Clinton aide fires back at Rove for questioning her health

Karl Rove: His political group faces IRS crackdown.
Karl Rove: Under fire for comments about Hillary Clinton.

An aide to Hillary Rodham Clinton and the White House pushed back Tuesday against Republican strategist Karl Rove for suggesting that the former secretary of state’s health could be an issue if she runs for president in 2016.

Rove told Fox News, for which he is a commentator, that Clinton had a “serious health episode” that would be a legitimate issue for her in a potential presidential campaign “whether she likes it or not.”

The New York Post reported Tuesday that Rove suggested at a private conference near Los Angeles last week that Clinton suffered brain damage. Rove disputed that he was referring to any brain damage.

“I didn’t say she had brain damage. I said she had a serious health episode,” he said on Fox News.

Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill called Rove’s comments “flagrant and thinly veiled. They are scared of what she has achieved and what she has to offer.”

The tussle between the former top political adviser to President George W. Bush and Clinton’s team came as the 66-year-old former first lady considers running for president again and is preparing for a book tour next month on her State Department years. Clinton is the leading Democratic contender for president but has not yet said whether she will seek the White House.

As President Barack Obama’s secretary of state, Clinton fell ill with a stomach bug in December 2012 after returning from a trip to Europe. The illness forced her to cancel a planned visit to North Africa and the Middle East and left her severely dehydrated. While at home, she fainted and fell and suffered a concussion.

During a follow up examination on Dec. 30, doctors discovered a blood clot in a vein that runs between the skull and the brain behind her right ear and she was admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital for treatment with blood thinners. She was released after a brief hospitalization.

Merrill said Clinton is “100 percent” and accused Rove of being part of an effort by Republicans to politicize her health. He noted that some Republicans quipped that Clinton had “Benghazi flu” when her illness forced her to reschedule her testimony before Congress on the 2012 terrorist attack on a diplomatic post in Libya that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

“First they accused her of faking it, now they’ve resorted to the other extreme — and are flat-out lying,” Merrill said. He said Rove was getting his facts wrong but “doesn’t care, because all he wants to do is inject the issue into the echo chamber, and he’s succeeding.”

White House press secretary Jay Carney mocked the former George W. Bush adviser as “Dr. Rove” and cited Rove’s election night questioning on Fox News that President Barack Obama had won re-election in 2012.

“Dr. Rove might have been the last person in America on election night to recognize and acknowledge that the president had won re-election,” Carney said.

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Copyright  © 2014 Capitol Hill Blue

Copyright  © 2014 The Associated Press  All Rights Reserved

Crackdown on political activity by tax-exempt groups

Karl Rove: His political group faces IRS crackdown.
Karl Rove: His political group faces IRS crackdown.

The Obama administration Tuesday launched a bid to rein in the use of tax-exempt groups for political campaigning.

The effort is an attempt to reduce the role of loosely regulated big-money political outfits like GOP political guru Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS and the pro-Obama Priorities USA.

The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department said they want to prohibit such groups from using “candidate-related political activity” like running ads, registering voters or distributing campaign literature as activities that qualify them to be tax-exempt “social welfare” organizations.

The agencies say there will be a lengthy comment period before any regulations will be finalized. That means groups like Crossroads and Priorities USA will be able to collect millions of dollars from anonymous donors ahead of next year’s campaign.

“This proposed guidance is a first critical step toward creating clear-cut definitions of political activity by tax-exempt social welfare organizations,” said Mark Mazur, treasury assistant secretary for tax policy. “We are committed to getting this right before issuing final guidance that may affect a broad group of organizations. It will take time to work through the regulatory process and carefully consider all public feedback as we strive to ensure that the standards for tax-exemption are clear and can be applied consistently.”

Organized under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code, such groups are able to raise millions of dollars to influence elections. But they can also be small-scale tea party groups, many of which say they were harassed by the IRS after seeking tax exempt status.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., was skeptical of the administration’s move.

