These are my links for November 21st through November 26th:
Democrats Unlikely to Regain House in 2014– “In midterm election years since World War II, the president’s party has lost an average of 26 seats in the House … The president’s party gained seats only twice, in 1998 and 2002. … [W]hat we observe in the data … is a ‘reverse coattails’ effect. When a party wins the presidency by a large margin, it usually benefits from voters who are mainly interested in the presidential election itself, and then vote for the same party in races down the ballot. These types of voters may not show up to vote in midterm years. Thus, the more a party benefits from presidential coattails in the presidential election year, the more it stands to lose two years later. … Midterm losses for the president’s party have been somewhat more modest in recent years than during the middle part of the 20th century. This potentially reflects the fact that more Congressional districts have strongly partisan makeups now, leaving fewer seats in play. As 2010 demonstrated, however, no firewall is all that robust in the event of a wave election year.”That Mr. Obama won the presidency by a relatively narrow margin this year and that Democrats do not control the House would argue against a wave election … This year, there were only 11 House seats that Democrats lost by five or fewer percentage points. Thus, even if they had performed five points better across the board, they would still have come up … short of controlling the chamber. In other words, Democrats would have to perform quite a bit better in House races in 2014 than they did in 2012 to win control of the chamber … And … Democrats … have become increasingly reliant upon voters, like Hispanics and those under the age of 30, who do not turn out reliably in midterm election years. Democrats have a broader coalition than Republicans do in high-turnout environments, so perhaps this will benefit them in 2016. But these are not the voters you would want to depend upon to make gains in midterm election years, when turnout is much lower. “
How Hillary Clinton’s choices predict her future– On a recent Monday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton walked with her husband onto a stage at the New York Sheraton to cheers and whoops and a standing ovation that only got louder as she tried to quiet things down.It was a friendly crowd — the annual meeting of her husband’s foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative — and people may have been eager to hear her speech about using U.S. aid to target investment barriers such as old land tenure laws. But really, they were there to see her.“She’s just looked so sad and so tired,” said Ritu Sharma, a women’s rights activist, referring to Clinton’s appearances in the days after the attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.They wanted to defend her, to rave about her, to say how sick they were of people talking about her hair, and then to talk about her hair, which, several men and women offered, definitely looked best in a simple chignon.
Mostly, though, people wondered what the woman walking across the stage — now smiling as a soaring, presidential-sounding score began playing — would choose to do next. Maybe now, in her final months in office, she would provide a clue.
Democratic super PACs get jump on 2014, 2016– Winning changes everything.It took Democrats a while to warm up to super PACs, but their glee over 2012 is — for now — eclipsing any moral qualms about big money eroding democracy, and they’re already busy at work courting their wealthiest supporters and planning even more ambitious efforts for future elections.Shortly after Election Day, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer and top White House aides spoke at a three-day secret meeting of major Democratic donors and officials from liberal outside groups gearing up for 2014, POLITICO has learned.Among the groups represented: Priorities USA Action, the super PAC that is vowing to remain a player in Democratic politics, even though President Barack Obama won’t run for office again; American Bridge 21st Century, the oppo shop that helped sink Missouri Rep. Todd Akin’s GOP Senate bid; the Pelosi-backed House Majority PAC; the secret-money organizing nonprofit America Votes; and the pro-choice group EMILY’s List.
Obama faces huge challenge in setting up health insurance exchanges– The Obama administration faces major logistical and financial challenges in creating health insurance exchanges for states that have declined to set up their own systems.The exchanges were designed as the centerpiece of President Obama’s signature law, and are intended to make buying health insurance comparable to booking a flight or finding a compatible partner on Match.com.Sixteen states — most of them governed by Republicans — have said they will not set up their own systems, forcing the federal government to come up with one instead.Another five states said they want a federal-state partnership, while four others are considering partnerships.
It’s a situation no one anticipated when the Affordable Care Act was written. The law assumed states would create and operate their own exchanges, and set aside billions in grants for that purpose.
ObamaCare Faces the Implementation Iceberg– Defenders of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, can be forgiven for some post-election triumphalism. But their joy is likely to be short lived. Because the law put off implementation of most key provisions until after the 2012 election, voters cast their ballots on November 6 without knowing what Obamacare’s true effect will be on their tax bills, insurance costs, or access to care.Delaying implementation until 2014 helped the president win re-election, but now the bill is coming due. The administration can’t forestall Obamacare’s massive regulatory impact any longer, and the result will keep Congress and the media occupied for months and years to come.
How the Implementation of Obamacare Will Make the GOP a Majority Party– As we get closer to the day when Obamacare moves from threat to reality, it seems probable that the resulting catastrophe for tens of thousands of businesses, as well as the massive increase in premiums for many families, will propel Republicans to majority status in 2014.How many businesses will be forced to close shop? How many will cut back on the number of employees to stay in business? How many will refuse to expand, unable to handle the increased costs?How many jobs will Obamacare cost?
House elections 2014: Democrats face uphill slog– Nancy Pelosi decided to take one more crack at winning back the House, but a big obstacle stands between the Democratic leader and the speaker’s gavel in 2014: the six-year itch.Pelosi’s party will be swimming against the riptide of history. The party controlling the White House during a president’s sixth year in office has lost seats in every midterm election but one since 1918, when Woodrow Wilson occupied the Oval Office. And the setbacks typically aren’t small: The average loss in these elections was 30 seats. The exception was 1998, when a soaring economy and Republicans’ focus on President Bill Clinton’s affair helped Democrats buck the trend and pick up a handful of seats.
West Virginia Sen: GOP’s Capito Plans 2014 Rockefeller Challenge– West Virginia Republican Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito will announce Monday morning that she is running in 2014 for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Democrat Jay Rockefeller.Capito has long considered a run for the Senate, and passed on the most recent opportunity following the death of long-time Senator Robert Byrd. She’s expected to say, among other things, that the timing is now right for her run.The announcement sets up a potential race between two West Virginia political heavyweights.Rockefeller, 75, is serving his fifth term in the Senate. Prior to that he served two terms as Governor. In Washington, he has championed issues affecting children and families.
