Archive for November 28th, 2012
The President went on a PR offensive with his tweet and hashtag this morning.
And, conservatives have gone on the offensive.
The White House’s ‘My2k’ hashtag campaign is a success on Twitter, trending nationally on Wednesday and stirring up debate over the upcoming tax rate deadline. But conservatives are fighting back, appropriating the hashtag and arguing their side of the debate.
The #My2k hashtag began trending nationwide on Twitter on Wednesday morning when senior members of the administration — in a coordinated effort — began tweeting about the hashtag campaign. Use surged anew after President Obama’s speech about extending middle-class tax rates, when he urged supporters to call, write, tweet at and post on the Facebook walls of their members of Congress.
But, all Speaker Boehner and the House GOP leadership have to do is pass a bill.
As I said before.
Pass an extension of the Social Security payroll tax cut and block its automatic rise from 4.2 percent of wages to 6.2 percent. To raise that tax now and scoop off the discretionary income of most of America’s families in this anemic economy makes no sense economically or politically.
The House should then vote to extend the Bush tax cuts for another year, with a pledge to do tax reform — lowering tax rates in return for culling, cutting or capping deductions for the well-to-do in the new year.
Then let Harry Reid work his will. If the Senate votes to let Social Security taxes rise, let Harry and his party explain this to the middle class that gets hammered in January. If the Senate votes to let the Bush tax cuts lapse for those over $200,000, decide in the caucus whether to negotiate — or to go home for Christmas and New Year’s.
As for the automatic sequester that would impose $100 billion in cuts next year, half in defense, do nothing. Let it take effect. The budget has to be cut, and while these cuts are heavy on defense, the depth and mixture can be adjusted in the new year.
There you go – very expedient.
But, so far, Speaker Boehner appears to be tone deaf – even from members of his own party, like Rep. Tom Cole.
Plus, Obama’s effort is actually funny:
Tags: Barack Obama
, Fiscal Cliff
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These are my links for November 27th through November 28th:
Going to be brutal and hopefully frank.
- Looking Forward to the 2012 Las Vegas Half Marathon – Looking Forward to the 2012 Las Vegas Half Marathon
- Obama public relations effort aims to avoid ‘fiscal cliff’ – Symbolism Over Substance- The White House signaled Tuesday that it will try to marshal the momentum from President Obama’s reelection triumph into another victory at the negotiating table, launching a full-fledged public relations effort to avoid a “fiscal cliff” that could jolt the nation back toward recession.Administration officials said Obama will hit the road this week for a campaign-style series of events with ordinary Americans, including a visit to a toy manufacturer in suburban Philadelphia on Friday. That trip and others will be aimed at increasing pressure on Congress to reach an agreement on heading off a series of automatic spending cuts and tax increases that are scheduled to begin in January
Symbolism over substance
- Erick Erickson considering challenge to Chambliss- Popular conservative blogger and radio personality Erick Erickson said Tuesday he was considering a primary challenge to Sen. Saxby Chambliss after a host of political bigs had approached him about staging a bid of his own in the days since the incumbent broke with a vaulted no-taxes pledge.“For a week now, I’ve been getting calls to see if I would challenge Saxby Chambliss, once he really got into the whole ‘raising taxes issue,’” Erickson said in the opening segment of his radio show Tuesday. “Well, the pace quickened. I got a lot of people pledging a lot of money in the last couple of days if I did something like this. And I’ve been very adamant, I wasn’t going to do it, but after a few conversations today with a few heavy hitters in Washington, D.C. and some here in Georgia, I should at least consider it.”Erickson, a CNN political contributor and editor-in-chief of conservative haunt RedState, added he was “very flattered” and was in “prayerful consideration” about waging a possible challenge to the two-term Chambliss.Erickson was a one-term city councilman in Macon, Georgia, but resigned when his work–a radio show, television gig and editorship of highly-trafficked blog–became too great to shoulder in tandem with his public service.————-
A credible campaign against an incumbent U.S. Senator?