“There continues to be an ongoing investigation, with many documents yet to be uncovered, into how the IRS systematically targeted and abused conservative-leaning groups,” he said. “This smacks of the administration trying to shut down potential critics.”

The 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision lifted the limits on donations by labor unions and companies to 501(c)(4) groups, allowing Crossroads, the largest of them, to raise large sums outside the limits that apply to candidates’ campaigns and traditional party committees.

“Enormous abuses have taken place under the current rules, which have allowed groups largely devoted to campaign activities to operate as nonprofit groups in order to keep secret the donors funding their campaign activities,” said Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, which advocates limits on money in politics.

Under current rules, social welfare organizations may conduct some political work as long as it’s not their main activity. The proposed new rules would block such things as running ads that “expressly advocate for a clearly identified political candidate or candidates of a political party” as fulfilling their tax-exempt mission. And ads that simply mention a politician to, for instance, urge him or her to vote a certain way couldn’t be run 60 days before a general election of 30 days before a primary.

The rules also would limit voter drives and voter registration efforts and distribution of literature.

The idea behind the new regulations is to simplify the rules of the road going forward, proponents say. The current rules are confusing and prone to abuse, critics say.

Treasury and the IRS don’t have a proposal yet about what proportion of a 501(c)(4) group’s activities must promote social welfare and are soliciting input. In other words, they don’t have a recommendation as to what percentage of a group’s time and money can be spent on politics.

Some of the outside groups that could be affected by the proposal, including Crossroads GPS and Priorities USA, did not have any initial reaction to the announcement. The groups are expected to weigh in on the rulemaking as it proceeds.

Any changes to the regulations likely would not affect the 2014 elections because of legal challenges but the rule changes could shape the next presidential election, said Kenneth Gross, a campaign finance attorney and former head of enforcement for the Federal Election Commission.

“Brightening what are now blurred lines — what is political activity — is not only useful but necessary to have some kind of clarity to a vehicle that has been used to the tune of millions and millions of dollars,” he said.

But Gross cautioned that “this is a long and winding road before anything is in ink.”

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Associated Press writer Ken Thomas contributed to this report.
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Copyright  © 2013 Capitol Hill Blue

Copyright  © 2013 Associated Press  All Rights Reserved

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Failed governor and candidate Sarah Palin calls Obama a failure

Sarah Palin brings her dog and pony show to CPAC. ( REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)
Sarah Palin brings her dog and pony show to CPAC.
( REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Failed Alaska Governor and equally-failed 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin took the stage of the annual gathering of right-wing failures — the Conservative Police Action Conference — over the weekend to call President Barack Obama a lair and delivered a tired speech of one-liners to a group that hoops and hollers a lot but makes little difference to the party.

Barack Obama promised the most transparent administration ever,” sneered Palin, who ran into trouble with her own coverups while serving as Alaska governor. “Barack Obama, you lie.”

Palin resigned from office before her first and only term as governor ended.  He tenure in office was tinged with scandal, investigations and charges of double-dealing and false statements.

For example, while running for vice president, Palin claimed she “was cleared” in the “troopergate” scandal that accused her of illegally using influence to dismiss a state police official.  In fact, she was not cleared and never was.

CPAC is viewed by Republican party main streamers as a gathering of extremists and hardcore activists who represent what some see as the root of the party’s problems and cause of a stream of election losses.

Palin, however, urged the group to stop any attempts to change the focus of the failed party.

“We’re not here to put a fresh coat of rhetorical paint on our party,” Palin said. “We’re not here to abandon our principles in a contest of government giveaways.  That’s a game we will never, ever win.  We’re here to restore America.”

Since failing in the 2008 Presidential campaign and then resigning from office, Palin has gone from one failure to another, including a TV series idea that didn’t work and a gig at Fox News that ended in dismissal.

She aimed some of her criticism at political strategists like Karl Rove, once described as “Bush’s brain” during her tenure with former President George W. Bush.

Rove’s response?  “If I was elected to office I would finish my term,” he said.

