These are my links for October 30th through November 1st:
Romney, Obama camps war over ‘state of the race’– Who has the momentum in the race for the White House, President Barack Obama or GOP challenger Mitt Romney?Each campaign says they do, and are seeking to impress upon reporters that point.”A week from today, we will know hopefully the outcome of the election and we believe that Mitt Romney will be the next president of the United States,” Russ Schriefer, a senior adviser to Romney’s campaign, said Wednesday afternoon in a conference call with reporters.Obama campaign senior adviser David Axelrod cited poll and early voting numbers in a separate call a few hours earlier, saying, “We feel very, very good about the numbers that we’re mounting up in those states.”Their efforts come with only six days remaining in the presidential contest and after several days of campaigning were scrapped as Superstorm Sandy battered several eastern states. On Monday, Obama’s campaign held a call with the same theme, and earlier on Friday, Romney senior adviser Kevin Madden told reporters traveling with the candidate that Democrats were feeling under pressure.
“I think in many of these states where the Democrats considered those to be locked down, safe states that they weren’t going to have to defend, they’ve now gone up with – they’re now pouring resources into those states,” he said. “They have to put up ads on the air, and I think that shows that they’re playing defense, whereas when we’ve gone in with resources to many states, it’s because we’re playing offense, that we have an expanded map now to get to the, our electoral of 270.”
Madden’s briefing took place on a flight from Miami to Tampa, Florida, and was the first time in several days the campaign has held an on-the-record briefing for reporters.
Romney forces see Pennsylvania, Michigan and Minnesota ripe for turning red– After a season dominated by talk of Ohio, Virginia and Florida, Campaign 2012 suddenly shifted focus to a new trio of states Wednesday amid a new verbal battle about which candidate is better positioned to win on Tuesday.The new geographic front in the political war focuses on Pennsylvania, Michigan and Minnesota, three states that have backed Democrats dating back at least to 1988 but which Republicans say are ripe for GOP nominee Mitt Romney in his challenge to President Obama.Republican super PACs have been advertising in those states for some time, and Romney’s campaign has joined in two of them, Pennsylvania and Minnesota, but not Michigan as of Wednesday.Money spent in unexpected places by the campaigns or their super PACs says little at this point. That’s because, unlike in past presidential campaigns, both sides are flush with cash and have extra funds to play with down the stretch.The fact that Romney’s campaign has put some money into ads in Minnesota and now Pennsylvania doesn’t say a lot so far, and the fact that his campaign has not put money into ads in Michigan may say more about the campaign’s assessment of the electoral map.
Still, Romney advisers said the action in Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Michigan showed that Republicans are expanding the electoral map and have more options to get to 270 electoral votes.
Obama’s empty, strident campaign– Energetic in body but indolent in mind, Barack Obama in his frenetic campaigning for a second term is promising to replicate his first term, although simply apologizing would be appropriate. His long campaign’s bilious tone — scurrilities about Mitt Romney as a monster of, at best, callous indifference; adolescent japes about “Romnesia” — is discordant coming from someone who has favorably compared his achievements to those of “any president” since Lincoln, with the “possible” exceptions of Lincoln, LBJ and FDR. Obama’s oceanic self-esteem — no deficit there — may explain why he seems to smolder with resentment that he must actually ask for a second term.Speaking of apologies, Syracuse University’s law school should issue one for having graduated Joe Biden. In the 2008 vice presidential debate, he condescendingly lectured Sarah Palin that Article I of the Constitution defines the executive branch. Actually, Article II does. In this year’s debate, he said that overturning Roe v. Wade would “outlaw” abortion. Actually, this would just restore abortion as a subject for states to regulate as they choose. Biden, whose legal education ended well before he was full to the brim, was nominated for his current high office because Democrats believe compassion should temper the severities of meritocracy. It is, however, remarkable, and evidence of voters’ dangerous frivolity regarding the vice presidency, that Biden’s proximity to the presidency has not stirred more unease. To forestall that, Biden should heed Alexis de Tocqueville: “To remain silent is the most useful service that a mediocre speaker can render to the public good.”
