These are my links for August 14th through August 15th:
- Poll Watch: U.S. Satisfaction Levels Remain Depressed– Twenty-three percent of Americans say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the United States, with 75% dissatisfied. That is the same as the average for 2012 to date, and indicates that last month’s slightly higher 28% satisfaction rating was not the beginning of sustained improvement.The current level of satisfaction could put President Barack Obama’s re-election in jeopardy. Satisfaction is now similar to what it was in early August 1992 (17%), prior to George H.W. Bush’s re-election defeat. It is significantly lower than what it was in mid-August 1996 (38%) and mid-August 2004 (44%), years in which incumbents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, respectively, were re-elected.Gallup does not have August estimates of satisfaction in earlier incumbent re-election years. However, during 1984, satisfaction was generally near 50% when Ronald Reagan was re-elected. Gallup did not ask satisfaction at all in 1980 — the year in which Jimmy Carter was defeated — but it is probably safe to assume it was low, given a reading of 19% in November 1979 and 17% in January 1981.
- Poll Watch: Ryan Pick Has Little Impact On The Voters Thus Far – So far, Mitt Romney’s announcement that Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan will be his vice-presidential running mate has helped the Republican presidential candidate little in his contest against President Barack Obama: in last week’s Economist/YouGov Poll, Romney and the incumbent were a point apart as the choice of registered voters. This week the President leads Romney by three points, 47% to 44%.
- A Romney first: over 40% of youth vote back him– For the first time since he began running for president, Republican Mitt Romney has the support of over 40 percent of America’s youth vote, a troubling sign for President Obama who built his 2008 victory with the overwhelming support of younger, idealistic voters.Pollster John Zogby of JZ Analytics told Secrets Tuesday that Romney received 41 percent in his weekend poll of 1,117 likely voters, for the first time crossing the 40 percent mark. What’s more, he said that Romney is the only Republican of those who competed in the primaries to score so high among 18-29 year olds.”This is the first time I am seeing Romney’s numbers this high among 18-29 year olds,” said Zogby. “This could be trouble for Obama who needs every young voter he can get.”Zogby helped Secrets dig deeper into his weekend poll, which we reported on earlier. The poll had Romney and Obama tied at 46 percent.
- Obama 2016? – What if 2012 Isn’t Obama’s Last Campaign?– What if 2012 Isn’t Obama’s Last Campaign?Picture it: It’s December, and folks like you and I are celebrating the recent presidential campaign victory of Mitt Romney. It wasn’t a landslide; something on par with the Electoral College map of Bush vs. Kerry, and Romney winning the popular vote by two or three percentage points.In that scenario, do you envision President Obama accepting defeat gracefully? Do you picture him congratulating President Romney on his victory, and pledging to do everything possible to ensure a smooth transition? Do you think the president will be ready to move on to post-White House life, focusing upon memoir-writing, building his presidential library, some charitable and foundation work, and plenty of golf?Or do you think President Obama, and David Axelrod, and Valerie Jarrett and all of the true believers will find some reason to believe the result is illegitimate? Some combination of SuperPAC spending and voter ID laws that they believe nullifies the results? I don’t mean a constitutional crisis where Obama refuses to recognize the results, I mean just a narrative of “Romney cheated” that will reassure liberals that their views really are popular, and a return to the natural order of their eternal string of victories is one election-law change away. (In liberals’ view of the world, they never suffer a legitimate defeat.)
Seeing that rotund, irate Iowa woman storm the stage at the state fair to berate Paul Ryan, I can’t help but suspect we’ll see a lot of lefty rage in response to a Romney victory. Romney, Ryan, Speaker Boehner and Majority/Minority Leader McConnell will have a full plate, and they may see Wisconsin-style protests on a national scale. Occupy Wall Street may not be completely deflated; a “stolen election” makes a heck of a rallying cry.
If there’s anything we’ve seen, it’s that President Obama loves to campaign – to hold fundraisers, to attend rallies, to attend ‘town meetings’ where the questioners mostly ask why people aren’t smart enough to see how great he is. In January 2013, former President Obama would find himself with a lot of time to do all that.
- John C. Goodman: Why the Doctor Can’t See You– Are you having trouble finding a doctor who will see you? If not, give it another year and a half. A doctor shortage is on its way.Most provisions of the Obama health law kick in on Jan. 1, 2014. Within the decade after that, an additional 30 million people are expected to acquire health plans—and if the economic studies are correct, they will try to double their use of the health-care system.Meanwhile, the administration never seems to tire of reminding seniors that they are entitled to a free annual checkup. Its new campaign is focused on women. Thanks to health reform, they are being told, they will have access to free breast and pelvic exams and even free contraceptives. Once ObamaCare fully takes effect, all of us will be entitled to a long list of preventive services—with no deductible or copayment.