Going to be tough.
- Obama sells budget plan to middle class, biz leaders- For President Obama, it’s another day of focus on the “fiscal cliff.”Selling his plan to reduce the federal debt in part by raising taxes on the wealthy, Obama meets Wednesday with selected members of the middle class and the business community.Obama will speak during the event with middle class Americans, some of whom responded to an e-mail solicitation from the White House on the looming “fiscal cliff” — a package of tax hikes and budget cuts that kick in if the White House and Congress can’t strike a deal to reduce a federal debt that now tops $16 trillion.Later Wednesday, Obama and Vice President Biden meet with business leaders to “discuss the actions we need to take to keep our economy growing and find a balanced approach to reduce our deficit.”These are the latest steps in an all-out political blitz to sell Obama’s budget plans. On Friday, the president is scheduled to visit a Pennsylvania business — a toy factory near Philadelphia — to discuss the impact of the fiscal cliff.
Obama thinks he is still campaigning.
America would be better off meeting with the House GOP leaders and cutting a deal.
- After Close Election, Dems Look Like Sore Winners or Why Ken Burns is a Jerk- Post-election season is a time for healing, for putting aside the rancor of a long campaign and rediscovering what unites us. It has not been that way this year.Prudence, one would think, if not generosity of spirit, should impel Democrats to be magnanimous in victory. Romney did receive about 48 percent of the vote. A little modesty among the winners would seem to be in order.Instead, the gloating has been extravagant. Worse, liberals have gorged themselves on the same junk food they enjoyed during the campaign and cannot seem to resist under any circumstances — slandering their opponents. The smears are so casual and commonplace that we become weary of responding. But we must protest, or someone new to politics may assume that we concede the point.Appearing on “Meet the Press”, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns attributed conservative unhappiness with the election to racism. “Race is always there in America,” Burns opined. “It’s always something we don’t want to talk about. Do you think we’d have a secession movement — a faddish movement — if this president wasn’t [sic] African-American? Do you think the vitriol that came out of some elements of the tea party?”Ken Burns is a fine filmmaker. I met him once, and I found him to be engaging and amiable. It’s painful to see him descend to this kind of defamation. Some disappointed Republicans are talking secession in Texas and elsewhere. This is proof of racism? Is this the standard of evidence Burns employs for his films?
- Fiction, Poetry and Nonfiction Selected by The New York Times Book Review – NYTimes.com – Untitled (… #tcot
- Union Leaders Blanket the Hill to Lobby on Taxes, Entitlements – What a surprise RT @nationaljournal Union leaders blanket the Hill to lobby on taxes, entitlements.
- Obamacare’s Rationers Employ The “It’s Good For You” Defense- Obamacare’s backers have a plan to justify their attempts to ration medicine — by saying that it’s good for you.Through 2019, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — otherwise known as Obamacare — will allocate some $3.5 billion toward “Comparative Effectiveness Research,” or CER, which pits drug versus drug in tests intended to determine which treatments work best.CER advocates say that it’s designed to correct a “market failure.” Right now, they argue, drug firms need not demonstrate that their product is better than those already on the market — only that it is effective at treating the disease it targets. Drug companies have little incentive to compare their products to those made by other firms — as they may not come out on top.CER sounds innocuous enough. Who could be against research to help doctors make more informed decisions?But the truth is that CER is nothing more than a backdoor route to healthcare rationing. Such research will almost certainly be used to not-so-subtly influence treatment decisions.
