite (tepid credit card reform which still permits usurious interest rates; the bank bailouts; health insurance reform; continuing and expanding wars). 

by orestes 2010-01-18 05:26PM | 0 recs
See that's the problem

you're standards are up in the clouds.

I don't know what country you're living it, but the stimulus, auto bailouts, SCHIP expansion, Ledbetter, cap and trade, healthcare reform with a public option...all of these things are attempts at something more than remotely liberal.


by ND22 2010-01-18 06:21PM | 0 recs
RE: See that's the problem

I would certainly consider health care reform with a public option a liberal position- although I would argue that it was not seriously considered given Feingold's comment.  The other initiatives (save cap and trade) are supported by liberals, but I wouldn't necessarily consider them liberal programs.  When I referred to liberal programs, I was thinking of a bold,significant liberal position.  I did not consider cap and trade because it hasn't really gotten anywhere.  Perhaps my standards are up in the clouds to you, but I don't see it as a problem.  I, coversely, think you hold positions which frequently do not demand much at all.  We'll just have to respect our differences in this regard.

by orestes 2010-01-18 07:04PM | 0 recs
RE: See that's the problem

you'd consider a bill that passed the House with the President arm twisting a Republican to be the deciding vote as "not seriously considered"

You're right, I don't demand too much, because I'm a realist, and we realists accept what we can get, instead of flinging shit at everyone for not bringing me flying unicorns. You may consider that a sign of weakness, but there's a reason why you can't name one single liberal thing the President has done and I can name 10.

by ND22 2010-01-18 07:50PM | 0 recs
RE: See that's the problem

Do you really think the public followed the cap and trade bill?  And where has it gone in the senate?  Compare that to the bank bailouts, CC reform, health insurance reform.  I think the reason why you can name ten liberal things the president has done because we are defining the term differently.  SCHIP and Ledbetter I would consider moderate positions.  Some of the other minor points you raise are just that, minor.  

And how is it that the unions have control of GM?  They were given an equity stakestake,

by orestes 2010-01-18 08:24PM | 0 recs
RE: See that's the problem

Do you really think the public followed the cap and trade bill?  And where has it gone in the senate?  Compare that to the bank bailouts, CC reform, health insurance reform.  I think the reason why you can name ten liberal things the president has done because we are defining the term differently.  SCHIP and Ledbetter I would consider moderate positions.  Some of the other minor points you raise are just that, minor.  

And how is it that the unions have control of GM?  They were given an equity

by orestes 2010-01-18 08:24PM | 0 recs
RE: See that's the problem

If the PO is the "real liberal component" of the bill, would you favour ditching the medicaid exapnsion and insurance subsidies and getting the PO?

by vecky 2010-01-18 08:23PM | 0 recs
Please name one liberal something done

by Obama or Congress since the last election.

Just one.

by srliberalguy 2010-01-18 05:56PM | 0 recs
RE: Please name one liberal something done

SCHIP expansion.


Economic Stimulus package

Green Energy/Jobs investment

Recovery of TARP funds from banks

etc etc...


by vecky 2010-01-18 06:13PM | 0 recs
Wow I thought those were moderate somethings

you know the kind of actions even some conservatives could get behind. No your list does not include one liberal something.

by srliberalguy 2010-01-18 06:32PM | 1 recs
RE: Wow I thought those were moderate somethings

Conservatives were against every one off those things. You may remmeber Bush vetoed SCHIP. Liberals joined with moderates got them passed.

by vecky 2010-01-18 06:40PM | 0 recs

if you don't think an expansion of SCHIP is liberal, I'd like to know what your definition of liberal is.

and btw, not one Republican, moderate or conservative, voted for the stimulus. Self-described conservatives didn't like it. So now, it wasn't a moderate somethingf.

by ND22 2010-01-18 06:44PM | 0 recs
RE: Wow

It should be noted that the stimulus included a 65% subsidiy for those on COBRA. This actually made COBRA somewhat useful for the first time in it's 25 year history. But maybe that was  a "moderate-conservative position". We all know that "real liberals" don't favour sucha  giveaway to private insurance companies.

by vecky 2010-01-18 08:28PM | 0 recs
RE: Wow

Just because Republicans oppose a bill, that does not make the bill liberal.  That's fallacious logic.