Rockefeller has indicated that he plans to run for re-election in 2014, but there continues to be speculation that he may retire at the end of this term.
Rahm Emanuel: How to rebuild America – The Democratic Agenda– Too much post-election analysis has focused on voter demographics and campaign mechanics, leaving Democrats in danger of drawing the wrong lessons from our electoral success.Demographics alone are not destiny. There is nothing in this year’s election returns that guarantees Democrats a permanent majority in the years to come. President Obama and the Democratic Party earned the support of key groups — young people, single women, Latinos, African Americans, auto workers in the Rust Belt and millions of other middle-class Americans — because of our ideas.But we cannot expect Republicans to cede the economic argument so readily, or to fall so far short on campaign mechanics, the next time around.So, instead of resting on false assurances of underlying demographic advantages, the Democratic Party must follow through on our No. 1 priority, which the president set when he took office and reemphasized throughout this campaign: It is time to come home and rebuild America.
High Obesity, Caries Documented in Homeless Children– Homeless children have higher rates of caries and obesity than children in the general population, a new study shows.The study, published online November 13 in the Journal of Pediatric Healthcare, showed that rates of caries among children living in shelters for the homeless increased with body mass index (BMI), but this correlation did not reach statistical significance ( P = .08).The researchers speculated that similar dietary factors might contribute to both caries and obesity. “Poor kids don’t have access to nutritious foods,” Marguerite DiMarco, PhD, RN, CPNP, told Medscape Medical News.DiMarco said she had spent decades working with very poor children. “Some families don’t even have a refrigerator to keep milk,” she said. “Some families might not even have running water.”
Medical marijuana for a child with leukemia While Parents Live Off of Her Disability Income and Food Stamps– Mykayla Comstock’s family says marijuana helps her fight an especially aggressive form of leukemia, keeps infection at bay and lifts her weary spirit. Twice a day she swallows a potent capsule form of the drug. Some days, when she can’t sleep or eat, she snacks on a gingersnap or brownie baked with marijuana-laced butter.Mykayla is one of 2,201 cancer patients authorized by the state of Oregon to use medical marijuana.She is 7.
Actor Larry Hagman, notorious and beloved as ‘Dallas’ villain J.R. Ewing, dies– Larry Hagman, the North Texas native who played the conniving and mischievous J.R. Ewing on the TV show Dallas, died Friday at a Dallas hospital. He was 81.Mr. Hagman died at 4:20 p.m. Friday at Medical City Dallas Hospital from complications of his recent battle with cancer, members of his family said.“Larry was back in his beloved Dallas, re-enacting the iconic role he loved most,” the family said in a statement. “Larry’s family and close friends had joined him in Dallas for the Thanksgiving holiday. When he passed, he was surrounded by loved ones. It was a peaceful passing, just as he had wished for. The family requests privacy at this time.”The iconic role of J.R. Ewing metamorphosed Mr. Hagman’s life. He rocketed from being a merely well-known TV actor on I Dream of Jeannie and the son of Broadway legend Mary Martin, to the kind of transnational fame known only by the likes of the Beatles and Muhammad Ali.
Saxby Chambliss takes aim at Grover Norquist– Sen. Saxby Chambliss took aim at Americans for Tax Reform head Grover Norquist on Wednesday, telling a local television station he’s not worried about a potential primary challenge if he votes to raise taxes.“I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge,” said Chambliss, who signed Norquist’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” when he first ran for Senate. “If we do it his way, then we’ll continue in debt, and I just have a disagreement with him about that.”
Gallup Poll: Americans Continue to Adjust Their Ideal Weight Upward – Americans, on average, say their ideal weight is 162 pounds, continuing a trend of increasing estimates of ideal weight since Gallup first asked about it in 1990. The trend in Americans’ self-reported actual weight — now averaging 176 pounds — has shown a similar increase over time.
Restaurant Industry Already Preparing for Obamacare Consequences– Will the restaurant business survive a second Obama term? Can it? Since the president’s reelection earlier this month, four large restaurant chains, Papa Johns, Applebee’s, Denny’s and Darden Restaurants (the company that owns the Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and LongHorn Steakhouse chains) have all recently released statements about their companies’ plans to respond to the increased costs of complying with Obamacare regulations. According to the healthcare law, every full-time employee must be provided with comprehensive medical coverage if the company employs more than 50 full-time workers. If a company refuses to comply, they will be faced with fines of $2,000 per year, per employee, as of January 1, 2014.The announcements from companies grappling with the increased costs of Obamacare have, expectedly, been met with disbelief and consternation by the left, still seemingly unaware of basic economics. Appearing on Fox News Business early last week, Applebee’s CEO Zane Tankel explained the steps his business would have to take in order to stay in operation:The costs of fines or healthcare for dozens of employees per restaurant have the potential to bankrupt individually owned chains across the country. The Applebee’s in New York City would face fines of $600,000 per year if insurance isn’t provided for full-time staff, and estimates for offering federally approved insurance would cost “some millions” across the Applebee’s system. Both scenarios, according to Tankel, “[would] roll back expansion, roll back hiring more people. In the best case scenario [it] would only shrink the labor force minimally.” The restaurant industry, already operating with razor thin margins, doesn’t have the ability to absorb tens of thousands more in healthcare expenditures without a considerable increase in sales. It’s a basic realty of economics: more has to be coming in than going out.The only solution for restaurants that want to stay open and maintain competitive pricing would be to cut employee hours to part-time status. This is the conclusion already reached by several large chains–companies that provide jobs to tens of thousands of working class Americans.
