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Rothenberg: Outlook for Democrats Suddenly Darkens Just About Everywhere
Roll Call ^ | 9-9-04 | Stuart Rothenberg

Posted on 09/14/2004 11:59:27 AM PDT by The Old Hoosier

Only a few months ago, 2004 looked like it might be a surprisingly good year for the Democratic Party. How quickly things change.

Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) was raising tons of cash. President Bush was sliding in the polls. Democrats were talking optimistically about winning control of the Senate. And House Democrats had reason to be upbeat about their promising recruiting class, even if electing a Speaker looked like a long shot.

No, a wave hadn't yet developed for Democrats, but growing voter dissatisfaction with the direction of the country and the public's disapproval of the president's performance were reason enough for Democrats to believe that they had the momentum.

Understandably, party strategists and spinners talked up these brighter prospects, offering more optimistic scenarios for November and creating higher expectations.

But August has been a cruel month for the Democratic Party, both for its presidential nominee and its two federal campaign committees. The news has not been good. Will the downdrafts be forgotten once voters begin focusing on the campaign in earnest? Or do the recent problems bode ill for November?

Kerry's problems are apparent in the early post-convention polls, and I'm not even referring to the bounce that the president received in his ballot test against Kerry. Voters' concerns about terrorism and increased confidence in Bush have improved the president's prospects, forcing the Kerry campaign to change its tactics and to shuffle its organization.

But at least Kerry still has a realistic chance of winning the White House in November. As long as voters haven't decided to rehire the president for another term and continue to believe that the country is headed in the wrong direction, the presidential contest remains competitive.

Over at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, things have turned from bad to worse. Let me count the ways.

One: Rep. Rodney Alexander (La.) defects and joins the GOP, even though he would have been a heavy favorite for re-election as a Democrat. Then Democratic efforts to throw him off the ballot or reopen filing come up empty.

Two: Jim Stork, the party's much ballyhooed recruit against Rep. Clay Shaw in Florida's 22nd district announces suddenly that he is putting his campaign on hold for health reasons.

Three: Highly prized recruit Christine Jennings is upset in the Aug. 29 Democratic primary in Florida's 13th district, all but ending the national party's interest in the race to oust Rep. Katherine Harris (R).

Four: If the committee didn't have enough problems, Kori Bernards, the widely respected and widely liked communications director of the DCCC, leaves the committee and joins the staff of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.). That can't be good news for the DCCC, and many insiders will take it as a sign of the committee's problems.

To have any chance of retaking the House, Democrats still need a wave to develop, and in this regard they remain better positioned than the Republicans to net seats in November. But a wave seems less likely today than it did four weeks ago, and honest Democrats are no longer able to talk seriously about 218 seats.

Recent news has also worked to the disadvantage of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

After succeeding in selling their argument that they had a chance of getting to 50 or even 51 seats in November, the roof has fallen in on the DSCC.

First, former Rep. Jim DeMint wins the Republican Senate nomination in South Carolina and blows past Inez Tenenbaum (D) in polling. Then former Rep. Tom Coburn wins the GOP Senate nomination in Oklahoma without a runoff and blows past Rep. Brad Carson (D) in state polls.

Then former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez makes a late rush and wins the Republican Senate nomination in Florida. For weeks, Democrats had been saying privately that they would have a hard time defeating Martinez in a general election. But, they figured, they wouldn't have to, since he couldn't beat former Congressman Bill McCollum for the Republican nomination.

By winning, Martinez has fundamentally altered Florida's Senate race, undercutting Democrat Betty Castor's prospects in the contest.

Elsewhere, things haven't been much better. Businessman Pete Coors, the stronger candidate in the Republican primary, won the Republican Senate nomination in Colorado, and in Pennsylvania, Sen. Arlen Specter won the AFL-CIO's endorsement, making the odds that Democratic Senate challenger, Rep. Joe Hoeffel, will upset Specter that much longer.

But while Democratic prospects have dipped over the past month, the general election is still seven weeks away. Kerry is very much in the race, and events could turn sentiment quickly.

The Democratic Party still has time to reverse current trends and put together a good election night. Not very much time, though.

Stuart Rothenberg is editor of the Rothenberg Political Report (www.rothenbergpoliticalreport.com ).