by orestes 2010-01-18 08:29PM | 0 recs
RE: Wow

Not my point. You said these were pieces of legislation conservatives can get on board with, but they weren't.

by ND22 2010-01-18 08:46PM | 0 recs
I'll do better, I'll name 10

1.) Overturning of Mexico City policy

2.) Overturning HIV ban


4.) Ledbetter

5.) Banning lobbyists from working in the administration

6.) Giving unions control over GM

7.) Cash for Clunkers

8.) Cancelling oil leases in Utah

9.) Begin wtihdrawal from Iraq

10.) new EPA regulations

I didn't even include the obviously somewhat liberal stimulus

by ND22 2010-01-18 06:36PM | 0 recs
Again all moderate somethings,

but lets say for the sake of argument they liberal.

Are you and vecky claiming your listed of liberal somethings are causing a backlash by moderates in the MA Special Elections?

by srliberalguy 2010-01-18 08:15PM | 0 recs
RE: Again all moderate somethings,

There could be many reasons for the backlash - including the unemployment rate, the deficit, or the candidates poor campaign. But if you will notice all of those  occured within the first 6 months of last year. Since July Congress has been consumed by HC and not gotten anything done beyond arguements and finger-pointing. The meme that Democrats can't govern and divided government is better government is a powerful one for moderates.

by vecky 2010-01-18 08:34PM | 0 recs

it's pretty clear, and probably will be even more clear from the exists, that spending and the deficit are huge issues for moderates. Thats' what soured them on the stimulus, that's what killed them on healthcare...all they were told was it was one giant spending spree, didn't matter what it was for.

90% of people had jobs through this whole recession, more than half had health insurance. For neither of them, these bills matter (although they do indirectly), so the message they got was "your tax dollars being thrown away"

Remember the backlash over cramdown? "Why are you giving taxpayer money away to people who bought homes they couldn't afford?"

Moderates may like social services, they hate taxes and spending. Look at California, residents want social services, but they want them cheap and no tax hikes!

The Republican "tax and spend" message worked, and since taxig and spending is what we're doing (for the good  and betterment of the country), we have no strong argument to defend ourselves.

Our spending has not directly effected 90% of the population of the country.

by ND22 2010-01-18 08:41PM | 0 recs
RE: sure

That's not quite true, we're spending but not taxing. Tax rates have gone down (also part of the stimulus).  There are some , very minor taxes, under consideration in congress (bank tax, excise tax, etc), but even in HCR the majority of revenue is rasied from within the system istelf not from new taxes.

by vecky 2010-01-18 09:01PM | 0 recs

I know I got my first paycheck of 2010 and the federal government took $5 more out in taxes.

I believe this was a result of the Bush tax cuts expiring, but it sitll created a barrage of any right wing rhetoric in my liberal NYC office.

by ND22 2010-01-18 09:07PM | 0 recs
Keep in mind too

Massachusetts already has a completely private universal healthcare system and they like the healthcare bill is meaningless to them. One of the things the GOP have tried to use up there is this idea that we're going to tax them more so other places in the country can have healthcare. That'll work with moderates.

by ND22 2010-01-18 08:43PM | 0 recs
So you and vecky

can't come up with one liberal something that is turning off moderates. Yet both of you claim liberals are causing the moderates to turn to the Republicans.

I think we are done here.

by srliberalguy 2010-01-18 09:31PM | 0 recs
RE: So you and vecky

You asked for liberal accomplishments. I can however point to liberal infighting as one example of what is turning off moderates. This includes bits where liberals buy into conservative TP (the stimulus dosn't work, HCR is just a giveaway to insurance execs!).

If you want something specific, the recent deal where union workers were exempt from the excise tax pissed off my boss (who is to the right of me). It wasn't so much the details as much as the fact that dems were seen as pandering to a specific constiency over everyone else.

by vecky 2010-01-18 09:58PM | 0 recs
As I said

I think we are done here.

by srliberalguy 2010-01-18 11:01PM | 0 recs
RE: As I said

You can either accept the reality now or on tuesday... makes no difference really.

by vecky 2010-01-19 01:09AM | 0 recs
um I did name a few things

the costs of the stimulus, auto bailouts and healthcare, and I added his attempt at cramdown, which was a very liberal policy.