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Copyright 2013 Capitol Hill Blue

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Karl Rove to GOP: Time to diversify

 Republican strategist Karl Rove speaks at a luncheon at the California Republican Party convention, in Sacramento, Calif., Saturday, March 2, 2013. Rove told California Republicans to "get off the mat", and to find candidates to reflect the party's diversity. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Republican strategist Karl Rove speaks at a luncheon at the California Republican Party convention, in Sacramento, Calif., Saturday, March 2, 2013. Rove told California Republicans to “get off the mat”, and to find candidates to reflect the party’s diversity. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

GOP strategist Karl Rove said Saturday that rebuilding the Republican brand in California will be a tough task that will require them to diversify and create a strategy to spread their message to a wider audience.

Referring to the state party’s deep losses in recent years, Rove said it needs to focus on larger themes of restoring jobs and reducing government spending.

He also said the party must recruit candidates who reflect the diversity of the country, and in particular, California. By next year, Hispanics will overtake whites as the state’s largest demographic group.

“We need to be asking for votes in the most powerful way possible, which is to have people asking for the vote who are comfortable and look like and sound like the people that we’re asking for the vote from,” Rove said.

His message to delegates, activists and local party officials throughout California was in line with the philosophy behind his new political action committee, the Conservative Victory Project. The committee was established to support Republican candidates it deems electable, offsetting GOP candidates who might offend key parts of the electorate.

Rove told activists at the Republican Party’s spring convention in Sacramento that rebuilding would be “a big task,” but noted Texas as an example. Once a Democratic stronghold, the state elected Republicans to 95 of 150 state House seats in November. Democrats have not won a statewide office in Texas since 1994.

Republicans hold the opposite status in California, where Democrats won supermajorities in the Legislature last fall and hold every statewide office. The GOP accounts for less than 30 percent of the state’s voters and has been losing favor with Latinos, women and younger voters.

Rove said rebuilding the California Republican Party might be so tough that party activists might choose to continue on their current path, “or you can get up off of the mat and throw yourself back into this contest.”

“Think smart, be active, be committed, rebuild the organization, ask for the vote in the right way, and speak boldly and proudly about our universal principles in a way that attracts support of your fellow Californians,” he said.

Rove appeared at the convention as a favor to former state Senate Minority Leader Jim Brulte, a longtime friend who was expected to be elected as the state party’s new chairman on Sunday.

His suggestions on expanding the types of candidates being fielded struck a chord with Tyson Greaves, a 63-year-old party member from San Jose who said pushing for diversity within the party is crucial.

“It’s pretty clear to me that you don’t have authenticity or credibility in a community if you show up only in an election cycle,” he said.

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Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2013 Capitol Hill Blue

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Presidential campaigns setting records for numbers of ads and negative messages

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign rally in Westerville, Ohio.
(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

The 2012 presidential race, now entering its most intense phase, has already set records for the number of ads and their negativity, according to experts.

Among the reasons: more money than ever to spend by a larger number of spenders, like “Super PACs,” which are outside groups formally unaffiliated with campaigns.

Put together, the Republican and Democratic presidential campaigns and about a dozen groups backstopping them have invested almost $600 million in advertising, heavily concentrated on just a handful of competitive states that hold the key to victory this year, including Iowa, Ohio, Colorado, Florida, Virginia, Nevada and, lately, Wisconsin.

The barrage is just getting started.

As of early September 2012, TV viewers in local markets had seen 1.3 million political ads, according to a September 13 article in Advertising Age magazine by Elizabeth Wilner, who tracks political ad spending at Kantar Media’s CMAG.

By her calculation, there could be another 2.3 million before the November 6 election.

Campaigns and backers of both President Barack Obama, a Democrat, and Mitt Romney, a Republican, are introducing close to a video a day — some for TV, some for the web. They are able to react almost instantly to the racing news cycle, and their ads reflect an overall feel of a contest marked by incessant attacks and few constructive policy proposals.