- Retailers confident online sales tax has votes to pass- Retail groups are increasingly confident that they have the votes to pass a federal online sales tax in the final weeks of the 112th Congress if they can secure time on the legislative calendar.With less than five weeks to go in the year, supporters are concentrating most of their efforts on the Senate, where a measure giving states greater latitude to collect sales taxes from online purchases has a powerful backer in Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).At the same time, retail groups acknowledge that the talks over looming spending cuts and tax hikes could get acrimonious, and that Democrats and Republicans might have little appetite to deal with other measures if their negotiations run deep into December.“I think this is a question of can we get a vote, not if it can pass,” said Jason Brewer, a spokesman for the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). “We feel confident about the vote count, but there’s also not a lot of time to push this across the finish line.”“When you end up with a major political situation like the ‘fiscal cliff,’ that overrides everything,” Rachelle Bernstein, tax counsel at the National Retail Federation, told The Hill. “I think we feel that we have a good piece of legislation pulled together, with lots of support. But there’s a decent chance politics could derail it.”
- Tom Cole: Join with President Obama on quick deal- Republican Rep. Tom Cole urged colleagues in a private session Tuesday to vote to extend the Bush tax rates for all but the highest earners before the end of the year — and to battle over the rest later.The Oklahoma Republican said in an interview with POLITICO that he believes such a vote would not violate Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge and that he’s not alone within Republican circles.
- Poll Watch: Taxing the rich remains popular – Poll Watch: Taxing the rich remains popular #tcot
- Hope and Exchange – The Feds Blame the States Over ObamaCare- ObamaCare is due to land in a mere 10 months—about 300 days—and the Administration is not even close to ready, so naturally the political and media classes are attacking the Governors and state legislators who decline to help out. Mostly Republicans, they’re facing a torrent of abuse in Washington and pressure from health lobbies at home.But the real story is that Democrats are reaping the GOP buy-in they earned. Liberals wanted government to re-engineer the entire health-care system and rammed the Affordable Care Act through on a party-line vote, not stopping to wonder whether it would work. Now that implementation is proving to be harder than advertised, they’re blaming the states for not making their jobs easier.
- ‘I want you to leave me alone:’ Gennifer Flowers claims Bill Clinton tried contacting her as recently as 2005 – NY Daily News – Dog! | RT @ByronYork Gennifer Flowers tells NO TV station Bill Clinton called her, wanted to get together, in 2005…
- Sen. Charles Schumer says Republicans want ‘divorce’ from Grover Norquist – Katie Glueck – POLITICO.com – Nice try Chuckie | RT @politico Sen. Charles Schumer says Republicans want ‘divorce’ from Grover Norquist:
- Bolling to drop bid for Virginia governorship – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs – RT @HotlineReid VA GOV: Bill Bolling drops bid, setting up McAuliffe-Cuccinelli showdown next year
- Senate Dems divided over cuts to benefit programs- Deep divisions among Senate Democrats over whether cuts to popular benefit programs like Medicare and Medicaid should be part of a plan to slow the government’s mushrooming debt pose a big obstacle to a deal for avoiding a potentially economy-crushing “fiscal cliff,” even if Republicans agree to raise taxes.Much of the focus during negotiations seeking an alternative to $671 billion in automatic tax increases and spending cuts beginning in January has centered on whether Republicans would agree to raising taxes on the wealthy. President Barack Obama has insisted repeatedly that tax increases on the wealthy must be part of any deal, even as White House officials concede that government benefit programs will have to be in the package too.”It is the president’s position that when we’re talking about a broad, balanced approach to dealing with our fiscal challenges, that that includes dealing with entitlements,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday.
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-27 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-27
- Watch What Warren Buffett Does, Not What He Says- That last point is key: When taxes change, would-be investors will certainly change their decisions about where to direct capital, even “though the companies’ operating economics will not have changed adversely at all.” Buffett saw this clearly in 1986, with respect to Berkshire’s own investment decisions; it’s hard to believe that Buffett no longer believes that today, with respect to private investors.Now, none of this is to say that the capital-allocation effects of tax changes ultimately require the nation to forego tax reforms that would increase certain tax revenues. But it certainly is one consideration that must be kept in mind. When Buffett and others simply assert that tax increases don’t affect investment decisions, they’re whistling past the graveyard.