- How the Presidential Candidates Use the Web and Social Media– A new study of how the campaigns are using digital tools to talk directly with voters-bypassing the filter of traditional media-finds that the Obama campaign posted nearly four times as much content as the Romney campaign and was active on nearly twice as many platforms.  Obama’s digital content also engendered more response from the public-twice the number of shares, views and comments of his posts.Just as John McCain’s campaign did four years ago, Romney’s campaign has taken steps over the summer to close the digital gap-and now with the announcement of the Romney-Ryan ticket made via the Romney campaign app may take more. The Obama campaign, in turn, has tried to adapt by recently redesigning its website.These are among the findings of a detailed study of the websites of the two campaigns as well as their postings on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube-and the public reaction to that content-conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.
- Romney’s right: Obamacare cuts Medicare by $716 billion. Here’s how.– The Romney campaign has gone on the offense on Medicare, charging that the Affordable Care Act “cuts $716 billion” from the entitlement program.That $716 billion figure is one you’ll probably be hearing a lot about during this election cycle. It’s worth understanding where it comes from and what the spending reductions mean for the Medicare program.First, where it comes from. On July 24, the Congressional Budget Office sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, detailing the budget impact of repealing the Affordable Care Act. If Congress overturned the law, “spending for Medicare would increase by an estimated $716 billion over that 2013–2022 period.”As to how the Affordable Care Act actually gets to $716 billion in Medicare savings, that’s a bit more complicated. John McDonough did the best job explaining it in his 2011 book, “Inside National Health Reform.” There, he looked at all the various Medicare cuts Democrats made to pay for the Affordable Care Act.
The majority of the cuts, as you can see in this chart below, come from reductions in how much Medicare reimburses hospitals and private health insurance companies.
- Immigration Reform: Immigration Service Expects Flood of Applications from Youths– Immigration authorities are bracing for a deluge of applications starting Wednesday when more than 1.2 million young illegal immigrants who were brought to America as children can seek to legally stay and work in the country under President Obama’s most ambitious immigration initiative.Even before the first request is filed, critics and advocates alike are warning of potential budget shortfalls and a logjam of paperwork that could mar the program, delay processing and facilitate fraud.
- Bowles: ‘I’m not going to act like I don’t like’ Ryan– Erskine Bowles is not backing away from his previous praise of Rep. Paul Ryan now that the Wisconsin congressman is on the Republican presidential ticket.“I like him,” Bowles, the former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and co-chairperson of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, told The Daily Caller in a phone interview.“I think he’s smart. I think he’s intellectually curious. I think he is honest, straightforward and sincere. And I think he does have a serious budget out there — it doesn’t mean I agree with it by any stretch of the imagination. But I’m not going to act like I don’t like him or that I don’t have some real respect for him.”Bowles, who along with former Republican Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson chaired a presidential commission that ultimately released a budget proposal to fix America’s long-term budget crisis, says that though he has disagreements with some aspects of Ryan’s budget, he believes they can be overcome.
“You know, there’s a reason he didn’t vote for our budget, and there’s a reason that, I know, that I have some disagreements with his budget,” Bowles said.
“But it doesn’t mean we couldn’t find a way to, you know, have principled compromise that would, you know, that would address this horrendous problem that we face with these deficits.”
- Eric Holder’s uphill battle: Huge public support for voter ID– While the Obama Justice Department, led by Attorney General Eric Holder, uses its authority to block some state voter ID laws (Texas), and investigate others (Pennsylvania), a newly-released poll shows overwhelming public support for laws requiring voters to present identification before casting a ballot. That support crosses party lines, racial lines, economic lines, educational lines, and just about every other line in the electorate at large.In the survey, the Washington Post asked, “In your view, should voters in the United States be required to show official, government-issued photo identification — such as a driver’s license — when they cast ballots on election day, or shouldn’t they have to do this?” Among all adults, 74 percent said voters should present ID, versus 23 percent who said they should not. Among registered voters, the numbers were 75 percent to 23 percent.