TOPICS: Extended News; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: kerry; worrieddems
It's a week old, but I didn't see this posted anywhere.
1 posted on 09/14/2004 11:59:29 AM PDT by The Old Hoosier
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To: The Old Hoosier

2 posted on 09/14/2004 12:04:09 PM PDT by finnman69 (cum puella incedit minore medio corpore sub quo manifestus globus, inflammare animos)
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To: The Old Hoosier
Over at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, things have turned from bad to worse. Let me count the ways.

If I read nothing else of this article, this one line brings a smile to my face.

3 posted on 09/14/2004 12:04:27 PM PDT by tdadams (Forget the National Guard, Kerry is AWOL from the war on terror, no memos needed to prove it)
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To: The Old Hoosier
To have any chance of retaking the House, Democrats still need a wave to develop, and in this regard they remain better positioned than the Republicans to net seats in November.

This guy forgets the expected pick up from the Texas redistricting. There will be Rs relacing Ds because of that.
4 posted on 09/14/2004 12:06:46 PM PDT by Mike Fieschko ("Daddy, are there bad men on your planes?")
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To: The Old Hoosier

"Kerry is very much in the race, and events could turn sentiment quickly."

They sure like to delude themselves don't they?
Every day finds Kerry falling further behind.
He is now trying to hold unto many Gore states, which will
likely go Bush.


5 posted on 09/14/2004 12:09:27 PM PDT by fortheDeclaration
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To: The Old Hoosier
I'm looking for a site or discussion with a more detailed breakdown of all the senate races (preferably the hotly contested ones). Something along the lines of Dale's Electoral College Breakdown (polls, updated predicitions). Are we going to get the sixty seats we need? Any suggestions out there?
6 posted on 09/14/2004 12:09:29 PM PDT by CV_Gas
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To: The Old Hoosier

Let me mention a couple of things the author overlooked. Richard Gephardt, a repeated failure for the Democratic presidential nomination, has decided to leave politics altogether due to softening support from his home state of Missouri.

In South Dakota, long time Senator and professional class war general Tom Daschle is being outpolled by his challenger John Thune.

Terry McAuliffe is still smiling that cheesy, oblivious grin while DNC staffers have drawn the long knives on him.


7 posted on 09/14/2004 12:10:41 PM PDT by tdadams (Forget the National Guard, Kerry is AWOL from the war on terror, no memos needed to prove it)
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To: The Old Hoosier
Outlook for Democrats Suddenly Darkens Just About Everywhere

Maybe media-darling John Edwards will finally catch fire and catapult Kerry and the Dims to victory. That's what we were told anyway.

ha ha ha

8 posted on 09/14/2004 12:11:53 PM PDT by NewMediaFan
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To: tdadams

Who are we praying gets ousted from the senate?
Here let me list the names:

Tom Daschle - SD
Barbara Boxer - CA
Nelson - FL
Osama Murray - WA
Patrick Leahy - VT
Russ Feingold - WI
Harry Reid - NV
Barbara Murkowski - MD
Dickhead Durbin - IL?
Levin - MI (is he running this year?)
Ted Kennedy (not rerunning, but he needs to go - see GOD)

OK, maybe I don't have these all correct, but I do know that Tom Daschle is in trouble and that's a darn good start!


9 posted on 09/14/2004 12:12:59 PM PDT by princess leah
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To: CV_Gas

Subscribe to the Cook Political Report. Just make sure that you up the limit on your credit card before you do. Bottom line is that information on Congressional Races is worth its weight in gold and Stu Rothenburg and Charlie Cook make very nice livings collecting all that data and selling it to many eager buyers - you're not going to find it all in one place for free.


10 posted on 09/14/2004 12:15:28 PM PDT by centurion316 (Infantry, Queen of Battle)
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To: princess leah
Unfortunately, I have to report that the state of the GOP in IL is pathetic. Our former Gov. George Ryan single handedly destroyed the entire party and the hope of any sanity returning here any time soon is remote (re: Dickhead Durbin)
11 posted on 09/14/2004 12:17:53 PM PDT by CV_Gas
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To: princess leah

How about adding Arlen Specter and the rest of the RINOs to that list.