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-27 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-27
- CBS News: Rift Opening Between Obama And Liberals Over Fiscal Cliff – YouTube – RT @PounderFile: VIDEO: CBS News: Rift Opening Between Obama And Liberal Democrats Over Fiscal Cliff
- Image Problem – Republicans have a shot at improving their luck at the polls in 2014, but first they have to find a way to boost their brand appeal- Of the 13 Republican-held seats up in 2014, only one is in a state that Obama carried: Susan Collins in Maine. Indeed, Obama wasn’t even close in any GOP-held seats in other states. Other than Maine, the best Obama performances were minus 13 points in Alabama (Jeff Sessions), minus eight in Georgia (Saxby Chambliss), minus 12 in Mississippi (Thad Cochran), and minus 12 in South Carolina (Lindsey Graham). The other states ranged from minus 16 in Texas (John Cornyn) to minus 32 in Idaho (James Risch) and minus 34 in Oklahoma (James Inhofe).Conversely, Democrats have three seats up in 2014 in states that Obama lost by more than 15 points: minus 17 points in Louisiana (Mary Landrieu), minus 24 in Arkansas (Mark Pryor), and minus 27 in West Virginia (Jay Rockefeller). It should be noted that six-term Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., announced her candidacy on Monday at the State Capitol in Charleston.In three more 2014 Democratic Senate states, Obama lost by at least five but less than 15 points: minus 11 in South Dakota (Tim Johnson) and minus 13 in both Alaska (Mark Begich) and Montana (Max Baucus). Former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds started an exploratory committee in September and is expected to challenge Johnson.There are three more 2014 Democratic Senate seats up in swing states, defined as such due to 2012 margins of five points or less: Obama minus two in North Carolina (Kay Hagan), plus three in Virginia (Mark Warner), and plus five in Colorado (Mark Udall).That’s nine Democratic seats that are either in demonstrably swing states or in enemy territory. This also does not take into account some states that were on the bubble: Obama won Iowa (Tom Harkin) and New Hampshire (Jeanne Shaheen) by just six points each.
The remarkable thing about Senate Democrats in 2012 was their ability to go on the offensive while, by necessity, playing defense. That will be much more difficult to replicate in 2014 given the seats up that cycle.
- Amazon.com to build third California distribution center- Internet retailer Amazon.com — after years of avoiding having any physical presence in California — is planning to open a third massive distribution center in the Golden State.The new operation is in Tracy, a distant bedroom community for the San Francisco Bay Area south of Sacramento. The facility will be only about 30 miles from a second Amazon center being built in Patterson to the south.Last month, the Seattle company cut the ribbon on a 950,000-square-foot facility in the city of San Bernardino, which started filling orders before the holiday shopping season.
- The Fiscal Cliff Is A Sideshow: It’s The Economy, Not The Budget, Stupid- Recently, using the comforting, measured and boring tones perfected by Alan Greenspan, Chairman Bernanke in a speech to the New York Economic Club observed that the best of the policy options open to us might lead us back to our economic potential by 2018. Apart from the idea that we can’t have our economy back for maybe six more years, at least three things in his speech are cause for profound worry no matter how analgesic the language is meant to sound.The presidential campaign drove the first and most serious point home. No one seems to have any sense of urgency regarding growth. The “guild” economists who advised both sides focused more on blaming various actors for why the recession won’t end rather than showing any sense of the profound costs of what a lost decade of growth means to America. President Obama’s “George did it” narrative met Mitt Romney’s mantra of “Obama doesn’t know anything about business.” Romney’s feint at growth sure sounded more like “I can manage better.”