Fake Dentist Preyed on Immigrants, Kissed Patient’s Buttocks– A man accused of sexual battery has been charged for practicing dentistry without a license.Wednesday morning, Davie Police issued a search warrant and arrested the alleged unlicensed dentist, 47-year-old John Collazos, at a warehouse located at 5071 S State Road 7. Police said the Collazos owned and operated a dental supply company out of the warehouse and also performed dental services in the back of the warehouse.Carlos Mier works nearby. “Six months ago, this gentleman opened a dental shop, and I started seeing people come in,” he said. “He always was wearing his mask, and his scrub, like a dental scrub.”According to police, Collazos preyed on undocumented immigrants, and when one woman went to him to have some dental work done he allegedly made kissed her buttocks. Davie Police Captain Dale Engle said, “Back in July, we had a female come forward, hesitantly, but she was concerned about her immigration status, but she was was referred to this individual through an acquaintance. When she came on one of the visits, he made some sexually overt comments and ultimately touched her inappropriately, so she did finally come forward.”
Marco Rubio and the Age of the Earth– Those believers whose sensibilities Rubio was presumably trying to avoid offending would do well to meditate on the words of Saint Augustine, who like most of the greatest minds of historic Christianity insisted that biblical interpretation take place in the light of reason as well as faith:Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of the world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics, and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn … If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren …It is not Marco Rubio’s task in life to solve this problem. But it is a problem, in our age even more than in Augustine’s, and his answer didn’t help.
Waiting for the GOP’s Populist Turn– Dozens of explanations are circulating for why Mitt Romney and a number of Republican Senate candidates lost in the 2012 election.The Republican Party is supposedly too white, too male, and too old. It purportedly does not reach out to minorities, women, and the young. Romney cared more about job creators rather than employees. The Republicans gratuitously picked social fights on abortion and homosexuality that needlessly alienated women, gays, and the young who otherwise might have supported its more important fiscal and national security agendas.It apparently did not get out the white working class vote that wished not just to oppose Obama, but also to rally behind a likeable and personable conservative alternative of like nature. With half of the country on some sort of assistance, 47 million now on food stamps, and with disability insurance morphing into a de facto extension of unemployment insurance, too many voters are invested in the welfare state to vote against its purveyors.
The Illegal Immigration Amnesty Delusion– The amnesty signed into law by the charismatic and popular President Reagan did not bring Hispanic voters into the Republican party; Republican congressional leaders who believe that sending one to President Obama would redound to their benefit are engaged in a defective political calculus. Nor are Hispanics the only group of voters to consider. Blue-collar whites do not appear to have turned out for Republicans in the usual numbers last week. Support for amnesty will not bring them back. If the policy advanced the national interest, that consideration might not matter. It does when supposed political advantage is the argument for the policy.The Republican party and the conservative movement simply are not constituted for ethnic pandering, and certainly will not out-pander the party of amnesty and affirmative action. Republicans’ challenge is to convince Hispanics, blacks, women, gays, etc., that the policies of the Obama administration are inimical to their interests as Americans, not as members of any collegium of grievance. That they have consistently failed to do so suggests that Republican leadership is at least as much in need of reform as our immigration code.
These are my links for October 18th through October 19th:
Barack Obama on Benghazi: ‘If four Americans get killed, it’s not OPTIMAL’: Obama’s extraordinary response to security fiasco after Benghazi massacre– President Barack Obama, during an interview to be shown on Comedy Central, has responded to a question about his administration’s confused communication after the Benghazi attack, by saying: ‘If four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal.’Obama was speaking to Jon Stewart of The Daily Show for a programme to be broadcast tonight.Stewart, a liberal whose young audience is full of potential voters prized by the Obama campaign, asked the president about his handling of the aftermath of the Benghazi attack.Ambassador Chris Stevens, diplomat Sean Smith and security men and former U.S. Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were killed by terrorists on the 11th anniversary of 9/11 – an attack that the White House initially blamed on a spontaneous protest about an anti-Islam movie made in California.
Stewart asked: ‘Is part of the investigation helping the communication between these divisions? ‘Not just what happened in Benghazi, but what happened within.
‘Because I would say, even you would admit, it was not the optimal response, at least to the American people, as far as all of us being on the same page.’
Obama responded: ‘Here’s what I’ll say. If four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal.’
He continued: ‘We’re going to fix it. All of it. And what happens, during the course of a presidency, is that the government is a big operation and any given time something screws up.
‘And you make sure that you find out what’s broken and you fix it.
‘Whatever else I have done throughout the course of my presidency the one thing that I’ve been absolutely clear about is that America’s security comes, and the American people need to know exactly how I make decisions when it comes to war, peace, security, and protecting Americans.
‘And they will continue to get that over the next four years of my presidency.’
The word ‘optimal’ was first used by Stewart in the question. But Obama’s use of it in a sound bite that could be used to portray him as somewhat casual about the deaths, lit up conservatives on twitter after it was first reported in a White House pool report by Mike Memoli of the ‘Los AngelesTimes’.
Obama’s slip could help Mitt Romney recover from an awkward moment in the presidential debate in Long Island, New York on Tuesday when he challenged Obama over whether he had initially characterised the Benghazi attack as terrorism.
‘Hating Breitbart’ to open this weekend– After a protracted battle with Hollywood censors over the politically-motivated “R” rating imposed on it by ex-Democrat Senator Chris Dodd’s MPAA that delayed its release, the long-awaited documentary film, “Hating Breitbart” opens at a limited number of movie theaters this weekend. The film chronicles the life and very strange times of crusading arch-conservative activist, web journalist, and new media promoter Andrew Breitbart who died suddenly and unexpectedly this past spring at the age of 43. DC area screenings will initially take place exclusively at the Regal Cinema in Ballston Commons Mall in Arlington.Like Dinesh D’Souza’s runaway documentary hit, “2016,” the Breitbart documentary will begin its rollout in limited release, gradually opening greater numbers of theaters on successive weekends. The limited release idea, as with the D’Souza film on the background of Barack Obama, is meant to thwart the usual preplanned barrage of negative reviews typically prepared in advance by left-wing critics who have yet to actually see the film in pre-screenings. Such coordinated attacks are routinely deployed to torpedo opening weekend box office receipts of newly released conservative films.