In the past two weeks alone, Obama and Romney campaigns each introduced at least a dozen new ads. By comparison, Ronald Reagan aired 27 ads in his entire 1984 campaign, according to John Geer, political science professor at Vanderbilt University and a top expert on negative advertising.

“If you talk about the TV era, since 1952 forward, I think 2012 will go down at this point in time as the most negative on the record,” Geer said.

“You’ve got an incumbent with a mixed record, you’ve got a challenger with a mixed record, the parties that are highly polarized, and you have a lot of money — the combination offers a perfect cocktail for negativity.”

The ads are not above getting personal. One Obama spot, defending his record on trade with China, asks: “How can Mitt Romney take on the cheaters, when he’s taking their side?”

In a Romney ad released last week, a woman welcomes her newborn daughter to the world, where her “share of Obama’s debt is over $50,000” and women struggle with high rates of poverty and unemployment.

“We dislike candidates now,” said Michael Franz, who studies political advertising at Bowdoin College in Maine. Instead of being a “struggle of ideas,” he said, “elections are now about convincing people that the other guy is dangerous for America.”

Negativity in political ads is nothing new, as research continues to prove it does not deter voters and, Geer said, often yields more substantial ads that provide context or hold politicians accountable.

What’s fanning the flames this year is the amount of cash available, thanks in part to both campaigns foregoing public financing with its spending limits and unlimited spending by outside groups such as “super” political action committees or tax-exempt advocacy organizations.

It is the costliest campaign cycle in history, with presidential and congressional races widely forecast to attract some $6 billion in spending.

GOING FOR THE KILL

Academic Wesleyan Media Project, co-chaired by Franz, earlier this month reported that the 2012 campaign was more negative than the presidential contest of 2008 and that more ads were solely attack ads, those that mention only the opponent and not the candidate on whose behalf the ad aired.

Pro-Romney spots, fed by conservative Super PACs and non-profit groups, were “overwhelmingly negative,” according to the research. It found 72 percent of them focusing solely on Obama and 13 percent contrasting the two candidates.

With pro-Obama spots, 46 percent were pure attacks on Romney and a quarter offered a contrast.

Romney has honed in on Obama’s record on economic recovery, trying to link lagging job growth with anti-business attitudes, excessive regulation and a timid attitude toward China.

One recent ad campaign accused Obama of undermining the coal industry, important to the swing state of Ohio, for example.

American Crossroads, the Super PAC run by a veteran Republican operative Karl Rove, echoes the message in an ad.

“Obama has made a lot of bad decisions. He treats us like we are his enemy,” says Bill Schams, introduced in the Crossroads ad as running a business that’s been in the family since 1949.

The anti-Romney ads focus largely on his wealth and his background as a private equity executive, seeking to portray him as not caring about nor understanding ordinary people.

Many of Obama’s latest ads focus on the healthcare plan proposed by Romney’s vice presidential running mate, Paul Ryan, that would revamp the Medicare program for seniors.

Priorities USA Action, the Super PAC run by former Obama aides, is responsible for perhaps the most memorable ad of the race: the spot that insinuated that Bain Capital, the private equity firm Romney used to run, had something to do with the death of a woman from cancer.

The suggestion was based entirely on the fact that the woman’s husband, Joe Soptic, had lost his job at a steel plant closed by Bain five years before her death.

The power of negative ads was showcased in North Carolina earlier this year when Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich won the state’s vote for his nomination after a multimillion-dollar ad campaign by the Super PAC backing him pounced against Romney.

Even more recently, Obama’s allies at Priorities USA took credit for some of Obama’s resurgence in polls after its string of anti-Bain ads.

Negative ads use “scare tactics,” said Michael O’Brien, vice president of broadcast sales at E.W. Scripps Company, “and it works. The people who are undecided are impacted by it.”

Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters

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Even Republicans are fed up with Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin: Even Republicans think she's nuts

With the mid-term elections out of the way, establishment Republicans are now focusing their attack machine on a new target: Sarah Palin.

