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To The Victor Goes The Spin

From Josh Marshall: “Everyone knows Democrats are going to take a beating tomorrow. Estimates vary on how bad a beating — and, hey, you never know, there could be some surprises. But I do know this: Democrats and their supporters are going to be blown away by the narratives that are seeded on election night and emerge in full bloom by Wednesday morning. “

Pro-Plantations in Rhode Island

“There’s a proposition on the ballot this year to change the name of Rhode Island from “State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” to simply “Rhode Island.” The idea is that the appendage “Providence Plantations” is redolent of slavery and should go.
[…]
The first and probably the most important point is that the “plantations” in Providence Plantations has nothing to do with slavery. That’s a meaning of the word that only became current maybe a century or more after Roger Williams named his little colony in the early-mid 17th century. In the 17th century a ‘plantation’ was what we’d now call a ‘colony’ or a ‘settlement’. The ‘plant’ in plantation wasn’t (or at least wasn’t primarily) a cash crop you were growing but the people you were inserting onto the landscape.”

Fox & Friends Offended That People Think Stewart/Colbert Are Real ‘Newspeople’

“Everyone and their mother has been weighing in on this weekend’s Rally To Restore Sanity And/Or Fear in D.C. But what do the folks at Fox & Friends think? Gretchen Carlson, Brian Kilmeade and Steve Doocy were a big target of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s mockery Saturday (as they always are), and seemed just a smidge bitter about it on the show yesterday.

Take Carlson’s intro: “There was this big rally, put on by comedians, which many people unfortunately think are newspeople. […] “And he looks fancy in his suit, like he actually is a real newsperson,” she added later.”

Tea Partiers and New Black Panthers To Square Off At Polls In Texas

“Members of the fringe group the New Black Panther Party have announced they intend to be at the polls in Harris County, Texas tomorrow. So has the Tea Party-backed group True the Vote — with more than 1,000 poll watchers, they say. Both sides have already traded accusations of voter intimidation — but, despite all their press coverage, neither will likely play a deciding factor at the polls tomorrow.

The face off between poll watchers alleging massive voter fraud in Harris County and many voters in minority neighborhoods of Houston during the early voting period have already been racially tinged. New developments indicate it will only get worse.”

GOP Rep. Cynthia Lummis Says Return Of Estate Tax Is Leading Her Constituents To Commit Suicide

“The federal estate tax is currently “in limbo,” as congressional negotiations have bogged down and created a situation in which the tax isn’t in effect at all this year. If no action is taken, it will return next year at a rate of 55 percent (up from 45 percent) and exempt no more than $1 million of a person’s estate (congressional negotiators are trying to devise a different arrangement).

Capitalizing on this current state of this estate tax, Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) wildly claimed during a news conference Friday that some of her “constituents are so worried about the reinstatement” of the tax that they are actually planning to discontinue “life-extending medical treatments” so that they die before the tax is reinstate on January 1, 2011.”

Steele: There’s ‘Some Truth’ In The Claim That GOP Midterm Gains Are ‘Not A Validation’ Of Republicans

“In an interview with the New York Times published today, former Florida governor Jeb Bush (R) suggested that any gains Republicans make in Congress as a result of tomorrow’s midterm elections won’t have much to do with the GOP. “The looming victories for Republican candidates next Tuesday is not a validation of the Republican Party at all,” he said.

When host George Stephanopoulos asked RNC chair Michael Steele on ABC’s Good Morning America today whether Bush’s analysis is correct, Steele responded affirmatively:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Even Jeb Bush, son of the former president, had a pretty startling comment in the New York Times this morning. He said “tomorrow’s results will not be a validation of the Republican party at all.” Is he right?

STEELE: I think there’s some degree of truth to that. … I think there is a degree of truth to that. I think the American people right now are much more skeptical of the direction that the President and Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Reid are taking the country but they also have some concerns about the direction that Republicans will then lead when we take control of the Congress in 2011.”

Flashback: Republican Members Called Obama ‘Anti-American,’ ‘Marxist,’ ‘Gangster’

“In an interview with Univision last week, President Obama said: “If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, ‘We’re going to punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us,’ if they don’t see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it’s going to be harder and that’s why I think it’s so important that people focus on voting on November 2.”