The Great Gaffe at Hofstra – – Krauthammer– Fight night at Hofstra. The two boxers, confined within a ring of spectators —circling, feinting, taunting, staring each other down — come several times, by my reckoning, no more than one provocation away from actual fisticuffs, of the kind that on occasion so delightfully break out in the Taiwanese parliament. Think of it: The Secret Service storming the ring, pinning Mitt Romney to the canvas as Candy Crowley administers the ten count.The actual outcome was somewhat more pedestrian. President Obama gained a narrow victory on points, as borne out by several flash polls. The margin was small, paling in comparison to Romney’s 52-point victory in the first debate.At Hofstra, Obama emerged from his previous coma to score enough jabs to outweigh Romney’s haymaker, his dazzling takedown of the Obama record when answering a disappointed 2008 Obama voter.That one answer might account for the fact that in two early flash polls Romney beat Obama on the economy by 18 points in one poll, 31 in the other. That being the overriding issue, the debate is likely to have minimal effect on the dynamics of the race.
Obama spinning toward a loss– President Obama is losing. So says the latest Gallup poll, and so do those swelling numbers in key states like Wisconsin, Florida, Virginia and Ohio.Democrats say wait, he won the second debate. They are holding their breath, hoping polls next week will show that this week’s debate brought the herky-jerk of the campaign back full swing, with Obama back to his September lead in the swing states and poised to win. But with two weeks to go, a sudden surge in voter support for a president as unpopular as this one, in an economy this weak, is simply hard to believe. Conservatives like Karl Rove note that this late in October, no candidate with support higher than 50 percent (see Mitt Romney: Gallup) has ever gone on to lose.Perhaps Obama lost the presidency weeks ago, on Oct. 3, when he sleepwalked and scribbled through the first debate and helped make Romney a new candidate overnight. It was Obama’s night to finish Romney off; behind in the polls, even Romney likely woke up that morning thinking it was over. But Obama underestimated the task, the challenger and the electorate — all in 90 minutes. So a win this week was critical but perhaps not decisive. There is no obvious reason for Obama’s performance to reverse the course of the campaign and blunt Romney now. And though there is one final debate next week, a back-and-forth on national security and foreign policy isn’t likely to make the sale for anyone who still cannot make up his or her mind.Romney is arguing Obama has still failed to articulate a reason, plan or purpose for a second term. He is correct. But Obama has indeed, late in the game, come up with a more forceful defense of his first term, and an argument about the economy growing from the middle out instead of the top down.
Obama on Benghazi attack: ‘When four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal’– President Obama vowed Thursday to fix any problems that contributed to the deaths of four American foreign service personnel during last month’s attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, saying that “when four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal.”Obama’s comments, referring to the Sept. 11 terror attack, came during an interview with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central. The interview, first reported in a White House media pool report, airs Thursday night.Stewart asked Obama whether the investigation would address communication problems that contributed to confusion about the circumstances of the attack in Benghazi.”Because I would say, even you would admit, it was not the optimal response, at least to the American people, as far as all of us being on the same page,” Stewart said.
“Here’s what I’ll say. When four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal. We’re going to fix it. All of it,” Obama replied.
“The government is a big operation and any given time something screws up. And you make sure that you find out what’s broken and you fix it.
“Whatever else I have done throughout the course of my presidency, the one thing that I’ve been absolutely clear about is that America’s security comes first, and the American people need to know exactly how I make decisions when it comes to war, peace, security, and protecting Americans. And they will continue to get that over the next four years of my presidency.”
Since the attack, Republicans have accused the Obama administration of hiding key details such as how and why the attack started. The GOP has also questioned whether a failure to address security concerns at the consulate contributed its vulnerability.
GOP Points to Early Vote Gains in Ohio– They got smoked in the early voting game in 2008, but this time around Republicans are closing the gap with Democrats.Most observers here expect the early vote to tilt toward President Barack Obama, as it did in 2008. The Obama campaign has worked overtime to get their supporters to vote early and successfully sued the Ohio secretary of state to keep early voting locations open through the weekend preceding Election Day.Since early and absentee voting began on October 2, more than 1.4 million Ohio voters have voted or requested an absentee ballot. Almost a third of Ohio voted early in 2008, and Democrats expect that number to be even higher in 2012.But Republicans have polished their early vote operation since 2008.
Four years ago, Democrats made up about 42% of the early and absentee vote while Republicans made up 22% — a dismal 20-point deficit that contributed to Sen. John McCain’s defeat in Ohio.
Through Wednesday, however, the margin has narrowed: Democrats account for 36% of the early and absentee vote while Republicans make up for 29%.
Republicans are outperforming their voter registration in several of the state’s biggest counties.
LAPD probing Manson family link to 12 unsolved homicides– The Los Angeles Police Department disclosed Thursday that it has open investigations on a dozen unsolved homicides that occurred near places where the Manson family operated during its slew of murders four decades ago.The Police Department made the revelation amid a legal battle to obtain hours of audio tapes recorded in 1969 between Charles Manson follower Charles “Tex” Watson and his attorney. The LAPD has said detectives believe tapes could shed more light on the activities of Manson’s group.Watson has been fighting to limit the LAPD’s access to the tapes. This month, a federal judge in Texas granted an emergency order preventing the police from executing a search warrant at an office where the tapes are kept.