Even former President George W. Bush is taking a potshot or two.

The list of those going after the former Governor of Alaska is growing daily.

Sources inside the Republican Party tell Capitol Hill Blue that Bush is telling other Republicans that Palin isn’t qualified to be President and says Arizona Sen. John McCain was an idiot to put her on the ticket as his running mate in the 2008 Presidential elections.

While Bush hasn’t made his concerns about Palin public, other Republicans are not as hesitant. Michael Gerson, a top Bush aide, calls Palin a “threat to the Republican future.”

In his Washington Post column, Gerson questioned Palin’s endorsement of Tom Tancredo in the Colorado governor’s race, noting that Tancredo — a former Republican Congressman — is a wild card known for racist anti-immigrant rants.

Writes Gerson:

Her endorsement raises the question of whether Palin has any standards for her support other than anti-government rhetoric.  Either as a power broker or a candidate in the 2012 election, Palin’s increasingly erratic political judgment should raise Republican concerns.

Gerson isn’t the only Bush confidant to jump on the bash Palin bandwagon. Karl Rove questions Palin’s qualifications and says he doubts she can handle a long, brutal campaign.

Peggy Noonan, a speechwriter for former President Ronald Regan, says Palin is too ignorant to be President.

On Fox News, Palin sounded off on Reagan, asking: “Wasn’t he an actor? Wasn’t he in ‘Bedtime for Bonzo’ or something?”

Noonan got pissed and wrote in her Wall Street Journal column:

Excuse me, but this was ignorant even for Mrs. Palin,” wrote Noonan, who then went on to note Reagan’s professional career as president of the Screen Actors Guild and then governor of a large and complex state for eight years before entering national politics, challenging his party’s sitting president (Gerald Ford), and popularizing modern conservative political philosophy – all before winning two terms as president.

The point is not ‘He was a great man and you are a nincompoop,’ though that is true. The point is that Reagan’s career is a guide, not only for the tea party but for all in politics. He brought his fully mature, fully seasoned self into politics with him. He wasn’t in search of a life when he ran for office, and he wasn’t in search of fame; he’d already lived a life, he was already well known, he’d accomplished things in the world.

Palin’s response?  Anyone who questions her is “sleazy.”

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Democrats: Yeah, we’re bad but Republicans are worse

Vice President Joe Biden campaigns for Democratic Senate candidate Chris Coons (AP)

With just six weeks to avoid a possible election catastrophe, Democrats are trying to limit the damage with a closing argument that’s more plea than platform: We know you voters are furious with us, but just let us explain why the Republicans would be worse.

The strategy requires an autumn influx of voters willing to view the election as a choice between two imperfect parties — and imperfect candidates on each ballot line — rather than as a chance to slap the Washington establishment that the public seems to dislike so deeply.

But the Democrats admit the Republicans have a big emotional advantage with voters who are fed up with high unemployment, soaring deficits and what many see as an arrogant Congress and administration that rammed a revolutionary health care plan down their throats.

If voters keep burning with the throw-the-bums-out fever that animated so many primaries, Democrats would be likely to lose more than 40 House seats, costing them the majority and positioning Republicans to block virtually any Obama initiatives in the next two years. Losing the Senate majority, which would require a 10-seat Republican gain, is less likely.

Democratic candidates want to convince these voters that no matter how much they hate the status quo, they would be worse off under a Republican Party that hasn’t learned from its mistakes and is lurching ever harder to the right.

“This needs to be a choice, not a referendum” on the Democratic-led Congress and Obama administration, said Erik Smith, a Democratic campaign adviser.

President Barack Obama, campaigning for a Senate contender in Connecticut on Thursday, said of Republicans: “All they are going to be feeding us is anger and resentment and not a lot of new ideas. But that’s a potent force when people are scared and they’re hurting.”

Democrats already have given up on keeping several seats, including a House seat in Tennessee and a Senate seat in North Dakota. Party insiders aren’t quite in full panic mode. But they are intensely debating how to frame the final message, which candidates to help with last-minute spending, and where to focus ground troops.