- Red State’s Erick Erickson mulls Chambliss challenge- In a 900-word indictment of Sen. Saxby Chambliss, RedState editor and CNN contributor Erick Erickson described the Georgia Republican Tuesday as “waffling around like a dog off its leash for the first time.”Referring to Chambliss’s recent comment that he is more worried about the fiscal cliff than adhering to his anti-tax pledge, Erickson wrote:Everyone knows that Saxby meant he was happy to raise taxes. Now, under pressure back home, he is waffling. He covets his seat in Washington and is fearful of being primaries. Georgia has primary run-offs, whichs means he can be taken out. He cannot bring himself to say he wants to raise revenue through changing in the tax code that will cause taxes to go up, so he dances around. Behind the scenes, we all know he will work to structure a proposal that increases taxes on Americans, but he’ll cleverly make sure there are enough votes so he can vote against it. He is active and has been actively complicit with Mark Warner (D, VA) and others on raising taxes.
- Video: When the Democrats Loved the Filibuster – Flap’s Blog – Video: When the Democrats Loved the Filibuster #tcot
- Untitled (http://www.amazon.com/) – Christmas Shopping Bleg: If you are doing any shopping through how aboutclicking through ? Thanks!
- Day By Day November 27, 2012 – Hassle – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day November 27, 2012 – Hassle #tcot
- Political Cartoons / California Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown is a leader for the ages…..Dark Ages…. – California Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown is a leader for the ages…..Dark Ages….
- Bankrupt San Bernardino cuts $26 million, tries to stay afloat- Saying it had little choice, the San Bernardino City Council voted to cut $26 million in spending in an effort to keep the bankrupt city from dissolving and being governed by the county.The city is already in bankruptcy proceedings and facing a $45.8-million budget shortfall. The $26 million in cuts will help the troubled city stay afloat.The austerity plan is a required step in the federal bankruptcy process. It freezes vacancies in the Police Department even as the city deals with an increase in violent crime. The Fire Department’s overtime budget also was slashed by 35%.
- President 2012: The New Electoral Math, and What It Means for Polling- The exit pollsters asked which was the most important candidate quality – vision for the future (29%), shares my values (27%), cares about people like me (21%), and strong leader (18%).Mitt Romney won three of the four qualities. Voters who selected vision opted for Romney 54%-45%. Those who picked values preferred Romney 55%-42%. Voters focused on strong leadership opted for Romney 61%-38%. Romney lost 18%-81% among voters who said “cares about people like me” to Barack Obama.Thus, Romney controlled leadership, vision, and values, yet still lost, because he got blown out on the empathy dimension. This may well have been the first Presidential election where the winner on leadership lost the election anyhow. Prior to the election, if you had said that Romney would win among the 74% of voters choosing those three qualities and would still lose overall, you would not have been believed.Also, asked which of four was the most important issue, an overwhelming 59% picked the economy. Romney won those voters 51%-47%. Thus, he won the most important issue, but still lost the election.But the demographics are even more concerning for the GOP down the road. Here are some of the stunning demographic findings from the exit polls about the Presidential election:
- Mitt Romney won Independents by five points. That’s better than George W. Bush in 2004 by six net points (see more on that below).
- Mitt Romney won middle income voters ($50-100k) by six points. George W. Bush won them by twelve points in 2004, but there were far fewer voters earning more than $100k in the 2004 election (18%) than in 2012 (28%).
- Mitt Romney won white women by 56%-42% (the “war on women” is overstated; Romney got crushed with minority women but a fourteen point win is not exactly a decisive defeat with white women).
- George W. Bush won white women by eleven points in 2004, a net three points weaker than Romney.
- Mitt Romney won white voters by 59%-39%, which is better than George W. Bush in 2004 by three net points.
- Mitt Romney won voters age 40+ by five points. There is no direct comparison to Bush in 2004, but Bush did win voters 45+ by five points.
So, Romney won many of the groups that are generally considered to be the ones to decide elections – Independents, white women (by double digits), middle income, and voters age 40+. Mitt Romney put together a coalition that just eight years ago would have won the presidential election (hence the data comparisons to George W. Bush). However, instead of whites being 77% of the electorate, they were 72% of the electorate. Instead of Republicans and Democrats being equal, Democrats far outnumbered Republicans, and washed out Romney’s advantage among Independents. Bush kept it close with younger voters (under age 40), while Obama won them decisively.