12 posted on 09/14/2004 12:18:00 PM PDT by Dont_Tread_On_Me_888 (John Kerry--three fake Purple Hearts. George Bush--one real heart of gold.)
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To: tdadams

RE: Coburn in OK,

At first it looked like Coburn would waltz pretty easily, but recent polls put them in statistical dead heat. Carson's gone negative and Coburn needs to respond.


13 posted on 09/14/2004 12:19:17 PM PDT by Stand W (Trust, but verify)
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To: The Old Hoosier
This article seems to be something of a consulation piece.
It's as if the author is saying "now, now, its not so bad, we can still pull it out."

The fact is the prospects are far more worse for Democrats than the article lets on. This sentence struck me as particularly dishonest:

To have any chance of retaking the House, Democrats still need a wave to develop, and in this regard they remain better positioned than the Republicans to net seats in November. But a wave seems less likely today than it did four weeks ago, and honest Democrats are no longer able to talk seriously about 218 seats.

In truth, the wave is on the Republicans' side. After the Republican sweep laid dormant since its first rush in 1994, it may be returning again. This time not motivated by an agressive campaign by Newt Gingritch, but instead by America's growing concern that Democrats put politics and party over security and country.

Even if all things remain equal, It is the Republicans who are assured to pick up seats in the House, because the Democrat Gerrymandering of Texas of the '90s has been undone.
14 posted on 09/14/2004 12:19:26 PM PDT by counterpunch (The CouNTeRPuNcH Collection - www.counterpunch.us)
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To: CV_Gas

I suspect he was a RAT in elephants clothing. Cleaned out death row by executive fiat. You'd think he was an activist judge or something.


15 posted on 09/14/2004 12:20:43 PM PDT by CV_Gas
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To: The Old Hoosier
"Darkens Just About Everywhere"..

Hoping for Dandy Don to pop out and sing at 9 PM on 11/2..."Turn out the lights..the party's over...!"

16 posted on 09/14/2004 12:21:43 PM PDT by WoodstockCat (DNC and John Kerry: Forgers R' Us)
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To: The Old Hoosier

Another thing I forgot to mention.
The author doesn't even mention Tom Daschle's re-election woes.


17 posted on 09/14/2004 12:21:58 PM PDT by counterpunch (The CouNTeRPuNcH Collection - www.counterpunch.us)
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To: princess leah
Barbara Murkowski - MD

Mikulski

18 posted on 09/14/2004 12:23:09 PM PDT by petercooper (All I wanted to know about Islam, I learned on 9-11-01.)
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To: The Old Hoosier
To have any chance of retaking the House, Democrats still need a wave to develop, and in this regard they remain better positioned than the Republicans to net seats in November. But a wave seems less likely today than it did four weeks ago, and honest Democrats (is there such a thing?) are no longer able to talk seriously about 218 seats.

Recent news has also worked to the disadvantage of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Awwwww......!!! Everyone give Stu a Big BOOooooo....Hoooooo.....welcome!

19 posted on 09/14/2004 12:23:26 PM PDT by thingumbob (Kerry/Edwards are Verry/Leftwards)
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To: counterpunch

Things are shaping up well. The cherry on top will be defeating Daschle.


20 posted on 09/14/2004 12:23:41 PM PDT by overwhelmedbylife
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To: The Old Hoosier

It's only going to get worse for the Dems.

For one thing, now that the AWB has expired, the massive NRA will be endorsing President Bush sometime in mid-October. The Dems have nothing to counter that endorsement. They've already got all the support from their groups that they are going to get.

The AWB Has Expired - Gun Owners Have Won Again For All Americans!

21 posted on 09/14/2004 12:24:48 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: counterpunch
Perfect Storm as an analogy? Nah. Better to use TITANIC. If the Kerry Campaign was the HMS TITANIC right now. We would be at the scene where the RATS are running down the hallway.
22 posted on 09/14/2004 12:27:53 PM PDT by TheShaz (Is this all they have?)
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To: CV_Gas
Are we going to get the sixty seats we need? Any suggestions out there?

Probably not but if so do you REALLY think that anything will change? There would be a couple of defections to ensure that TRUE conservative issues don't get passed. Let's say there were 65 pubbies. I doubt if much would change. Remember who's the puppetiers for these pols.