Poll: Romney, Obama running roughly even in ground game– Although both presidential campaigns have touted their political ground games as the reason their candidate will break away in a presidential race that looks essentially deadlocked, a new survey from the Pew Research Center suggests Mitt Romney and President Obama are also running roughly even in terms of outreach.While nearly eight in 10 voters in battleground states have received campaign-related direct mail and six in 10 say they’ve been the recipient of a pre-recorded phone call, neither side has pulled away in influencing voters.In fact, 38 percent of voters in battleground states say they have been contacted by both campaigns, with 14 percent saying they have only been contacted by the Romney campaign and 13 percent saying only the president’s reelection team has reached out to them. Around a third of battleground state voters say they have been missed by both campaigns.
Women: Sen. Bob Menendez paid us for sex in the Dominican Republic – Two women from the Dominican Republic told The Daily Caller that Democratic New JerseySen. Bob Menendez paid them for sex earlier this year.In interviews, the two women said they metMenendez around Easter at Casa de Campo, an expensive 7,000 acre resort in the Dominican Republic.
They claimed Menendez agreed to pay them $500 for sex acts, but in the end they each received only $100.
The women spoke through a translator in the company of their attorney, Melanio Figueroa.
Both asked that their identities remain obscured for fear of reprisals in the Dominican Republic.
When shown a photograph of Sen. Menendez,the women said they recognized him as the man with whom they’d had sexual relations at
Casa de Campo this spring.
Both said they were brought to the resort with the understanding they would be paid for sex.
Neither knew the identity of the man at thetime. Both claimed to recognize him later as Sen. Menendez.
“He called him[self] ‘Bob,’” said one.
Rove predicts Romney victory with at least 279 Electoral College votes– Republican strategist Karl Rove on Thursday predicted GOP nominee Mitt Romney would win the presidency.In an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal, the former George W. Bush adviser said he expected Romney to win with 51 percent of the vote to Obama’s 48, “with Mr. Romney carrying at least 279 Electoral College votes, probably more.””It comes down to numbers. And in the final days of this presidential race, from polling data to early voting, they favor Mitt Romney,” wrote Rove.Rove, who now runs the conservative non-profit group Crossroads GPS, which has spent heavily in swing-states in support of Romney, focused on the recent Gallup tracking numbers, showing they suggested Obama would hit a ceiling of 48 percent support.Rove’s predictions comes as a slew of national and state polls show a close race with only days until the election. An ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll released Thursday shows the candidates locked in a 49-49 tie
Status Update on Gallup Election Polling Following Superstorm Sandy = Thursday – Sunday– All survey data are weighted to match the demographic characteristics of the population as a whole, including weights for telephone use now that interviewing involves both land lines and cell phones. But it is impossible to adequately weight to compensate for large segments of the population who cannot be reached at all in a survey, or in very low percentages, and whose opinions may have changed from previous, pre-storm measures.Gallup is now tentatively planning on conducting interviewing over the last four days of this week, Thursday through Sunday, to provide a final pre-election estimate of the election race. The decisions we make on the validity of the sample and the analysis of the data that results will be carefully informed by the degree of recovery from the storm over the period of the survey.
What’s Behind the State-National Poll Divergence?– The Hurricane Sandy-related lull in tracking polls gives us a good opportunity to look at one of the more interesting aspects of polling to develop this month: the divergence between national and state polls. Put simply, the national surveys point to a Romney win, while the state polls collectively point to an Obama win. Both can’t be correct.The RCP Average currently has Mitt Romney up by 0.8 points nationally. He has held this lead fairly consistently ever since the first presidential debate.Given what we know about how individual states typically lean with respect to the popular vote, a Republican enjoying a one-point lead nationally should expect a three-to-four-point lead in Florida, a two-to-three-point lead in Ohio, and a tie in Iowa. Instead we see Romney ahead by roughly one point in Florida, and down by two in Ohio and Iowa.Of course, every cycle sees states shift their partisan leans, sometimes radically. Nevada has swung heavily toward Democrats in a relatively short time, while West Virginia has bolted for Republicans. So it wouldn’t be shocking to see the partisan lean in Florida, Ohio and Iowa shift leftward. Indeed, it may be that Obama’s ad war, ground game, and policy decisions over the past four years (i.e., the auto bailout) have “frozen” these states in place vis-à-vis the rest of the country.
ObamaCare’s Costs to the Working Class– It is time to move past the debate over whether ObamaCare was a good or a bad idea. I count myself as an ObamaCare supporter, but this doesn’t blind me to the law’s flaws. Regardless of who wins the presidential election, bipartisan compromise will be necessary to reform health care in a constructive way.The most important provisions of ObamaCare are scheduled to take effect in 2014. I have been researching ObamaCare and assisting with its implementation, and have come to this realization: Without further reforms, the law will create unnecessary costs for working-class Americans.