- NationalJournal.com – Romney Ad Mocks Obama on ‘¡Sí Se Puede!’ – Wednesday, August 15, 2012– A new ad from Mitt Romney’s campaign targeting Latinos mocks President Obama’s Spanish interpretation of “Yes, we can!” — his famous rallying cry from the 2008 campaign.The ad begins with video of then-Sen. Obama declaring “¡Sí se puede!” but quickly dissolves to a picture of a stern-looking young man, accompanied by text in Spanish asking, “Can we?” The ad then notes that “50% of Graduates Cannot Find Work,” a claim based on an Associated Press article about recent college graduates.The ad notes that 10 percent of all Hispanics are unemployed and that poverty levels among that demographic have risen since Obama took office.A narrator asks: “Can we allow for Democrats to continue fooling us?”
It ends thus: “When Obama and his Democrat allies tell us…” – cut to Obama saying “Yes we can” again – “…we’ve got to tell them we no longer can.”
- Ex-worker sues Disney; says forbids Muslim head scarf– A former Disneyland restaurant employee sued Walt Disney Co on Monday for harassment and religious discrimination, saying she was fired because she wanted to wear a Muslim head scarf at work.Imane Boudlal, a 28-year-old Muslim, worked as a hostess at the Storytellers Cafe, a restaurant inside Disney’s Grand California Hotel & Spa at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, according to a complaint filed in federal court.Two years into the job, Boudlal asked permission to wear a hijab, a head scarf worn by Muslim women, while at work. She said she offered to wear a scarf that matched the colours of her uniform or featured a Disney logo.According to her lawsuit, Disney managers denied her request, saying it would violate the company’s policy for how employees “look” while on the job. Among the restrictions, the policy prohibits visible tattoos and fingernails that exceed a quarter of an inch, the lawsuit said.
Boudlal said she was given the choice of working in a back area, away from customers, or wearing a fedora-style hat on top of her head scarf. When Boudlal refused, she was fired, the lawsuit states.
- Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson wins GOP nomination for Senate seat– Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson has won the Republican nomination for a U.S. Senate seat the party is trying to capture for the first time in more than five decades.The ex-governor and Health and Human Services secretary under President George W. Bush defeated three GOP rivals during Tuesday’s primary.It marked Thompson’s first time on the ballot since 1998. He advances to face Democrat Tammy Baldwin in the Nov. 6 election.The seat became open following the retirement of Democrat Herb Kohl.
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-08-15 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-08-15 #tcot
- Florida Rep. Stearns trailing local vet in Republican primary – The Hill’s Ballot Box – RT @thehill: Rep. Cliff Stearns trailing local vet in Florida House GOP primary (by @ajjaffe)
- Thompson wins Republican Senate nomination in Wisconsin – RT @TheFix: Tommy Thompson and the GOP establishment win a big one in Wisconsin. Our story by @FixSean is here: #tcot
- Video: Romney Goes on the Attack to “Save Medicare” from ObamaCare – Video: Romney Goes on the Attack to “Save Medicare” from ObamaCare #tcot
- Romney Wants Obama to Disavow Biden’s ‘They’re Going to Put Y’all Back in Chains’ – Romney Wants Obama to Disavow Biden’s ‘They’re Going to Put Y’all Back in Chains’ #tcot
- Video: Obama: When I Ate Dog – But Not Seamus– Earlier today, “President Barack Obama gave Mitt Romney a rare needling over the Republican candidate’s now infamous decision to put the family dog, Seamus, in a carrier and strap it to the roof of the car during a road trip to Canada,” the Wall Street Journal reported.But, considering his own history, it’s perhaps an odd joke for Obama to make.
- Biden tells Va. supporters that Romney would put blacks ‘back in chains’ – Washington Times – Biden tells Va. supporters that Romney would put blacks ‘back in chains’ – Romney responds #tcot
- Jie Biden Video: ‘They’re going to put y’all back in chains’ – Joe Biden Video: ‘They’re going to put y’all back in chains’ #tcot
- Obama up slightly in Ohio – Public Policy Polling – President 2012 Ohio PPP poll (Dem): Obama Up by 3 Points (48-45) but approval is 46% #tcot
- Flap’s California Morning Collection: August 14, 2012 – Flap’s California Morning Collection: August 14, 2012
- Flashback Video: Ryan, Obama, Medicare and ObamaCare – Flap’s Blog – Flashback Video: Ryan, Obama, Medicare and ObamaCare #tcot
- The Morning Flap: August 14, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: August 14, 2012 #tcot
- Newt Gingrich Tells Piers Morgan ‘You Guys Almost Sound Like You’re An Extension of the Obama Campaign’ | NewsBusters.org – Newt Gingrich Tells Piers Morgan ‘You Guys Almost Sound Like You’re An Extension of the Obama Campaign’ #tcot