links for 2009-09-01

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  • While other 2012 Republican presidential hopefuls crash, burn, and sputter, Mitt Romney has quietly been raising millions, casting himself as a New Hampshire son, keeping cozy with the NRA, and otherwise perfecting his Mr. Perfect approach.
    (tags: mittromney)
  • A majority of independent voters disapprove of how President Obama is handling his job as president, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research poll.

    Fifty-three percent of independents now say they disapprove of how Obama's handling his duties in the White House, with 43% in approval. That result marks the first time in a CNN poll that a majority of independents give the president's performance a thumbs-down.

    Overall, Obama's approval rating of 53% is down 3 points from a month ago, and down 8 points from June.

  • Zogby puts it at 42 percent, for what it's worth.

    Some don't like Rasmussen's robo-callers, and Zogby – well, folks have debated his numbers for years. But if you look at Obama's approval rating in the other pollsters, the numbers are generally pretty mediocre. Gallup puts it at 51, and was at 50 for a few days. YouGov puts it at 48 percent. ARG puts it at 52 percent, Clarus puts it at 49 percent, NBC puts it at 51 percent, Pew puts it at 51 percent, PublicPolicyPolling puts it at 52 percent. The highest it's been in a recent poll was the Washington Post/ABC poll which put it at 57 percent back on August 17.

  • The leader of the state Senate said today that his top goal in the final days of the session is passing legislation to overhaul the state’s water system.

    “Water is the best opportunity we have right now to show that we can do something big,” Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, told reporters. “Maybe we won’t get it done in the next 10 days,” he added. “But I’m sure going to do my darndest.”

    The work will begin this afternoon, when a newly created 14-member Senate-Assembly committee will seek consensus on bills that could potentially lead to new canals, dams and restoration of the beleaguered Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

    Steinberg said he will lead the conference committee, which includes Valley lawmakers Sen. Dean Florez, D-Shafter, and Dave Cogdill, R-Modesto. The Assembly had not yet named its members as of this morning.

  • The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 43% would vote for their district’s Republican congressional candidate while 36% would opt for his or her Democratic opponent.

    That represents the lowest level of support for Democrats in recent years, while Republicans have tied their highest level of support for the third straight week. The previous low for Democrats over the past year was 37%.

    (tags: GOP democrats)
  • Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley said Monday he remains hopeful a limited health care reform measure can be negotiated, but that a small bipartisan group of senators working on the issue agrees a government-run public option won't be part of the package.

    Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., meanwhile, said an overhaul measure will be presented this year with or without bipartisan support — though he said a compromise would be far better than any bill pushed through solely by Democrats.

    The senators are among a group of three Democrats and three Republicans on the pivotal Finance Committee who are negotiating a proposal to overhaul the nation's health care system. Both said Monday they were hopeful a bipartisan deal could be reached.

  • Disgraced former Gov. Eliot Spitzer has been privately talking with friends about a possible comeback, and is considering a run for statewide office next year, several sources told The Post.

    Less than 18 months after he left Albany in a prostitution scandal, Spitzer has held informal discussions in recent weeks about the possibility of making a bid for state comptroller or the US Senate seat currently held by Kirsten Gillibrand, sources said.

Harry Reid

Why Is Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Sending Staffers to Trail and Videotape the Tea Party Express?

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Susan Thomas of Reno, NV., lower left, raises her arm during a ‘Tea Party Express’ rally Monday, Aug. 31, 2009, in Las Vegas. The national bus tour will host a series of rallies across the United States protesting what they characterize as big government, as they make their way to Washington, D.C.

Just askin’
As the Tea Party Express rolls out of Las Vegas, there is at least one person who may be glad to see it go: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

“There’s been kind of an underground gathering of opponents of Harry Reid,” said Mark Williams, one of the organizers of the cross country conservative caravan that is making its way towards Washington.

Williams says that dislike of the Nevada Democrat is one of the key factors that is driving people to come out to the five Nevada stops on the tour. With Reid not being up for election until 2010, Williams says people are using the tea parties to come together and vent their frustration with the state’s senior senator.

Protesters at a tea party event in Sparks, Nevada drew a rather unflattering caricature of the senator and taped it to the door of a port-a-pottie.

In Winnemucca, Nevada Deborah Johns, another tour organizer, won big applause when she brought up Reid.

“It’s time to let Harry Reid know it’s time to go back to searchlight,” she said, referring to Reid’s hometown in Nevada. “When he gets there the lights are going to be out.”

Meanwhile, Reid’s office sent a young staffer, Sean Kennedy, on the road to trail the caravan as it made its way across the Silver State. He has videotaped each event.

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Harry Reid

Harry Reid: Ted Kennedy’s Death is Going to Help Us

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On day three of the feud between Democrat Senate Majority Leader Reid and Nevada’s largest newspaper, Sherman Frederick appears on Fox to discuss Reid’s comment about the newspaper going out of business

First, it was Dingy Harry Reid wishing Nevada’s largest newspaper would go out of business. Now, he is channeling Ted Kennedy’s death to help who – US.

Does he mean the Democrats? Or President Obama’s health care reforms?

I suppose it doesn’t much matter and read the entire interview here.

Q: Do you think this recess has helped or hurt efforts to get a health care reform bill passed

A: Oh I think it’s helped. For one thing I think the American people have seen the wrongness of trying to interrupt meetings and yell and scream at people. That’s lost a lot of its pizzazz. I think its given time for members to contemplate what’s important. We can talk to our constituents. I’ve traveled the state talking to people. I think they’ve been very constructive meetings.

Q: How will U.S. Sen. (Edward) Kennedy’s death affect things?

A: I think it’s going to help us. He hasn’t been around for some time. We’re going to have a new chairman of that committee, it’ll be, I don’t know for sure, but I think Sen. (Chris) Dodd, (D-Conn.). He has a right to take it. Either him or (U.S. Sen. Tom) Harkin, (D-Iowa), whichever one wants it can have it. I think he (Kennedy) will be a help. He’s an inspiration for us. That was the issue of his life and he didn’t get it done.

The entire interview is from a cranky, old man who should be retired out of office by Nevada voters next year.

Barack Obama

Poll Watch: Obama Total Approval Craters to 45 Per Cent

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According to the Rasmussen Poll.
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 30% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-one percent (41%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -11.

Overall, 45% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President’s performance. That’s down a point from yesterday and the lowest level of total approval yet measured for Obama. Fifty-three percent (53%) now disapprove. See recent demographic highlights from the tracking polls.

Looks like Obama may not have much political capital left after the summer recess and the town hall protests. When will the change of direction to prepare for the 2010 Congressional midterm elections begin?

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