12 Unsolved Murders Possibly Linked to Manson– The LAPD on Thursday announced it has open investigations on a dozen unsolved homicides near known Manson Family hangouts around Los Angeles.The revelation came amid a legal battle to obtain hours of audio tape recordings between former Charles Manson follower and convicted murderer Charles “Tex” Watson and his lawyer.”We have an obligation to the families of these victims,” Cmdr. Andy Smith told NBC4. “Our detectives need to listen to these tapes. The tapes might help with solving these murders.”News of the open investigation was first reported by the Los Angeles Times Thursday and confirmed to NBC4 by LAPD officials. Smith told the Times the 12 murders they are investigating “are similar to some of the Manson killings.”
Manson and his followers shot to infamy in 1969 after the murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others at a Benedict Canyon home in the hills above Los Angeles. That rampage was followed the next night by the murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in their Los Feliz home.
The unheard recordings sought by the LAPD were made more than four decades ago, after Watson’s arrest for his role in the Tate-LaBianca slayings.
CIA found militant links a day after Libya attack– he CIA station chief in Libya reported to Washington within 24 hours of last month’s deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate that there was evidence it was carried out by militants, not a spontaneous mob upset about an American-made video ridiculing Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, U.S. officials have told The Associated Press.It is unclear who, if anyone, saw the cable outside the CIA at that point and how high up in the agency the information went. The Obama administration maintained publicly for a week that the attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans was a result of the mobs that staged less-deadly protests across the Muslim world around the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on the U.S.Those statements have become highly charged political fodder as the presidential election approaches. A Republican-led House committee questioned State Department officials for hours about what GOP lawmakers said was lax security at the consulate, given the growth of extremist Islamic militants in North Africa.
Obama under pressure to spell out his agenda for a second term– President Obama is taking heat from his Republican rivals and some members of his own party for being vague about his agenda for a second term.On Thursday, Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan told a crowd at a campaign event in Florida that Obama “is not telling you what his second-term plan would be.”“He’s not saying that he is offering anything new,” the Wisconsin lawmaker said during a town hall. “All he is offering is four more years of the same.”Republicans are using the critique to parry Democratic attacks against Romney’s tax-reform plan, but they aren’t the only ones questioning what Obama’s priorities would be on Day One of term two.
“What would make my heart leap is to see him offer a forward-looking speech that encompasses all the things that he’s been talking about in little bits into a big thematic package, and one, big, second-term-agenda speech,” said Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons.
Poll shows Romney leading in blue Pennsylvania– A new poll shows Republican Mitt Romney leading in Pennsylvania, a state that Republicans had all but written off just weeks ago but which is now listed as a toss up by the Real Clear Politics website.Susquehanna Polling and Research provided The Washington Examiner with a poll it conducted for state party officials that shows Romney with a 49 percent to 45 percent lead over President Obama.It’s the first poll to show Romney leading among likely voters in the Keystone State.”The polling is very clear that the race is certainly up for grabs and Republicans have a tendency to never believe it,” Susquehanna President James Lee told The Examiner.
Welfare spending jumps 32% in four years– Welfare spending has grown substantially over the past four years, reaching $746 billion in 2011 — or more than Social Security, basic defense spending or any other single chunk of the federal government — according to a new memo by the Congressional Research Service.The steady rise in welfare spending, which covers more than 80 programs primarily designed to help low-income Americans, got a big boost from the 2009 stimulus and has grown, albeit somewhat more slowly, in 2010 and 2011. One reason is that more people are qualifying in the weak economy, but the federal government also has broadened eligibility so that more people qualify for programs.Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, who requested the Congressional Research Service report, said it underscores a fundamental shift in welfare, moving away from a Band-Aid and toward a more permanent crutch.
A teleprompter obscures U.S. President Barack Obama as he speaks during a campaign event at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio August 21, 2012.
These are my links for August 21st through August 23rd:
Obama: Team Romney coming on strong, playing dirty, time to ‘put them away’– President Obama joined a group of former NBA stars at a fundraiser at New York’s Lincoln Center Wednesday night. With Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Walt Frazier, Bill Bradley and other basketball legends sitting nearby — “It’s very rare that I come to an event where I’m like the fifth- or sixth-most interesting person,” Obama said — the president made a few obligatory remarks about opponent Mitt Romney’s tax and economic plans. And then he addressed the presidential horse race — or basketball game.“I can’t resist a basketball analogy,” Obama told the crowd, according to a White House pool report. “We are in the fourth quarter. We’re up by a few points but the other side is coming on strong and they play a little dirty.”
Tropical Storm Isaac Heads Toward Florida Ahead of Convention– Tropical storm Isaac, which is gathering strength in the Caribbean, could strike Florida, hurricane forecasters say, triggering concern it might force a postponement or cancellation of the Republican National Convention in Tampa next week.It is still too early to predict whether the storm could make a direct hit on the city. Forecast models show Isaac’s center following a path that could take it as far west as the Gulf of Mexico and as far east as the Atlantic Ocean by next Monday. Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands braced for torrential rains on Thursday as the storm churned waves as high as 10 feet in the Caribbean and threatened to become a hurricane. Some flooding was reported in eastern and southern regions of Puerto Rico as the storm approached.
Polls: Obama’s Lead Cut in Florida, Wisconsin– The presidential race has tightened slightly in Florida and Wisconsin since the rollout of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as Mitt Romney’s running mate, according to new CBS News/Quinnipiac University/New York Times polls released early Thursday. But President Obama’s lead in Ohio remains unchanged over the past three weeks.Obama’s advantages in Florida and Wisconsin have been reduced to within the margin of error, the polls show. But in Ohio, Romney remains unpopular, and the president is still ahead by a statistically significant, if single-digit, margin.The polls show Romney with an advantage among seniors, but voters in each state think Obama would do a better job on Medicare, and by wide margins, oppose changing Medicare in the ways Ryan has advocated as chairman of the House Budget Committee.
