A snarky blog from Ted Mann captures everything essential you need to know about how Linda McMahon's candidacy is going over here in Connecticut: Linda McMahon flier
A friend got one of Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon's fancy direct-mail appeals earlier this month. This one is all about how to "put Connecticut back to work."
The image above is on pages 10 and 11, and would seem to raise the following questions:
- Are there oil deposits out there in the Sound that we should know about? Or does putting Connecticut back to work involve sending those of working age to the Gulf of Mexico?
- Are you really sure that "burdensome regulations" are the biggest problem facing the oil industry right now? Safety and environmental rules may be inconvenient and counter to the profit motive, but the rulebooks, at least, don't tend to spontaneously explode
- Will the next mailer be explaining what to do about this?
Tonight is one of the biggest election nights this cycle with primaries in 11 states in one special election in Georgia.[...]
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Also on Monday, Vitter sent yet another letter to the Obama administration requesting a “quick end” to the “six-month ban on drilling in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.” The moratorium was issued to allow federal authorities to investigate the problems at deepwater drilling platforms and to propose new regulations...
As I stated, there is no one more environmentally devastated by this oil disaster than the people of the Gulf Coast. It’s our coast, our marshes, and our way of life that is being impacted. However, despite the ongoing oil spill disaster, the great majority of Gulf Coast citizens feel strongly that the administration’s deepwater moratorium is a major mistake. Simply put, it will cost us more jobs and economic devastation than the oil spill itself.
This November, Vitter will face Rep. Charlie Melancon, who has also urged President Obama to end the moratorium as soon as possible, though Melancon has recognized the need for one. Melancon has also called for repealing the liability cap for oil companies like BP, while Vitter has proposed legislation that could limit it to just $150 million.
An Arizona judge has thrown out all evidence resulting from a government wiretap in the corruption case of former Rep. Rick Renzi. The judge also declined to throw out the indictment in his decision on Friday, letting the charges stand.
Renzi is charged with extortion, money laundering, wire fraud, embezzlement and other crimes. Renzi, a Republican from Arizona, allegedly used his seat to strongarm people into buying land from a friend, who then kicked back money to Renzi in complicated financial transactions. He was indicted in February 2008.
The FBI was granted a 30-day wiretap in October 2006. Renzi's attorneys argued that investigators captured conversations between Renzi and his lawyers and Renzi and his wife, violating both attorney-client and spousal privileges. They tried to have the charges thrown out, but the judge ruled that the indictment stands because the prosecution never heard the bulk of the privileged calls.
Check out all of TPMmuckraker's coverage on Renzi.
Here's a sobering tidbit from BP's guide for company spokespeople dealing with oil spills: "No statement shall be made containing ... Promises that property, ecology, or anything else will be restored to normal."
The passage comes from BP's June 2009 Gulf of Mexico Regional Oil Spill Response Plan, made available by the Minerals Management Service. Check out the monster document right here (the flacks' guide is in Appendix X, page 528).
As one New Orleans blogger who noticed this passage points out, in a new BP television ad, CEO Tony Hayward uses the ambiguous formulation "We will make this right" -- not, say, "we will restore the Gulf to its full former glory."
Here's the full what-not-to-say section of the BP flacks' guide:
No statement shall be made containing any of the following:a) Speculations concerning liability for the spill or its legal consequences.b) Speculations regarding the cause of the spill. An extended inquiry may be needed todetermine the actual cause, and legal liability could be affected by what is said.c) Estimates of damage and/or value expressed in dollars, production statistics, salesvolume, or insurance coverage.d) Estimates of how long cleanup will take or cleanup costs.e) Promises that property, ecology, or anything else will be restored to normal.f) Do not release the name of injured or dead until next of kin have been notified.
BP's guide for flacks during oil spills: Do not make "promises that property, ecology, or anything else will be restored to normal." BP - Oil spill - Environment - Energy - Petroleum in the Environment[...]
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The first polls close at 7 p.m. ET. You can follow all the night's results on the TPM Election Scoreboard. Talking Points Memo - Elections - Politics - United States - Government[...]
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TPM Reader KB asks who Dems should be rooting for tonight.Idea for post: what outcomes should Dems be rooting for tonight? There are multiple angles that could be good news all of which will be lost on the Morning Joe crew tomorrow - so help us out.Some[...]
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7:53 PM [Nate]. Please don't count your votes any faster, South Carolina! You want to milk your moment in the sun, seeing how that strategy worked so well for Nikki Haley's accuser!
7:51 PM [Ed]. In GA-9, Lumpkin County, next door to Hawkins' base in Hall County, just came in with a narrow margin for Graves. I have no doubt now that Graves is going to win.
7:45 PM [Dan Berman]. Worth noting that it is technically not true that no Republican has won statewide since 1994 in California. Bill Jones won the Secretary of State's office in 1998, the only Republican to win that year, and Steven Poizner of course won the Insurance Commissioner race in 2006.
7:38 PM [Ed]. It's not a big focus tonight, but the first votes are trickling in for the special election runoff in GA-9, an all-Republican contest to choose a replacement for gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal. The mystery here is whether primary leader and Club for Growth/FreedomWorks endorsee Tom Graves will be fatally damaged by a financial scandal (he was sued by a bank for defaulting on a large commercial loan). The first votes coming in are from Graves' base in NW Georgia; his opponent, Lee Hawkins, is counting on a big vote from his base in the eastern and central parts of this North Georgia district.