Many conservatives took great issue with Obama’s use of the word “enemies” to describe political opponents. Tonight in Cincinnati, Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) will give a major “closing argument” speech in which he will attack Obama for the comment:

“Ladies and gentlemen, we have a president in the White House who referred to Americans who disagree with him as ‘our enemies.’ Think about that. He actually used that word. When Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush used the word ‘enemy,’ they reserved it for global terrorists and foreign dictators — enemies of the United States. Enemies of freedom. Enemies of our country. Today, sadly, we have president who uses the word ‘enemy’ for fellow Americans — fellow citizens.
[…]
Boehner’s sanctimony is truly stunning, considering that since the start of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and through his time as President of the United States, an office for which Boehner professes much reverence in his speech, Republicans have directly attacked Obama as everything from a “gangster” to Adolf Hitler, and suggested in myriad ways that Obama is an enemy to America, or perhaps not even actually an American.”

Steele Sets Up Government Shutdown Debate: GOP ‘Not Going To Compromise On Raising The Debt Ceiling’

“Ahead of tomorrow’s elections, Republicans have been making clear they have no interest in working across the aisle with Democrats to govern the country, with Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-IN) vowing “no compromise” and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell saying his first priority with a larger GOP caucus would be to beat President Obama in 2012.

Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union yesterday, RNC Chairman Michael Steele echoed this obstructionist pledge. Particularly troubling, Steele told host Candy Crowly the GOP is “not going to compromise on raising the debt ceiling” — something that will almost certainly lead to a government shutdown and economic catastrophe. […] A vote to raise the debt ceiling will be necessary as early as February of 2011. As Roll Call recently noted, this vote would pose an early purity test for newly-elected tea party-backed members of Congress. With Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour also saying today that a government shutdown is “very likely” if the GOP wins control of the House of Representatives, it appears that the GOP is more interested in fealty to its tea party base than in seriously governing the country — even if that means risking an almost unprecedented economic calamity and needlessly inflicting untold harm on the nation’s prospects for a return to long-term prosperity. “

Tancredo Still Believes In Bombing Mecca And Medina

“Three years ago, Tom Tancredo — who, at the time, was a Republican congressman from Colorado and is now the American Constitution Party’s nominee for governor of that state — made the shocking claim that he would like to bomb the Muslim holy sites in Mecca and Medina. “If it is up to me, we are going to explain that an attack on this homeland of that nature would be followed by an attack on the holy sites in Mecca and Medina,” Tancredo told an Iowa conservative group. “Because that is the only thing I can think of that might deter somebody from doing what they would otherwise do.”

Tancredo’s comments were roundly denounced, even by members of his own party. “Historically, we’ve tried to avoid doing what the Nazis did, and that’s bombing every kind of possible target. … There are some things that are off limits,” Mike Huckabee said at the time. The State Department also slammed Tancredo, saying his comments were “reprehensible” and “absolutely crazy.”

At one point, Tancredo tried to pretend he never suggested bombing Mecca and Medina, telling CNN that it was “absolutely untrue” that he ever said such a thing. Now, however, Tancredo admits he said it, and that he still believes it. During an interview with a local radio station Thursday, when asked if he still believed in bombing Mecca, Tancredo said he did and that it was “quite defensible”:

HOST: If you say, you get involved with talking about bombing Mecca and Medina, is it possible that there would be a fatwa on Colorado?”

TANCREDO: You guys, remember, the statement that I made, in the context in which it was made, I think is quite defensible. I still do, and I still would say it.”

Appeals court blocks order to end ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’

“The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday blocked a U.S. district judge from enforcing her order against the Pentagon’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. The court’s decision means Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell will remain in effect until the government’s appeal of the judge’s ruling that found the policy unconstitutional is decided.”

Court Rules Against Tea Party Garb, Buttons at the Polls

“A court in Minnesota has ruled against a collection of conservative groups, including Minnesota Majority, in their request for a temporary restraining order against the elections managers in several local counties who have sought to prevent them from wearing Tea Party paraphernalia and “Please I.D. Me” buttons at or around polling places in the state. The court issued its decision this afternoon after a rushed hearing this morning:

Plaintiffs’ as-applied challenge rests on the prohibition of wearing Tea Party paraphernalia and the “Please I.D. Me” buttons at or about the polling place. Plaintiffs argue that the prohibition is not viewpoint neutral because their organizations are being singled out by state authorities. Such a finding would require evidence that they are being targeted in ways that others are not. The record is, however, devoid of such evidence beyond mere speculation on this point. Moreover, prohibiting the buttons and apparel is reasonably related to the state’s legitimate interests. The record suggests that the buttons are designed to affect the actual voting process at the polls by intimating that voters are required to show identification before voting.”

Looking for Investments, China Turns to Europe

“As China puts money into infrastructure and European debt, it is seeking friends in currency and trade disputes.”

Berlusconi Scandal Could Threaten Government

“The most recent scandal involving the Italian prime minister’s private life could open the door to a full-fledged government crisis.”

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