Senate campaign officials said they have made no final decisions about how to allocate money, but Democrat Brad Ellsworth is no longer airing TV ads in his bid to hold the Indiana Senate seat left open by retiring Democrat Evan Bayh. Republican nominee Dan Coats leads in polls there.

Ellsworth spokeswoman Liz Farrar said her campaign will resume TV ads at some point. “Voters in Indiana have not seen or heard the last of Brad Ellsworth,” she said.

Eric Schultz of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee would not discuss aid to Ellsworth, but he said, “We have to make a lot of spending decisions in the next 45 days.”

For Democratic House candidates, triage is already under way. The Washington-based party headquarters recently cut off aid to Brett Carter, seen as having little chance to hold the Tennessee House seat being vacated by Democratic Rep. Bart Gordon.

Financial reports show House and Senate candidates have raised nearly $1.2 billion in this election cycle, well ahead of the pace for previous contests. Overall, Democratic and Republican candidates have raised nearly equal amounts. But the Democratic Party, including its state affiliates, has a 3-2 fundraising advantage over the GOP and its affiliates.

Helping close the gap is a web of conservative groups that have spent millions of dollars to help Republican candidates. Among the most prominent is American Crossroads and its allied groups, created under the direction of former Bush political strategist Karl Rove and former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie.

What’s more, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce aims to spend up to $75 million on the election, mostly for Republicans.

Organized labor plans to spend $100 million or more for Democrats. The AFL-CIO has pledged to spend more than $50 million, and the Service Employees International Union has a $44 million political budget. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which is also pledging millions to assist Democrats, has been airing ads in key battlegrounds.

In a possible bright spot for Democrats, national party officials say they will spend $50 million for on-the-ground organizing, sending out volunteers to contact voters and “persuadable” people. That includes 15 million to 20 million who voted for the first time in 2008, when Obama inspired many young and minority voters.

GOP House campaign spokesman Paul Lindsay says that every poll finds far more enthusiasm among Republican voters than Democrats, so “they have a problem on their hands when it comes to voter intensity.”

Obama remains a relatively popular president, certainly compared with Congress, and he recently transferred $4.5 million from his presidential campaign account to Democratic House, Senate and gubernatorial efforts. He plans campaign stops in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Nevada, all of which have competitive Senate or gubernatorial races or both.

National Democratic officials, meanwhile, are sparring over how best to frame their argument in the final six weeks. A chief dispute is how to respond to the tea party’s remarkable success, capped by Tuesday’s Delaware Senate Republican primary. Insurgent Christine O’Donnell stunned political pros by defeating longtime lawmaker Mike Castle, a moderate.

Veteran Democratic consultant Chris Kofinis was drafting a memo Friday urging candidates and party officials to boost their efforts to portray the GOP as a party hijacked by extremists with unorthodox ideas such as dismantling Social Security. Democratic candidates should woo two crucial groups — persuadable independents and disillusioned liberals — by highlighting the threat of “a radical, extreme fringe that will control and does control the Republican Party,” Kofinis said in an interview.

So far, Obama and other top Democrats are sticking more closely to a different theme: If voters return Republicans to power, they say, it will bring back Bush administration policies that led to the financial near-collapse of 2008-2009. This past-is-prologue warning depicts veteran Republican lawmakers, such as House Minority Leader John Boehner, as unrepentant Bush loyalists and entrenched lackeys of wealthy special interest groups.

Obama likes to warn voters against returning the government’s car keys to those who “drove us into the ditch” in the first place.

Kofinis thinks the tea party gives Democrats a better, more forward-looking opening. “I don’t think the Bush argument works,” he said. “No one knows who Boehner is.”

Democratic candidates should marry the two messages, not choose between them, says Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who oversees the party’s efforts to win House seats. Tea party nominees, he said, “represent Bush economic policy on steroids.”

Establishment Republicans such as Boehner already want to loosen regulations on Wall Street, the workplace and other areas, Van Hollen said. Libertarian-leaning tea party activists will push them even further.