Poll: Romney closes gap on Obama in Michigan– Mitt Romney is within striking distance of Barack Obama in Michigan in the final days before the election, buoyed by more who are convinced the Republican is a viable alternative to the president, with the ability to turn around the economy.Obama’s lead over Romney has shrunk to just under 3 points, 47.7 percent to 45 percent, with 3.8 percent undecided, according to a new Detroit News/WDIV Local 4 poll of likely voters. Obama’s lead was 6.7 points earlier this month and has eroded to within the poll’s 4 percentage point margin of error. It’s the smallest advantage for the Democratic president during the Michigan campaign.
GOP Sees Path Emerging for Romney Win in Iowa– A month ago, as Mitt Romney’s campaign appeared to be foundering on just about every front, even allies of the Republican nominee believed his hopes for recovery to be particularly grim here in Iowa.At the time, he was failing to generate much enthusiasm in his western Iowa stronghold, and President Obama’s vaunted ground game in the state — which had launched him toward the Oval Office in 2008 — was humming along with an efficiency that threatened to put the state out of reach.Particularly concerning for the Romney camp was the extent to which its internal polling showed the challenger getting blown out in Obama’s eastern Iowa strongholds of Black Hawk and Linn counties, which encompass the population hubs of Waterloo-Cedar Falls and Cedar Rapids, respectively.
These are my links for October 24th through October 25th:
AP poll: Romney erases Obama advantage among women– What gender gap?Less than two weeks out from Election Day, Republican Mitt Romney has erased President Barack Obama’s 16-point advantage among women, a new Associated Press-GfK poll shows. And the president, in turn, has largely eliminated Romney’s edge among men.Those churning gender dynamics leave the presidential race still a virtual dead heat, with Romney favored by 47 percent of likely voters and Obama by 45 percent, a result within the poll’s margin of sampling error, the survey shows.After a commanding first debate performance and a generally good month, Romney has gained ground with Americans on a number of important fronts, including their confidence in how he would handle the economy and their impressions of his ability to understand their problems.
At the same time, expectations that Obama will be re-elected have slipped: Half of voters now expect the president to win a second term, down from 55 percent a month earlier.
Support plunges for Prop. 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax initiative– Support has plunged for Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to raise billions of dollars in taxes, a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll shows, with less than half of voters planning to cast ballots in favor of the measure.Only 46% of registered voters now support Brown’s initiative, a 9-point drop over the last month, and 42% oppose it. The findings follow a lackluster month of campaigning by the governor, who had spent little time on the stump and found himself fighting off attacks from backers of a separate ballot measure that would raise taxes for schools.
Colorado remains big prize as Romney, Obama hold campaign rallies– It was after sunset as the flashing lights of Mitt Romney’s motorcade began the steep and winding climb up the hills west of Denver on Tuesday. By the time the Republican candidate arrived at the Red Rocks Amphitheater, the rocks were rocking.Blue lights bathed the rock walls flanking the seating area. The Romney campaign’s stylized “R” logo was projected in white against the rocks. At the opposite end of the vast open-air setting, five American flags were hanging high up at the back of the big stage. The stage had a faux-autumn, western setting of fence posts, artificial grass, rocks and shrubs. The night air was seasonably warm.
Rove: Strategies for the Stretch Run to Nov. 6– This year’s presidential election was transformed between the first debate’s opening statements in Denver and the closing statements in Boca Raton. As a result, most of the negative impressions created by the Obama campaign’s five-month, $300-million television advertising barrage were destroyed. Seen unfiltered, Gov. Mitt Romney came across as an earnest, straightforward, thoughtful conservative with a concrete plan for the nation’s future.Wednesday’s RealClearPolitics.com average of polls showed Mr. Romney with 48% support to President Barack Obama’s 47.1%. On the eve of the Denver debate, Mr. Romney had 46% and Mr. Obama 49.1%.More revealing, in the past week’s 40 national surveys, Mr. Romney was at or above 50% in 11, with Mr. Obama at or above 50% in one. Mr. Romney leads 48.9% to 46.7% in an average of these surveys. At this same point in 2004, President George W. Bush led Sen. John Kerry in this composite average, 48.9% to 45.8%.So what are each candidate’s strategies for the stretch run?