GM Goes From Bad to Worse Despite Obama Bailout– Things are different now. General Motors’ market share in the U.S. is below 20 percent. It has gone through bankruptcy and exists now thanks to a federal bailout. But Barack Obama seems to think that it’s as closely aligned with the national interest as Wilson did.”When the American auto industry was on the brink of collapse,” Obama told a campaign event audience in Colorado earlier this month, “I said, let’s bet on America’s workers. And we got management and workers to come together, making cars better than ever, and now GM is No. 1 again and the American auto industry has come roaring back.”His conclusion: “So now I want to say that what we did with the auto industry, we can do in manufacturing across America. Let’s make sure advanced, high-tech manufacturing jobs take root here, not in China. Let’s have them here in Colorado. And that means supporting investment here.”
Was he calling for a federal bailout of other American manufacturing companies? And what does he mean by “supporting investment”? White House reporters have not asked these obvious questions, for the good reason that the president, who has been attending fundraisers on an average of one every 60 hours, has not held a press conference in something like two months.
GOP Recasts Path to Senate Majority — Without Missouri– Pressing on with his Senate bid against the broader GOP’s wishes, Missouri Republican Todd Akin introduced a new campaign theme Wednesday: “Let the people decide; not party bosses.” Of course, such is the premise of all elections. But the “party bosses” in this case are looking at a much bigger picture than Akin is, and facing a critical decision of their own: How to win control of the upper chamber if Missouri stays in the Democratic column?Republicans need to gain four seats in November –three if Mitt Romney wins the presidency and Paul Ryan subsequently holds any tie-breaking votes –to earn a majority in the U.S. Senate. Before Akin told a local television show on Sunday that “legitimate rape” usually doesn’t cause pregnancy, the Show-Me State had long been considered the easiest GOP pickup. (As one Republican strategist described it, “Akin could have sat on his front porch and won.”)
Team Romney calls out Obama for misspelling ‘Ohio’ at campaign stop– President Obama needed a do-over to spell “Ohio” correctly on the campus of Ohio State University this week.Although Obama and several students at a campaign stop Tuesday morning at Sloopy’s Diner on the campus of OSU tweeted out photos of the president correctly posing as the “I” in Ohio, another student supplied a photo of a spelling mishap to Mitt Romney’s campaign.photo, tweeted by Romney’s Ohio communications director, Christopher Maloney, shows Obama and three students all a little confused about how to spell the state’s name, with Obama holding his hands up in what seems to be an “H” and as the third letter.
“A word of advice to @BarackObama: It’s ‘O-H-I-O’ that has 18 electoral votes, not ‘O-I-H-O,’ ” Maloney tweeted.
Team Obama breaks precedent to try to spoil Romney’s convention– Bucking protocol, President Obama and the Democrats are planning a full-scale assault on Republicans next week during their convention.Bucking protocol, President Obama and the Democrats are planning a full-scale assault on Republicans next week during their convention.Presidential candidates have traditionally kept a low profile during their opponent’s nominating celebration, but Democrats are throwing those rules out the window in an attempt to spoil Mitt Romney’s coronation as the GOP nominee.
President Obama, Vice President Biden and leading congressional Democrats have all scheduled high-profile events next week to counter-program the Republican gathering in Tampa.
AD-38: Assembly Contenders Wilk & Headington Visit VIA to Vie for Votes– Democratic Assembly candidate Edward Headington and Republican Scott Wilk broke bread at the Valley Industry Association’s August luncheon, then broke out their different views of the district’s political future.Wilk sees himself as picking up the flag of past Republican Assemblymembers Keith Richman and Cameron Smyth.“Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, who has endorsed me, is up there working hard for you Monday through Thursday slamming his head against the wall because in the 80 member body only 27 of those are Republicans,” said Wilk.
However, Wilk said “Good news is on the way” and envisions the Republicans gaining up to 34 seats in the next election due to redistricting.
Tea Party Tony Strickland’s First Ad Tries to Trick Voters | DCCC– Tea Party congressional candidate Tony Strickland (CA-26) introduced his first ad today and it’s chock full of hypocrisy and lies in an effort to disguise his own extreme positions, particularly on Medicare.“Tea Party Tony Strickland has toed the extreme Republican Party line his whole career, so voters shouldn’t be tricked into thinking he would do any different in Washington,” said Amber Moon of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Tea Party Tony is willing to do or say anything to get elected, even repeating false claims to distract from his own record.”
Romney Camp Sees Upper Midwest Coming Into Play– Lost amid the daily uproar over embattled Senate candidate Todd Akin’s refusal to drop his Missouri bid is a growing effort by the GOP to spotlight a tightening presidential race in the Upper Midwest.The Republican National Committee has pounced on new polling data in Michigan and Wisconsin that show President Obama losing ground to Mitt Romney after the latter announced Paul Ryan as his running mate. And in what may — or may not –have been a coincidence, Vice President Joe Biden made a pair of campaign stops in Minnesota on Tuesday and will make several more in Michigan today.
Who’s sorry about the Roberts ruling on ObamaCare now?– Any year now, Democrats may start to ask themselves if it might have been better had John Roberts not changed his mind. If they would be better off with Obamacare out of its and our misery, a bone of contention now safely buried, and not as a bone in their throats. For one thing, they still have the issue upon them –the historic triumph they don’t dare mention but which Republicans happily do.Second, were Obamacare no longer the law, we might be seeing an uptick in hiring right now. Instead, that will be deferred until after November (and then possibly only if Romney’s elected), and unemployment is rising in 44 states. Unemployment rising in 44 states is not what you want when just ten or so states will decide the election and unemployment has been 8 percent or higher for 41 months.Third, had Roberts done otherwise, they might still have the issue of Medicare, which at this point they do not. When Paul Ryan was chosen to run with Mitt Romney, liberals planned to rip him to pieces over plans to trim Medicare. Somehow, they forgot that their own health care plan did much the same thing, covering 30 million new clients by draining millions from providers of Medicare. Although these cuts will not directly lead Medicare clients to pay more or lose coverage, they will end with many doctors and hospitals refusing to treat them at all.