Matt Bennett, vice president of the Democratic-leaning group Third Way, cites polls finding that most voters, despite an overall anger with the establishment, support Democrats on many specific issues, such as tax cuts for the wealthy. Democratic House and Senate candidates, he said, should constantly tell voters “there’s only two choices, there’s no other.”

Specific issues will hardly matter, however, if Democrats can’t persuade middle-of-the-road voters to calmly weigh the ramifications of lashing out at the party in power.

“The most important thing Democrats can do is unnationalize the election,” said Democratic strategist David DiMartino. “In every state and every district, it has to be a choice between them and us. Our policies are more popular than theirs.”

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Associated Press writers Jim Kuhnhenn and Liz Sidoti contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press

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Is Sean Hannity Eureka’s Sheriff Andy?

1787 – America’s religion free Constitution signed into law

1967 – Mission Impossible premiers on broadcast TV

COINCIDENCE? I think NOT!

“Wow. That was neat.”
Sheriff Andy

“Let me be straight with you – I like George Bush. I think he’s a man of principle, a man of faith. I think he’s got a backbone of steel and he’s a real, genuine, big-time leader … He’s a consequential figure for his time. We don’t see it right now.”
Sheriff Sean

FROM THE CHURCH OF INEFFABLE STUPIDITY:

Is our citizens crazy?

Who are we?
How did we get here?
Where do we go from here?
What the effing hell is going on?

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

Here’s a quicky quiz. Who said these wonderful words?

a) Sarah Palin
b) Newt Gingrich
c) Mitch McConnell
d) John Boehner
e) Jesus Christ
f) Niccolo Machiaveli
g) Joseph Goebbels

Here’s another, one that applies even better to today’s Tea Baggers:

“Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.”

a) Grover Nordquist, anti-Government a—hole
b) Amy Holmes, currently a GOP vagina free @_%#
c) Karl Rove, currently defanged vampire
d) Dick Cheney, former Vice and aid to former president
e) Koch Industry’s wholly owned subsidiary, Dick Armey
f) Jesus Christ, some make believe dude who never wrote a word in the bible
g) Phil Gramm, UBS’ wholly owned male  prostitute and briber
h) Joseph Goebbels, the poster child for today’s Tea Baggers

OK. How about this one? Come on. This is EASY!

“Intellectual activity is a danger to the building of character”

a) Michael Steele, GOP’s poster child for hiring the mentally handicapped
b) Michelle Bachmann, who waits for god’s permission to run for president
c) Sarah Palin, you betcha.
d) Sean Hannity, as his pseudo-Veteran’s Support group becomes part of a criminal investigation for fraud.
e) Glenn Beck, as  his pseudo-Veteran’s Support group becomes part of a criminal investigation for fraud.
f) Sharron Angle, “How Dare you ask me real questions? That’s so unfair!”
g) Jan Brewer, “How am I a racist? Let me count the weighs.”
h) Joseph Goebbels, Confirmed sperm donor resulting in Rush Limbaugh’s birth (Google “Santorum” for the source of sperm)

Just three more, just for fun:

“In politics stupidity is not a handicap.”

a) Michelle Bachmann
b) Sarah Palin
c) Sean Hannity
d) Bill O’Rarely
e) Rush Limbaugh
f) Napoleon Bonapart
g) Sharron Angle
h) Jan Brewer

“Women are nothing but machines for producing children.”

a) Christine O’Donnell
b) Nadya Suleman
c) Newt Gingrich
d) Sharron Angle
e) Joseph Goebbels
f) Napoleon Bonepart
g) Jesus Christ
h) John Boehner

“I’ll tell you who should be tortured and killed at
Guantanamo – every filthy Democrat in the U.S. Congress. ”

a) Dick Cheney
b) David Addington
c) Alberto Gonzales
d) Sean Hannity
e) Sarah Palin
f) Michelle Bachmann

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Stunned Republicans ponder life with Tea Party

Christine O'Donnell: The new face of the GOP? (Reuters)

Divided Republicans pointed fingers and vowed to regroup on Wednesday after a stunning Tea Party upset in Delaware dealt a blow to their hopes of recapturing control of the Senate in November.