New television spots reveal the Romney campaign’s closing message. One says another four years for Mr. Obama would mean more debt, up to 20 million people losing their employer-provided health insurance, higher taxes, rising energy prices and Medicare cuts. Other ads emphasize Mr. Romney has a plan for jobs and showcase his success as a Republican governor in a Democratic state
Suburbs Swing to Debate-Tested Romney– Back in May, I wrote a column laying out possible scenarios for the 2012 campaign different from the conventional wisdom that it would be a long, hard slog through a fixed list of target states like the race in 2004.I thought alternatives were possible because partisan preferences in the half dozen years before 2004 were very stable, while partisan preferences over the last half dozen years have been anything but.Now, after Mitt Romney’s big victory in the Oct. 3 debate and his solid performances in the Oct. 16 and 22 debates, there is evidence that two of my alternative scenarios may be unfolding.The list of target states has certainly not been fixed. Barack Obama’s campaign spent huge sums on anti-Romney ads to create a firewall in three states that the president won narrowly in 2008 — Florida, Ohio and Virginia. But post-debate polling shows Romney ahead in Florida and tied in Virginia.
National Journal’s Major Garrett reported last week that Obama strategist David Plouffe omitted Florida and Virginia in a list of key states but mentioned Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. Obama carried the latter three by 10, 10 and 12 points in 2008.
Obama’s Blunder Was in Ceding Political Center to Romney– The third and final presidential debate did little to change the race between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, who are tied with just two weeks to go. Even so, this week’s inconsequential contest provides a key of sorts to understanding the election.In the first debate — which was consequential and then some — Romney abruptly changed from the severely conservative Republican he’d presented to voters during the primaries to the reassuringly pragmatic moderate he’d seemed as governor of Massachusetts. It was an audacious move, and one that strains credulity, in two respects: for the sheer distance in ideology he had to walk back, and for the timing, because he left this second outrageous pivot so late in the campaign.In the last debate, focused mainly on foreign policy, he moved further toward moderation. He struck a conciliatory tone and found little in what Obama said to disagree with, making the encounter in one sense a nonevent. He was cautious to a fault, careful to avoid seeming recklessly hawkish, allaying concerns that under his leadership the U.S. might blunder into another war. This peacemaking Romney couldn’t have won the Republican nomination. But he could very well win on Nov. 6.
How Bill Clinton May Have Hurt the Obama Campaign– When the histories of the 2012 campaign are written, much will be made of Bill Clinton’s re-emergence. His convention speech may well have marked the finest moment of President Obama’s re-election campaign, and his ads on the president’s behalf were memorable.But there is one crucial way in which the 42nd president may not have served the 44th quite as well. In these final weeks before the election, Mr. Clinton’s expert advice about how to beat Mitt Romney is starting to look suspect.You may recall that last spring, just after Mr. Romney locked up the Republican nomination, Mr. Obama’s team abruptly switched its strategy for how to define him. Up to then, the White House had been portraying Mr. Romney much as George W. Bush had gone after John Kerry in 2004 – as inauthentic and inconstant, a soulless climber who would say anything to get the job.
Paul Ryan to Campaign and Trick or Treat in Wisconsin– In a week Paul Ryan will campaign in the battleground state of Wisconsin but the visit was partially designed so the GOP vice presidential can be with his kids on Halloween.Ryan made it clear he won’t miss being with his kids on the dress-up holiday in a radio interview earlier this month.The seven-term congressman, wife Janna and three children live on the same block that Ryan grew up on in Janesville.“I’m taking my kids trick-or-treating, and so, that’s a big tradition we have in my neighborhood. We trick-or-treat at the same houses I trick-or-treated in as a kid growing up,” Ryan said in a radio interview on the Jerry Bader Show on Oct. 19. “And so, around that time, I’m going to spend a good deal of time in Wisconsin.”
The race in Wisconsin is considered a “toss up” on CNN’s Electoral Map. The state took on greater importance after Ryan became Mitt Romney’s running mate and recent polls show President Barack Obama still has a slight edge in Ryan’s home state.
In the same interview that aired on WTAQ in Green Bay he said, “I’m planning a swing through the state and throughout the major cities, as many as I can get.”
A Ryan aide confirmed the Halloween-day visit but would not elaborate what stops he will make or how long the visit will be.