- Why Republicans should have won the election (and why they didn’t)- The math, according to Bolger, is determinative. There are simply more Democrats than Republicans in the country — as we have noted before, the consistency of Democrats’ party ID edge is striking — and that means that winning independents is no longer the whole shebang for the GOP. Neither is winning the white vote since it’s hard to imagine a Democratic candidate sinking significantly lower than 39 percent among that voting bloc in future elections. (The white vote for Democratic presidential candidates has also been very consistent; since 1992, no Democratic nominee has received less than 39 percent or more than 43 percent of the white vote.)Concludes Bolger: “Thus, to have a chance, Republicans have to appeal to Hispanics. It’s simple math, but it’s hard to do. We have to start today.”He’s absolutely right — on both fronts. (Hell, we devoted an entire chapter in “The Gospel According to the Fix” to Republicans’ Hispanic problem and how it will doom them as a national party unless they can solve it.)
- How Senate Republicans could get tripped up again in 2014 (and how they are trying not to)- Welcome to the 2014 cycle, where most of the early rumblings in the Senate landscape have involved the prospect of Republican infighting. And, after back-to-back cycles in which flawed nominees in Nevada, Missouri, Colorado, Indiana and Delaware cost Republicans dearly, national strategists are already working to prevent history from repeating itself.The question is how.Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) will be the next chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and will be faced with the task of recruiting better candidates and cultivating a better relationship with conservative groups.“Unless the party is planning to get behind principled, grassroots conservatives, they’re going to continue to run into a fierce headwind,” said SCF Executive Director Matt Hoskins.One of Moran’s vice chairs will be Sen.-elect Ted Cruz of Texas, the shining star of the conservative grassroots this cycle who overcame the odds to defeat heavily favored Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) in a GOP primary/runoff. Part of Cruz’s role at the committee, according to a Republican familiar with NRSC strategy, will be to act as a go-between with conservative groups like the Club and SCF, both of which backed his candidacy this year.
- Rand Paul warns GOP ‘in danger of becoming a dinosaur’- Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) urged the Republican party to adopt a more libertarian approach to policy in order to avoid becoming “a dinosaur.”Paul, the libertarian-leaning senator, was speaking in an interview with CNN on Tuesday.”I think my party, the Republican Party, is shrinking. We’re in danger of becoming a dinosaur,” Paul said. “We’re not competitive on the West Coast, we’re not competitive in New England.”
- GOP lawmakers float immigration reform plan- Saying they want to get the conversation on immigration reform started, top Senate Republicans on Tuesday introduced a version of the so-called “Dream Act” to grant young illegal immigrants legal status in the US, though not giving them a special path to citizenship.GOP Sens. Jon Kyl and Kay Bailey Hutchison said they have introduced a bill that would reward those who take college classes or join the military.“We have got to get this ball rolling,” said Mr. Kyl, an Arizona Republican who is retiring this year. “We have to have a discussion that is sensible, that is calm.”Their bill would be more limited than the proposals Democrats have sought, which would have been more generous with a path to citizenship and broader in the number of immigrants it would apply to. But Ms. Hutchison, Texas Republican, said she and Mr. Kyl have tried to accommodate some Democratic lawmakers’ concerns.
The legislation would reward students with higher status the further along they are in pursuing their education. Those who earn a four-year college degree or complete military service could apply for a permanent visa that wouldn’t put them on a new path to citizenship, but would allow them to join existing lines by getting married to a U.S. citizen or finding another opportunity to adjust their status.
- The Afternoon Flap: November 27, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Afternoon Flap: November 27, 2012 #tcot
, Pinboard Links
, The Morning Flap
Not a good sign with ObamaCare implementation due by 2014.
For the first time in Gallup trends since 2000, a majority of Americans say it is not the federal government’s responsibility to make sure all Americans have healthcare coverage. Prior to 2009, a majority always felt the government should ensure healthcare coverage for all, though Americans’ views have become more divided in recent years.
