Following the death of New Jersey Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg on Monday, Tuesday's NBC Today immediately began speculating on his replacement and the potential fallout for Chris Christie, with co-host Matt Lauer announcing it to be a "dilemma" and "political hot potato" for the Republican governor. The headline on screen read: "Lautenberg Seat Poses Political Problem." [Watch the video after the jump]

Lauer proclaimed: "I think the New York Times summed it up pretty well...Normally a governor would love to have this opportunity...but there's a lot of personal political risk for Chris Christie." Political director Chuck Todd agreed: "There is...any time you introduce a new factor into all of this, is always unsettling. Chris Christie is on the verge of getting a whole bunch of bipartisan support, Democrats crossing the aisle...So this is now actually a lot trickier than it should be."



Ira Stoll of FutureofCapitalism.com has a great piece over at TIME magazine's website which makes an interesting observation about the late U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), who died from complications from viral pneumonia this morning.

In his 30 years prior to first entering the Senate, Lautenberg made a fortune with a company that is now called Automatic Data Processing, Inc. or ADP. Along with Paychex, ADP is one of the nation's top payroll contract firms. Although Stoll didn't quite put it this way, it seems Lautenberg's fortune earned at ADP was made in no small part possible by the mind-numbing complexity of the U.S. tax code which drove millions of businesses to pay ADP to take care of the hassle for them:



Apparently being a liberal is cool nowadays, at least in Chuck Todd's view.

On Monday NBC's chief White House correspondent and host of MSNBC's The Daily Rundown eulogized longtime Democratic New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg as a groundbreaker who advanced liberal ideas like gun control long before it was "cool" to be for them.



Yesterday, Sen. Max Baucus announced that he is retiring in 2014, making the six-term Montana Democrat the sixth senator of his party to step down two years from now instead of running for re-election.

That statistic alarmed Rachel Maddow, the liberal host of a weeknight program on MSNBC, who asked anxiously on Tuesday: “Tell us if something is wrong there. What is the secret about this place that has you fleeing like rats from a sinking ship?”



New Jersey Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg, 89, announced today that he will retire in two years at the end of his term. President Obama predictably praised him as a "steadfast champion of the people of New Jersey."

Well, not all of the people of New Jersey. In March 2011, Lautenberg spoke at a pro-Planned Parenthood rally in Englewood. In a statement the establishment press steadfastly ignored, Lautenberg, responding to vocal pro-life protesters, said the following (video still present at LifeNews.com; bolds are mine throughout this post):



On Friday, Steven Ertelt at Life News, with video backup provided by prolife protesters who were on hand, relayed something New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg said at a pro-Planned Parenthood rally in Englewood, New Jersey in response to the protesters:

They want other people not to be able to have their own opinions. These people (referring to the pro-life advocates) don’t deserve the freedoms in the Constitution, but we’ll give it to them anyway.

So how did the establishment press cover Lautenberg's tyranny-supportive remarks?



CNN indicated its sympathy for gun control on Tuesday with two segments on The Situation Room where sound bites from gun control supporters outnumbered gun rights supporters by a three-to-one margin. During the first report, correspondent Dana Bash stated that Senator Patrick Leahy "supports gun rights," even though the Democrat actually has the opposite record on the issue.

The previous evening, during the 9 pm Eastern hour of Monday's Anderson Cooper 360, the network's senior political analyst, David Gergen, indicated that he supported stricter gun control, in the wake of the attempted assassination on Representative Gabrielle Giffords, during a segment with Tea Party activist Dana Loesch.

GERGEN: ...How is it possible that someone who is this unhinged, when so many people understood that he was in mental deterioration, that he could still walk into a gun store and buy- you know, 9 mm semiautomatic Glock handgun, and also, then carry it concealed? I mean that's- if there's some cultural insanity here, it is the fact that we haven't put a stop to the capacity of these deranged young people to buy guns and then spray at people. It's just unbelievable.



In a political season in which Barack Obama has delighted in playing the age card—see "lost his bearings," "wander around," and multiple mentions of McCain's "half-century of service," Democrats are now demonstrating that they're even willing to use an opponent's superannuation on each other.

There I was in my upstate NY home this evening, innocently watching the Yankee game, when this ad by Dem Rob Andrews, targeting primary opponent Dem Frank Lautenberg, the–very–senior senator from New Jersey, appeared . . .

View video here.