Obama Asks for Another Chance to Meet His Goals, Including Immigration Amnesty– President Barack Obama asked the Iowans who first voted for him as president to give him another chance to accomplish his goals, including the immigration overhaul that he predicts Republicans will want to accomplish if they are defeated in the White House race.The president kicked off the busiest day of his re-election campaign with an appeal to the Iowa voters who selected him in the first-in-the-nation Democratic caucus in 2008. Obama later won the state in the general election, but it’s a toss-up this year against Republican Mitt Romney and a suffering economy. Romney planned to visit the state later Wednesday with a stop in Cedar Rapids.
Netroots Bloggers Mark 10th Birthday in Decline and Struggling for Survival– Now, however, the Netroots, which were once thought to do to the political left what evangelical Christianity was supposed to do to the professional right, are 10 years old. In that time they vaulted Howard Dean to within a scream of the presidency, helped Democrats take both houses of Congress and several statehouses across the country, and gave the party what many in the movement believed to be some much-needed spine.But with another critical election two weeks away, politicians, political operatives, and even the bloggers themselves say the Netroots are a whisper of what they were only four years ago, a dial-up modem in a high-speed world, and that the brigade of laptop-wielding revolutionaries who stormed the convention castle four years ago have all but disappeared as a force within the Democratic Party.
Dentists ask patients about sex lives to fight oral cancer– Dentists are being urged to probe their patients’ personal lives to help curb rising rates of oral cancer.A leading charity wants to see dentists take a more active role in fighting the disease, which is claiming increasing numbers of lives in the UK.This could mean practitioners asking patients about lifestyle risk factors such as smoking, drinking and sexual behaviour.’We would like them to be more aware of the risk factors so that they ask the right questions,’ said Hazel Nunn, head of health evidence and information at Cancer Research UK.
‘Dentists should be asking their patients if they smoke or drink heavily. That doesn’t necessarily mean following up with a lecture, but they should be aware.
‘If a dentist is looking at someone’s teeth and knows this person smokes 50 cigarettes a day and drinks well above the recommended amount, he might look that extra bit more carefully.’
These are my links for October 17th through October 18th:
Obama needs to win back the hearts of the country – Obama Needs to Win the Not-So-Optomistic– Barack Obama won the hope vote in 2008. Now, to keep the White House, President Obama needs to win back the disappointed.Michael Jones is one of them. Jones, one of the questioners during Tuesday night’s debate, wanted to know what the president has done to earn his support in 2012. This time around, “I’m not that optimistic,” said Jones.Obama’s answer to a critical voter concern was one of his weakest and one of challenger Mitt Romney’s strongest. It’s partly because Obama never got a chance to respond to his rival, but also because Obama didn’t seize the opportunity when Jones first presented to him.You could picture Bill Clinton telling the citizen-questioner in deeply personal terms how hard he is working on his behalf and how hard he would continue to work in a second term. Candidate Clinton showed how that’s done in a 1992 town hall debate that came to symbolize his unique ability to connect viscerally with ordinary people — even as it illustrated President George H.W. Bush’s inability to do so.
Rove: Obama Won the Debate but Is Losing the Argument– Americans on Tuesday night watched what was the most ferocious presidential debate ever. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney circled and interrupted each other, jabbed fingers, got into each other’s space, and exchanged verbal body blows for 90 minutes at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.Yet it did not change the campaign’s dynamic. President Obama won the postdebate polls, but he’s losing the argument.In CNN’s insta-poll, 46% said Mr. Obama did the “best job” while 39% chose Mr. Romney. And in CBS’s survey of uncommitted voters, 37% said Mr. Obama won the night while 30% gave it to Mr. Romney. But to reverse the GOP challenger’s momentum, the president required nearly as big a victory Tuesday as Mr. Romney had last week. He didn’t get it.
Massive study finds only 3.4% of American adults identify as LGBT– A massive new survey published this morning reveals that only 3.4% of American adults publicly identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, with the highest percentage coming among the younger, less-educated non-whites.The new Gallup Poll of more than 121,000 adult, the largest of its kind on record, wass conducted during the past four months. It finds the percentage of self-reported LGBT Americans to be much smaller than a general impression derived from their presence in popular culture and their perceived influence in liberal American politics.The special report found 3.4% of adult Americans publicly reporting themselves as personally identifying with those categories, 92.2% saying they do not and 4.4% refusing to say or claiming not to know.Given the stigma often attached by some to those categories, some unknown portion of the Didn’t Say’s and No’s presumably are choosing to remain in the closet, holding down the LGBT number somewhat.