The shift away from the view that the government should ensure healthcare coverage for all began shortly after President Barack Obama’s election and has continued the past several years during the discussions and ultimate passage of the Affordable Care Act in March 2010. Americans are divided on that legislation today — 48% approve and 45% disapprove — as they have been over the last several years.
Republicans, including Republican-leaning independents, are mostly responsible for the drop since 2007 in Americans’ support for government ensuring universal health coverage. In 2007, 38% of Republicans thought the government should do so; now, 12% do. Among Democrats and Democratic leaners there has been a much smaller drop, from 81% saying the government should make sure all Americans are covered in 2007 to 71% now.
One thing that has not changed is that Americans still widely prefer a system based on private insurance to one run by the government. Currently, 57% prefer a private system and 36% a government-run system, essentially the same as in 2010 and 2011. Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, the percentage of Americans in favor of a government-run system ranged from 32% to 41%.
I think folks see that the costs will be tremendous and the government healthcare system bureaucratic and intrusive.
America continues as a right-center country where self-reliance is more innate than not.
Redistribution is not the American way and that is reflected in this poll.
Over the next few years, the U.S. healthcare system will undergo significant changes as more parts of the Affordable Care Act go into effect. To date, the passage of the law has not led to a major transformation in U.S. healthcare attitudes, apart from the shift away from the view that the government should ensure all Americans have healthcare.
However, this year’s Health and Healthcare poll could signal the beginning of somewhat less negative views of the U.S. healthcare system. Americans have always been positive about the quality of healthcare they receive. Though they remain more negative than positive about healthcare coverage, Americans’ opinions are trending toward a more positive view of health coverage. Americans remain broadly dissatisfied with U.S. healthcare costs, and it is unclear at this point whether the healthcare reforms will significantly reduce U.S. healthcare costs once the law is fully implemented.
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Democrat Alaska U.S. Senator Mark Begich
The U.S. Senate election of 2014 looks favorable for the GOP.
After losing two seats, newly-minted NRSC chairman Jerry Moran now needs to net six seats to win back control of the Senate. The formula is simple, but challenging: Win six of the 7 Democratic-held seats in states Romney carried (Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia), or expand their wiggle room by ousting a vulnerable Democrat like Minnesota Sen. Al Franken. Republicans hardly face any exposure: Even with prospective primary challenges, only Maine Sen. Susan Collins is even remotely at risk this cycle against a Democrat. All told, the 2014 map is even more encouraging for Republicans, provided they land the right candidates.
And, the RIGHT candidates have already started lining up.
After the disaster of Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana, the NRSC is going to make sure they have good. solid and battle-tested candidates for office.
In Alaska, it looks like Alaska Governor Sean Parnell or Alaska Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell will challenge one term Senator Mark Begich who was elected over long-time Republican Senator Ted Stevens who was undergoing ethics charges (which were later proven false). This election was probably a fluke in very RED Alaska.
While Begich has tried to be a moderate Democrat, the D beside his name won’t be helpful – particularly when Harry Reid asks him for caucus votes this year.
Nearly the entire Arkansas Republican Congressional delegation – save for Rep. Rick Crawford – are considering campaigns against Sen. Mark Pryor, a moderate Democrat whose surname is nearly as storied in the state as the Clinton name.. (He’s the son of former Sen. David Pryor, who served the state as governor, senator and representative.) Pryor was so untouchable six years ago that not a single Republican stepped forward to challenge him; he won 80 percent against a Green Party candidate. Now Arkansas Republican wags expect a contested primary between multiple credible opponents, with Reps. Tim Griffin, Steve Womack and lieutenant governor Mark Darr looking like the leading contenders. Griffin, just promoted to lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve, has a compelling biography, but Womack hails from northwest Arkansas, the region with the most Republican votes in the state.
So, one has to wonder why Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid from Nevada is proposing changes in the Senate rules on the filibuster?
In just two years, Reid may be minority leader.
, Mark Begich
, Sean Parnell
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