Conservative upstart Christine O’Donnell’s defeat of nine-term U.S. Representative Michael Castle in a Senate primary ended the career of one of the last Republican moderates in Congress and set off a round of Democratic celebrations.

The loss by Castle, who had been expected to cruise to victory in the November 2 election, bolstered Democratic efforts to keep the Senate seat long held by Vice President Joe Biden and made it tougher for Republicans to pick up the 10 Democratic seats they need for a Senate majority.

Asked about the results of the election in his home state, Biden said that Castle had fallen victim to a new mood in the Republican Party.

“It’s real tough for the Republican Party …” Biden said in excerpts of an interview with MSNBC. “It’s kind of hung on a shingle. You know, no moderates need apply. It’s sort of spawned a … tone in politics that is not helpful to getting things done.”

Republicans are still expected to turn voter worries about the economy and President Barack Obama’s leadership into big gains in November that could give them control of the House and perhaps even the Senate, once considered a longshot.

O’Donnell’s win was the biggest in a string of upsets of establishment Republicans this year by loosely organized Tea Party candidates driven by anger at government in Washington and at Obama’s ambitious agenda.

On Wednesday, O’Donnell bickered on Fox News with prominent Republican Karl Rove and complained of “Republican cannibalism” after attacks on her from the party establishment.

“I didn’t count on the establishment to win the primary, I’m not counting on them to win the general (election),” she said. “They obviously don’t see what’s going on in the country this year.”

Rove, the architect of President George W. Bush’s two White House wins, responded with a litany of allegations about her campaign debts, tax liens and personal background that he said would make it tough for her to win in November.

A TEA PARTY MOOD

The Tea Party’s platform of limited government, lower spending and opposition to Obama could have a big impact on the Republican approach on the budget and taxes in the next Congress, and has proven a good match with the public mood.

“I’m not all torn up this morning,” Republican strategist Jim Dyke said. “The mood of the country has not changed from yesterday, and that’s an overwhelming opposition to the policies President Obama and Democrats have put in place.”

Polls show Tea Party candidates doing well in states like Nevada, Kentucky and Colorado. Republican Marco Rubio is confounding predictions by leading a three-way Florida Senate race against a strong independent and a Democratic rival, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found.

Fifty-eight percent of Americans rate Congressional Democrats negatively, while 68 percent disapprove of the Congressional Republicans’ performance, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll released late on Wednesday.

The Delaware and New York results bolstered Democratic arguments that the Republican Party has been taken over by extremists, giving them hope moderates and independent voters who are sour on Democrats will not find Republicans to be a suitable alternative in November.

“Democrats are making a big mistake if they deride Tea Party candidates as extremists when the top issues they are talking about are lower deficits and spending,” Republican strategist Kevin Madden said.

But Democrats said Republicans had proven they did not have room for anyone who does not conform to their narrow agenda.

“I think the message is moderates are not welcome. Moderates keep out,” Democratic Party Chairman Tim Kaine said on NBC’s “Today” show.

The contest in Delaware highlighted the final day of primaries before November, with voters in seven states choosing nominees for the Senate, House of Representatives and governor’s races.

In New Hampshire’s Republican Senate primary, former state attorney general Kelly Ayotte, who had been endorsed by former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, narrowly beat Tea Party-backed lawyer Ovide Lamontagne. O’Donnell also was backed by Palin.

The Tea Party movement won another high-profile race in New York, where political newcomer Carl Paladino easily beat the establishment choice, former U.S. Representative Rick Lazio, in the Republican gubernatorial primary.

Paladino, who pledges to spend up to $10 million of his own money, will be a huge underdog in the November race against Democrat Andrew Cuomo.

Copyright © 2010 Reuters

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