23 posted on 09/14/2004 12:28:38 PM PDT by Digger
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To: CV_Gas

If you need to know now, the Rs will finish with 54 Senate seats.


24 posted on 09/14/2004 12:31:34 PM PDT by The Old Hoosier (Right makes might.)
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To: The Old Hoosier
Jim Stork, the party's much ballyhooed recruit against Rep. Clay Shaw in Florida's 22nd district announces suddenly that he is putting his campaign on hold for health reasons.

Stork is an admitted homosexual. There is significant rumors as to his real "health reasons." (three guesses and the first two don't count)

There is also concern due to the recent furor over homosexual marriage and recent christian activists movement on that issue with a televangilist group out of Broward county.

Stork was theorized to bring in "homosexual dollars" which must have never materialized.
25 posted on 09/14/2004 12:31:52 PM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! NOV 2, 2004 is VETERANS DAY! VOTE!)
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To: princess leah

It's Barabara Mikulski from MD.


26 posted on 09/14/2004 12:32:48 PM PDT by YourAdHere (Ask me about my book.)
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To: princess leah

You left off McCain.


27 posted on 09/14/2004 12:34:30 PM PDT by RatSlayer
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To: TheShaz

Oooooooooooh...cool...when do you think that Kerry calling Clinton was the rockets being fired?


28 posted on 09/14/2004 12:37:01 PM PDT by republicanwizard
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To: Dont_Tread_On_Me_888

Spectur must go but only after we have a solid R majority. This will make the Rinos like specture expendable. Then can then "retire" next cycle in favor of a real conservative.


29 posted on 09/14/2004 12:37:21 PM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! NOV 2, 2004 is VETERANS DAY! VOTE!)
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To: The Old Hoosier
Only a few months ago, 2004 looked like it might be a surprisingly good year for the Democratic Party.

Where, exactly, did it look anything like that?DemocratWetDreamVille? PartisanBurg? RectalCraniumCoverLand? Democratic Underground?

I don't see that the outlook was ever sunny for the Dems.

30 posted on 09/14/2004 12:39:58 PM PDT by atomicpossum (If there are two Americas, John Edwards isn't qualified to lead either of them.)
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To: princess leah
Look for Jeb to take out Nelson in 2006. Bob "OCD" Graham is retiring and will hopefully be replaced by Mel Martinez.

Bill Jones is up against Boxer and is getting creamed in the polls.

31 posted on 09/14/2004 12:54:01 PM PDT by Clemenza (I LOVE Halliburton, SUVs and Assault Weapons. Any Questions?)
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To: atomicpossum
I don't see that the outlook was ever sunny for the Dems.

Reminds one of the 40 seats Gephardt said they might pick up in 2002, doesn't it.

32 posted on 09/14/2004 12:55:15 PM PDT by AndyTheBear
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To: petercooper

or lezzie babs as her friends call her


33 posted on 09/14/2004 1:01:34 PM PDT by Retired Navy Chief (retired Navy)
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To: centurion316
you're not going to find it all in one place for free.

Try FreeRepublic, it's very informative. Want to know about Nick Smith's district? Check out Dan from Michigan's posts! Etc.

34 posted on 09/14/2004 1:13:35 PM PDT by JohnnyZ ("The common man doesn't look at me as some rich witch." --Teresa Heinz Kerry)
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To: JohnnyZ

FreeRepublic? Never heard of it. Unfortunately, FR is spotty since it is dependent on the diligence of the Freepers to post what they find. Its also hard to find good info on House races in the MSM. For example, if you rely on the Kansas City Star for your information on Kansas City area races, you are going to be sadly misinformed, or dare I say, misled.


35 posted on 09/14/2004 1:26:53 PM PDT by centurion316 (Infantry, Queen of Battle)
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To: Clemenza

No chance of Boxer getting tossed?


36 posted on 09/14/2004 1:38:03 PM PDT by donozark (I fought at the Battle of Kimchi Ridge. The gas...the gas...it was HORRIBLE!)
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To: princess leah; Admin Moderator
Here let me list the names:

Are you lazy or what? Most of those senators are not up for election this year.