“This initial analysis,” Gallup reports, “reveals new insights into the composition of the LGBT community in the U.S. In particular, the findings challenge both media and cultural stereotypes to reveal that the LGBT population is in a number of ways not that different from the broader U.S. population.”
In full-page newspaper ad, 13 Iowa voters apologize for supporting Obama in 2008– A full-page Mitt Romney campaign ad in today’s Cedar Rapids Gazette takes the form of an open letter from 13 Iowans who say they voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 but regret their choice and won’t do so again in 2012.The letter is phrased as an apology, and lays out a case for why Romney, the Republican nominee is a better choice this time around.“Mitt Romney will deliver the real recovery that President Obama has failed to bring, he’ll get Americans working again, and he’ll turn our economy around,” the letter says
Report: Obama campaign turning grim on Florida, Virginia, North Carolina — and Colorado? – It’s not that Romney has insurmountable leads in FL, VA, and NC, it’s that Team O has to decide how to allocate what’s left of its campaign treasury down the stretch and there are better bets for them than those three states. Triage, in other words. Mitt’s up 4.7 points on average in North Carolina, which would be tough for O to make up, and 2.5 points in Florida, which might be doable but would be hugely expensive in terms of reserving enough ad time to make a dent. I’m a little surprised to see Virginia included — O actually leads there by eight-tenths of a point, although Romney’s (narrowly) won the last three polls, so maybe Obama’s campaign figures it’s not worth resisting that momentum in a state they don’t really need. They do kind of need Colorado, though, and that actually looks tougher than Virginia for them at the moment: Romney leads by seven-tenths of a point and has won six of the nine polls taken since the first debate. If I had to guess, I’d bet they’re looking at Virginia and Colorado now as an either/or situation; if Romney’s lead opens a bit in one rather than the other, that one will be written off and an investment made in the closer state.
Terrorist arrested after trying to ‘destroy America’ with Fed Reserve Bank attack– A young Bangladeshi on a mission to “destroy America” tried to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank in lower Manhattan Wednesday with what he thought was a 1,000-pound van bomb, according to a criminal complaint.Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, allegedly wanted to kill scores of people, wreak havoc on the US economy and stop the presidential election when he parked on Liberty Street around 8 a.m. and repeatedly dialed into the cellphone detonator from a nearby hotel room.But all he did was set off an indicator in the van that proved he tried to set off the explosion. He was promptly arrested, with his grand plans up in smoke.“I don’t want something that’s like small. I just want something big,” Nafis, 21, told an undercover agent during a recorded August meeting in Central Park.
“Something very big. Very very very very big, that will shake the whole country . . . that will make us one step closer to run the whole world. I want to do something that brothers coming after us can be inspired by us.”
The al Qaeda-obsessed terrorist — who was living with relatives in Queens — also recorded a video addressed to Americans right before he tried to detonate the bomb.
A Turn of the Page for Newsweek – Out of Print– We are announcing this morning an important development at Newsweek and The Daily Beast. Newsweek will transition to an all-digital format in early 2013. As part of this transition, the last print edition in the United States will be our Dec. 31 issue.Meanwhile, Newsweek will expand its rapidly growing tablet and online presence, as well as its successful global partnerships and events business.Newsweek Global, as the all-digital publication will be named, will be a single, worldwide edition targeted for a highly mobile, opinion-leading audience who want to learn about world events in a sophisticated context. Newsweek Global will be supported by paid subscription and will be available through e-readers for both tablet and the Web, with select content available on The Daily Beast.Four years ago we launched The Daily Beast. Two years later, we merged our business with the iconic Newsweek magazine—which The Washington Post Company had sold to Dr. Sidney Harman. Since the merger, both The Daily Beast and Newsweek have continued to post and publish distinctive journalism and have demonstrated explosive online growth in the process. The Daily Beast now attracts more than 15 million unique visitors a month, a 70 percent increase in the past year alone—a healthy portion of this traffic generated each week by Newsweek’s strong original journalism.