7:28 PM [Ed]. California polls show the "jungle primary" proposition (Prop 14) winning handily. It's telling that the state Democratic Party and the unions who oppose it didn't come up with serious money to fight it, which to me indicates they figured it would easily pass in the current hate-everybody political environment. The most vociferous opponents, the minor parties, who will lose their general election ballot lines, don't have money, of course.
7:17 PM [Ed]. According to PPP's recent breakdown of SC Republican gubernatorial primary preferances by area code (there are three, roughly corresponding to the Upcountry, Midlands, and Low Country regions of the state), Nikki Haley's popularity is pretty evenly distributed around the state. So we should get some early indications of how she's doing, and particularly of whether she has a chance to win without a runoff.
7:15 PM [Tom D]. What interests me most is whether CA adopts the Jungle Primary. Louisiana had it and got rid of it. CA is a liberal state, but unlike say, NY and MA, it has a very conservative Republican party. The result is that their primaries tend to nominate GOP candidates who can't win. (None has won statewide office since Pete Wilson in '94--except Arnold who came in initially under very special circumstances.) I've got to think that a Jungle Primary might revive the viable Republican in CA.
7:07 PM [Nate]. I don't have a clear hunch about Arkansas, which is maybe the most interesting race of the night. There are three polls of the race, but they're all from the same polling firm, Research 2000, and their work has been iffy lately.
7:06 PM [Nate]. Some hunches ... don't take these very seriously ... Tarkanian may be overlooked in NV-SEN. Nikki Haley will do really well. Chuck DeVore will do better than his polling in California.
7:03 PM [Nate]. One thing I'm really looking forward to at the Times: they have some sweet new liveblogging software that they just debuted. This might be the last liveblog ever at the FiveThirtyEight.com URL!
7:00 PM [Nate]. Polls just closed in South Carolina and Virginia. You can see South Carolina results as they come in here. We'll be liveblogging tonight, of course, although I imagine that things will be fairly slow-paced, especially at first.
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John Amato and I frequently Monday morning quarterback the news shows and the pundits invited on to represent the "left" side of the conversation. Most of the time, I'll admit, we're puzzled by how that particular person is considered on the left (Joke Line, I'm looking at you). John has done some media training and I'm just dipping my toes into the media appearances (you can hear my segment discussing the Sunday shows on The Nicole Sandler Show live every Monday at www.radioornot.com or check out the podcasts) because we both feel so passionately that we need strong, unapologetic liberal voices out there to pierce through the right wing noise.
So I'm thrilled that we're seeing high visibility liberals like Arianna Huffington and Markos Moulitsas on This Week on a semi-regular basis. For years, it wouldn't have happened.
But after watching this clip, the substance of which Heather discussed on Sunday, I want to speak to a fatal flaw in appearances like Arianna's and Markos's.
As I expected, both of them did their homework and were armed with facts to support their side. That's what we do: we present facts and hope that the other side will observe the rules of debate. But look who they were debating. Do you honestly think that Liz Cheney is going to argue fairly? Of course not. She lies right in the faces of Markos and Arianna (and more importantly, the viewer who may not have those facts in hand) when she says it's absolutely not true that Halliburton was fined millions of dollars for defrauding the federal government. Note how Arianna laughingly says she can't wait for Politifact (a supposedly non-partisan fact-check organization through the St Petersburg Times) for their verdict on her factual accuracy. As of this writing, more than 36 hours from the broadcast, and Politifact has remained suspiciously silent on Liz Cheney, but only too happy to go after Markos for a slip of the tongue that he immediately acknowledged afterward.
So clearly, having the grasp of the facts and/or counting on the anchor/fact check organization to expect truthfulness from their guests doesn't work. Nor does expecting Liz Cheney and George Will to be fair, and not dismissive, as they trot out the strawman that liberals even blame the demise of the Gore marriage on Bush, something Liz Cheney thinks she read on Daily Kos. All snide insinuations to dismiss, belittle and render non-credible everything else they say.
Well, liberals, let me tell you right now: It's time to put away those Marquess of Queensbury rules. Stop smiling as they lie to your face. But don't get caught in some distraction (the last vestige of a Republican scoundrel: focus on some picayune aspect and steer the conversation away from anything of substance for which they have no defense). Keep hold of your head, your calm and your facts and cut them off at the knees, rhetorically speaking.
There's no reason, for example, why Liz "Spawn of Satan" Cheney should have any credibility to appear on these shows. She is a veteran of an administration widely considered the worst in modern history and of the department that pushed a foreign policy that has failed us, at the cost of thousands of American deaths, tens of thousands of devastating injuries and one trillion dollars of American taxpayer money. Her latest gig is at the head of a think tank formed with another neo-conservative (Bill "I'm always wrong" Kristol) to push a failed foreign policy that has been soundly rejected by the American people and to throw as much crap at our current president to see what sticks. That's it: she is on TV to push for more destruction. Why the hell aren't we impeaching her credibility by pointing out this FACTUAL information?
C'mon, Markos and Arianna, she's done nothing to earn your (or the audience's) respect. She feels no compunction about belittling you on air. Stop being polite. Be honest. And make that torture-apologist, war-mongering shrew and her partisan-motivated propaganda talking points radioactive on these shows.