37 posted on 09/14/2004 1:39:10 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative (What's the frequency Kenneth?)
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To: centurion316

No mentions of NV, WI, and WA. I wish we had recruited better candidates for these seats? It is too bad that Gibbons, Thompson, and Dunn didn't run for these.


38 posted on 09/14/2004 1:40:45 PM PDT by Abram
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To: atomicpossum

In was in the MSM prayers to the gods of ratings. They make sacrifices of many virgins and made offerings to perform various acts of perversion in exchange for a race which would get them "face time" and adulation from the public.

(/s)


39 posted on 09/14/2004 1:41:09 PM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! NOV 2, 2004 is VETERANS DAY! VOTE!)
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To: donozark

NONE! Its California after all.


40 posted on 09/14/2004 1:41:18 PM PDT by Clemenza (I LOVE Halliburton, SUVs and Assault Weapons. Any Questions?)
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To: Abram

There is no reason why we should not have 65-70 seats in the Senate, except that the party has not done a good job of grooming and selecting good candidates who have the funds to run a winning state-wide campaign. The Democrats never seem to have this problem.


41 posted on 09/14/2004 1:58:15 PM PDT by centurion316 (Infantry, Queen of Battle)
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To: centurion316

That's right. In recent years, they've outdone us in recruitment. Among the strong potential candidates who have refused to serve their party by running for eminently winnable Democratic seats, just this year:

Former governor Tommy Thompson, Wisconsin
Governor Mike Huckabee, Arkansas
Governor Hoeven and former Governor Schaefer, N. Dak.
Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn, Washington
Congressman Jim Gibbons, Nevada
Congressman David Dreier, California

In addition, forrmer governors Jim Edgar and Jim Thompson
have refused to run for our vacant Illinois seat.

Thus, we will probably end up with just 54 seats in the
new Senate, if we're lucky. And dammit, we could have had
60. Once again, our "leadership" has failed us. I don't blame the NRSC. I blame the people who wouldn't take a chance.

And let's not forget Marc Racicot, who would undoubtedly have taken the Montana seat two years ago. He was rewarded with the chairmanship of the RNC.


42 posted on 09/14/2004 2:13:48 PM PDT by California Patriot (California Patriot)
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To: centurion316

I agree. FReepers with real knowledge of Senate and House races in their areas really should share it with us.

There isn't nearly enough of this.


43 posted on 09/14/2004 2:15:07 PM PDT by California Patriot (California Patriot)
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To: princess leah

"osama murray"... lol!


44 posted on 09/14/2004 2:28:46 PM PDT by Alia
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To: CV_Gas

Be of Good Cheer! I commisserate with you. However, better that money be used elsewhere; obviously the deck is more stacked on Dem side. yes?


45 posted on 09/14/2004 2:30:01 PM PDT by Alia
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To: centurion316
"who have the funds" - key phrase.

Dems have the money --they always do; and it isn't just from Heinz-Kerry types. In CA, the grants, the scholarships, the frivolous lawsuits, the ACLU "hunts for gold"; ad nauseum end up as "contributions" to their candidates or "issues" (PACS, referendums, initiatives, etc.).

Our taxpayer dollars have been funding "the funds" to elect Dems. We need to re-elect George Bush to halt these "special cash fund" legislations (frivolous lawsuits [tort reform]) so this Democrat Party "public" draining of the working man's earnings can be stopped.. and the American Taxpayer can have REAL choices.

46 posted on 09/14/2004 2:35:09 PM PDT by Alia
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To: Alia

Good point. The Democrats have been very cleaver finding ways for Republicans to pay for the election of Democrats.


47 posted on 09/14/2004 5:58:16 PM PDT by centurion316 (Infantry, Queen of Battle)
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To: centurion316

.... and abusing them at the same time. "Domestic Violence" ya know...


48 posted on 09/14/2004 7:27:35 PM PDT by Alia
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To: donozark
No chance of Boxer getting tossed?

Zippo. I've lived here for a year now (Fresno) and I've nver seen such a collection of brain-dead idiots in my life. These fools think that no one has to work...all benefits come from the government (which only taxes other people) and there will be paradise unending coming from Sacramento.

49 posted on 09/14/2004 7:34:45 PM PDT by stboz
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