MO-Sen: For Those Wondering About Missouri Write-In Bids…– So Sarah Steelman and John Brunner, who lost the GOP Senate primary, are not eligible to run as write-in candidates.Of course, for a write-in bid to succeed, one would need ideally a simple name, one that is not easily misspelled, since we know election lawyers will attempt to disqualify any ballot that is unclear in any way.If only some figure, well known to Missouri voters and trusted by them, would step forward and declare, “The name’s Bond… Kit Bond.
AP-GfK poll: Obama 47% vs. Romney 44% shows White House race still tight– or allFor all the attention it got, Republican the attention it got, Republican Mitt Romney’s selection of Mitt Romney’s selection of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate has not as his running mate has not altered the race against altered the race against President Barack Obama. The President Barack Obama. The campaign remains neck and campaign remains neck and neck with less than three months to go, a new AP-neck with less than three months to go, a new AP-Overall, 47 percent of registered voters said they Overall, 47 percent of registered voters said they planned to back Obama and Vice President Joe planned to back Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in November, while 46 percent favored Biden in November, while 46 percent favored Romney and Ryan. That’s not much changed from Romney and Ryan. That’s not much changed from a June AP-GfK survey, when the split was 47 a June AP-GfK survey, when the split was 47 percent for the president to 44 percent for percent for the president to 44 percent forAt the same time, there’s a far wider gap when At the same time, there’s a far wider gap when people were asked who they thought would win. people were asked who they thought would win. Some 58 percent of adults said they expected Some 58 percent of adults said they expected Obama to be re-elected, while just 32 percent said Obama to be re-elected, while just 32 percent said they thought he’d be voted out of officthey thought he’d be voted out of office
How Obama can fix his welfare problem– Thank goodness all that veepstakes/Paul Ryan business is over and we can get back to welfare reform.If you remember, back before we were temporarily distracted, Romney TV ads had attacked Obama for planning to give states waivers from welfare work requirements, thereby opening the door to diluting (and in some cases, eliminating) them. The Romney camp must at least think its (oversimplified) attacks on the issue are working, because it’s back with another welfare ad today.At some point, if these ads keep biting, the attitude of Obamaites is going to shift from ‘Why can’t the MSM protect us from Romney’s lies!’ to ‘Stop the bleeding!” But stopping the bleeding won’t be easy. The Obama campaign has righteously defended the new HHS rules, after all. If the President suddenly repudiates them he might look guilty, or weak, or not in control, or all three. Even after the rules are withdrawn, many voters might doubt that Obama’s actually changed his mind. Won’t he pursue the same waivers once he’s reelected? If the waivers are bad isn’t that a cause for worry? Romney’s campaign could easily stoke these suspicions.
“Issues” or America?– There are some very serious issues at stake in this year’s election — so many that some people may not be able to see the forest for the trees. Individual issues are the trees, but the forest is the future of America as we have known it.The America that has flourished for more than two centuries is being quietly but steadily dismantled by the Obama administration, during the process of dealing with particular issues.For example, the merits or demerits of President Obama’s recent executive order, suspending legal liability for young people who are here illegally, presumably as a result of being brought here as children by their parents, can be debated pro and con. But such a debate overlooks the much more fundamental undermining of the whole American system of Constitutional government.
Romney Racks Up Big Cash Advantage– Mitt Romney’s cash advantage over President Obama and the Democrats more than doubled in July, as intense Republican fund-raising and heavy spending by Mr. Obama and his allies left Mr. Romney and the Republican National Committee with $62 million more in the bank than the Democrats at the end of last month.Mr. Obama’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee spent $91 million in July, significantly more than the $75 million the Democrats raised, underscoring the investments Mr. Obama made in technology and field staff as well as nearly $40 million his campaign spent on advertising that month. While Mr. Romney continued to husband his resources for the fall – he spent less than half of what Mr. Obama did on advertising – conservative “super PACs” and other outside groups stepped into the breach, spending millions of dollars on ads attacking Mr. Obama.
Mitt Romney’s first television commercial since announcing House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate brings back a claim first brought up last week: That President Barack Obama is altering the federal welfare-to-work program by dropping work requirements in the law.
The narrator in TV ad, released Monday morning by the campaign of the GOP presidential challenger and by the Republican National Committee, says that “Barack Obama has a long history of opposing work for welfare.”
The spot then includes sound of Obama from June of 1998, with the then-Illinois State Senator saying “I was not a huge supporter of the federal plan that was signed in 1996.”
The ad continues with the narrator adding that “on July 12th, Obama quietly ended work requirements for welfare. You wouldn’t have to work and wouldn’t have to train for a job. Mitt Romney strongly believes work must be part of welfare.”
I believe this is a strong theme and will resonate well in Florida and the key upper-Midwestern states of Iowa and Wisconsin. This work for welfare meme will be pounding the President frequently.
Although the Romney Campaign will not release their ad buy, it appears this will appear in all of the key battleground states.
As is their practice, the Romney campaign would not reveal any details on where the new commercial will run or on the ad buy.
But according to data provided to their clients by Kantar Media/Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political ad spending on broadcast and national cable TV, the new spot began running Monday morning in television markets in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio; Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, West Palm Beach and Fort Myers, Florida; Manchester, New Hampshire; Denver, Colorado; Reno, Nevada; Raleigh, North Carolina; Richmond, Virginia; and Washington, D.C. (which covers much of northern Virginia).
Here is the ad, embedded below:
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The Morning Flap links for July 17th through July 18th:
Arpaio calls Congress to move on Obama eligibility– At the conclusion of a press conference led by Cold Case Posse chief investigator Michael Zullo that detailed the reasons the long-form birth certificate of President Barack Obama is a forgery, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said it’s time for a higher authority to investigate the issue.Mr. Arpaio said he would like Congress … “someone” … to look at the material his investigative team had gathered. As he had told WND earlier: “Although I am having a difficult time deciding who to forward this information to given the fact that the obvious choices report directly to the president, I cannot stand by and hold on to information that threatens to weaken national security.”The press conference held Tuesday clarified some of the issues discussed in an earlier press conference held in Phoenix on March 1, at which the Cold Case Posse presented its initial findings of a six-month-long investigation into the authenticity of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate. “I cannot in good faith report to you that these documents are authentic,” Mr. Arpaio said at the time.