These things turned off moderates because moderates don't like spending a lot of money.

by ND22 2010-01-18 11:27PM | 0 recs
RE: In other words

You don't speak for liberals, and if liberals were really "sick of it" you would have seen a greater turnout to counter the tea baggery over the summer. But that didn't happen.

by vecky 2010-01-18 06:16PM | 0 recs
The House must pass the Senate bill

Passing nothing will simply prove my point that healthcare reform is impossible to pass.  I want to be proven wrong here.  The House must pass the Senate bill.  They have nothing left to lose. 

by Kent 2010-01-18 12:38AM | 1 recs
RE: The House must pass the Senate bill
Mitch McConnell says the politics of HCR are bad for Democrats however they proceed. But do the Republicans really want to take the onus for killing it on the 1-yard line, where the villain of the piece is all too clear? Killing it at an earlier stage would have diffused responsibility, but I don't think anyone is going to put too much blame on Obama, Reid, and Baucus for tactical mistakes. I'm not sure the politics of HCR are that good for Republicans, either; it is going to boomerang on them. Our country will remain one where, if you do not have healthcare due to a pre-existing condition or cannot afford it, and your child gets H1N1 and spends a few weeks in ICU, you will lose your house, you will go bankrupt, and that child can forget about college. Total barbarism.
by Bob H 2010-01-18 09:43AM | 0 recs
Doing the math

1. The Dems back off from real healthcare reform.

2. Coakley is discovered to be in the pocket of the insurance lobbies.

3. Progressives bolt from the party

4. Brown takes the lead

5. Republicans win Ted Kennedy's seat in the senate



Healthcare Reform in the name of Ted Kennedy must not suck.



P.S. Hey Jerome. its.. Horrendous

by Trey Rentz 2010-01-18 09:47AM | 0 recs
RE: Doing the math
Looks like the people of Massuchussets are about to deal a death blow to the healthcare bill tomorrow. If Scott Brown wins tomorrow as the Suffolk poll is predicting ( More than 10% ) , I think the bill is dead... I think those Senators in swing districts would quietly tell the white house they won't vote for the bill and Pelosi won't get 218 in the house... It is surprising that he not only has a chance of winning , he might win overwhelmingly...
by lori 2010-01-18 10:46AM | 0 recs
RE: Doing the math

Really, when you think about what MyDD'r Charles Lemos said about the senate - it confirms Mr. Lemos' assertion that the senate is a broken institution - at least insofar as here we see an insurgent republican attacking a seat that was held by a man whose passion was fierce +for+ healthcare reform, in a state that supports healthcare reform - and now seemingly - both candidates in the race are more or less against real reform.


The GOP wants this seat badly - and well they should. In the end, we, as a country, will have to decide if we put the interests of lobbyists first, before the American people. Or the other way around.


Certainly in the house, there isn't much of a problem with it. Healthcare reform will pass as long as there is a National Health Service.


Hear this: IF Obama speaks out passionately for a strong National Health Service - it is exactly the kind of gambit that the political consultants - all of whom are really paid off by lobbyists - will oppose


And the American people, and particularly - the progressives - will rally toward. Right now we're seeing Coakley being thrown under the bus simply because the progressives aren't interested in playing the senate's game anymore.

But there could be another landslide 2008 election here if the Dems decide to be the party of the American people.


It's all about the blogosphere. Brown is winning because the blogosphere is jaded + doesn't care - and this is a special election - the Republican machine will work to GOTV and the progressives will stay home unless we see some real punch behind all of this.


The irony of this , to me, is that once Brown or Coakley get into the senate, the American taxpayer will fund a National Health Service plan for either senator that will not monkey around with copay or silly HMO tactics. And they will have that insurance as soon as they take office.


How can they possibly not vote for it  to be given to the people who paid for it? Tch.

Maybe this is a good thing. Shake them up a bit. Let them see that its either real reform, or nothing.



by Trey Rentz 2010-01-18 11:58AM | 0 recs
RE: Doing the math

" It's all about the blogosphere "


That's pretty pompos. 90% of the opoulation hasn't heard or dosn't care about the blogosphere.

by vecky 2010-01-18 12:26PM | 0 recs
RE: Doing the math

spellcheck has to be put back in!

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-01-18 11:39AM | 0 recs
RE: Doing the math

No worries, bro

by Trey Rentz 2010-01-18 11:42AM | 0 recs


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