Arpaio: Obama birth record ‘definitely fraudulent’– Investigators for an Arizona sheriff’s volunteer posse have declared that President Barack Obama’s birth certificate is definitely fraudulent.Members of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s posse said in March that there was probable cause that Obama’s long-form birth certificate released by the White House in April 2011 was a computer-generated forgery.Now, Arpaio says investigators are positive it’s fraudulent.Mike Zullo, the posse’s chief investigator, said numeric codes on certain parts of the birth certificate indicate that those parts weren’t filled out, yet those sections asking for the race of Obama’s father and his field of work or study were completed.
Zullo said investigators previously didn’t know the meaning of codes but they were explained by a 95-year-old former state worker who signed the president’s birth certificate. Zullo said a writer who published a book about Obama’s birth certificate and was aiding investigators let them listen in on an interview he conducted of the former state worker.
The Obama campaign declined to comment on Arpaio’s allegations.
President Obama’s jobs panel missing in action– President Barack Obama’s Jobs Council hasn’t met publicly for six months, even as the issue of job creation dominates the 2012 election.At this point, the hiatus — which reached the half-year mark Tuesday — might be less awkward than an official meeting, given the hornet’s nest of issues that could sting Obama and the council members if the private-sector panel gets together.
Romney Shreds Obama Economic Philosophy in Southwest PA Stop– Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney contrasted his economic philosophy with that of President Obama by using the President’s own statements against him during a campaign stop in southwest Pennsylvania Tuesday afternoon.Standing in front of a large sign that read “Obama’s Upside-Down Economy” at Horizontal Wireless Services in Irwin, Romney addressed a speech Obama made last week in Roanoke, VA where he said, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that,” while speaking on the role of government-funded infrastructure in U.S. commerce.“I’ve got to be honest: I don’t think anyone could have said what he said who had actually started a business or been in a business,” Romney said. “In my own view, what the president said was both startling and revealing.”Romney countered Obama’s statement with his own five-point plan to mend the U.S. economy, including loosening regulations on coal, oil and natural gas, improving international trade policies, balancing the federal budget, improving the education system and encouraging “economic freedom.”
Romney: Obama Trying To Change ‘The Nature Of America’– Mitt Romney repeatedly seemed to question whether President Barack Obama believed in the American dream in an energetic campaign speech Tuesday, calling his rival’s approach to leadership “foreign” and accusing him of trying to change “the nature of America.””President Obama attacks success and therefore under President Obama we have less success, and I will change that,” Romney told more than 1,000 cheering supporters at an oil and gas services company in suburban Pittsburgh, after the president told a Virginia audience Friday that all Americans benefit from government investment in infrastructure and education.
Obama Kills Welfare Reform– Determined to destroy Bill Clinton’s signature achievement, President Barack Obama’s Administration has opened a loophole in the 1996 Welfare Reform legislation big enough to make the law ineffective. Its work requirement — the central feature of the legislation — has been diluted beyond recognition by the bureaucrats at the Department of Health and Human Services.On Thursday of last week, HHS issued regulations that modified — gutted — the work requirement. Its new regulations allow the states to substitute education programs for work to get welfare benefits. The regs say that “vocational educational training or job search/readiness programs count as well” in meeting the basic condition that recipients work in order to receive welfare benefits.
Romney Should Release the Returns – Mitt Romney is steadfastly resisting calls to release additional years of his personal tax returns, arguing — not without good reason —that this demand is part of a fishing expedition by the Obama campaign, which hopes to exploit Romney’s personal wealth and successful business career as part of a class-warfare election strategy. Romney argues that whatever he releases will not be enough to satisfy the Obama campaign and its factota in the media, who are, once again, proving their bias and double standards. Romney is right, but he should release the returns anyway. Let them go fish.
Letters to Leon Panetta– A bipartisan group of Senators is urging Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to provide more than $300 million in promised funding needed for modernizing the aging U.S. nuclear weapons complex.Separately, two senior House Republicans want Panetta to explain whether U.S. intelligence estimates of when Iran will have long-range missile capabilities changed and whether U.S. missile defense plans are adequate to counter them.The senators—led by Senate minority whip Jon Kyl and including six Republicans, one Democrat, and one Independent—stated in a June 29 letter that the president’s budget for nuclear weapons fell $370 million short of the amount required under 2010 legislation.
Cheney, Lockheed CEO deliver dire warnings of impact of automatic cuts– Former Vice President Cheney made a rare trip to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to give House and Senate Republicans a dire assessment of what $500 billion in cuts to the Pentagon budget would mean for national security.Cheney’s appearance came amid a concerted lobbying push from the defense industry, which is trying to persuade Congress to act now on the sequester by warning the cuts will lead to massive job losses
Christie, Priebus raise cash for Romney in North Carolina– ABC’s affiliate in Raleigh reports that Chris Christie and Reince Priebus raised at least $187K for Mitt Romney at a high-priced fundraiser in North Carolina last night.Their star power attracted about 75 guests. It was a who’s who of big name conservatives from the multi-millionaire Art Pope to Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison.The cost to hear Christie and Preibus speak was between $2,500 and $75,000 per couple.
Christie reportedly eyed for RNC convention keynote– The word is going out quietly to Republican activists across New Jersey: If you’re going to the GOP convention in Tampa next month, be sure to be there by Tuesday night, Aug. 28, because Gov. Chris Christie is going to be giving the keynote speech that night.“We’ve been told that’s the night to be there, that’s when the governor is going to speak. They’re saying he’s the keynoter,” one top party activist told The Post yesterday.