Scott Adams Blog: Firing Offense – Endorses Romney– Romney is likely to continue the same drug policies as the Obama administration. But he’s enough of a chameleon and a pragmatist that one can’t be sure. And I’m fairly certain he’d want a second term. He might find it “economical” to use federal resources in other ways than attacking California voters. And he is vocal about promoting states’ rights, so he’s got political cover for ignoring dispensaries in states where medical marijuana is legal.So while I don’t agree with Romney’s positions on most topics, I’m endorsing him for president starting today. I think we need to set a minimum standard for presidential behavior, and jailing American citizens for political gain simply has to be a firing offense no matter how awesome you might be in other ways.
The schedule becomes the story– e are at the point now in the race for the White House where decisions must be made by both campaigns on where to spend precious time in the final days of this race, as what seems like a simple decision not to campaign in a certain state can quickly blossom into a major story.The number of swing states I have been watching is ten – New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada.With 19 days until Election Day, how many times will the President and Mitt Romney get to those states? Will any of them go wanting?The President spent the day after the second Obama-Romney debate in Iowa and Ohio; as I wrote earlier in the week, don’t underestimate the importance of Iowa’s six Electoral Votes.
“We’re in Iowa and Ohio today specifically because early voting has already started,” Obama Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Air Force One. “As you know, that’s a key part of our strategy.”
Reporters then asked about speculation that the Obama campaign might be easing off the pedal in some southern states – specifically, Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.
“The same states that were in play and that we’re competing in every single day are the same states today as they were three weeks ago,” Psaki said. “And that includes Florida, and that includes North Carolina.”
But the schedule already tells a story about North Carolina.
A President Without a Plan– President Obama bounced off the canvas with a more spirited debate at Hofstra University on Tuesday night, as everyone expected he would. He was animated and on the attack. The question we kept asking as the evening wore on, however, is what does he want to do for the next four years?At least two questioners put the point directly, yet Mr. Obama never provided much of an answer. Sure, he wants to hire 100,000 more teachers, as if there is the money to hire them or it would make much difference to student outcomes.He wants to invest in “solar and wind and biofuels, energy-efficient cars,” which probably means more Solyndras and A123s (see nearby). He wants to raise taxes on the rich—that’s one thing he’s really passionate about. Oh, and he does want to pass the immigration reform he said he’d propose four years ago but never did propose in his first two years when his party controlled Congress and he might have passed it.But otherwise, what’s his case for four more years? Judging by Tuesday’s debate, the President’s argument for re-election is basically this: He’s not as awful as Mitt Romney. Mr. Obama spent most of his time attacking either Mr. Romney himself (he invests in Chinese companies), his tax plan as a favor for the rich (“that’s been his history”) or this or that statement he has made over the last year (“the 47%,” which Mr. Obama saved for the closing word of the entire debate).
Record High Enrollment for Food Stamps: 46,681,833 Million– Food stamps enrollment has hit a new record high. 46,681,833 million are now enrolled in the social welfare program, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, the federal department that runs the program.As the chart shows, when President Obama took office, enrollment in the food stamps program was 31.98 million. Now, not even four years later, it’s a whopping 46.48 million. (In 2002, as the chart states, “19.1 million Americans received food stamps.”)In fact, the newly released data represents enrollment in July (the last month for which data is available). Assuming the program remained on its projected path, the number of those enrolled in food stamps is likely now larger by several hundreds of thousands.”USDA has engaged in an aggressive outreach and promotional campaign to boost food stamp enrollment. Among these efforts are an ongoing partnership with the Mexican government to advertise food stamps to Mexican nationals, migrant workers, and non-citizen immigrants. Partly as a result of these efforts, the number of non-citizens on food stamps has quadrupled since 2001,” explains the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee.
And the cost, the committee explains, is astronomical. “Total spending on food stamps is projected to reach nearly $800 billion over the next 10 years, with no fewer than 1 in 9 people on the program at any given time. Neither food stamp participation nor spending on the program are ever projected to return to pre-recession levels at any point in the next 10 years.”
A new, improved Barack Obama shows up for the second debate but fails to halt Mitt Romney’s momentum– President Barack Obama needed a game-changing night here in Hampstead, New York and Mitt Romney made sure he didn’t get it. Over the 90 minutes, Obama might have edged it – just – but strategically he did little if anything to blunt Romney’s growing advantage.Just as Al Gore over-compensated for his poor first debate in 2000, we saw a completely different Obama this time around. He had clearly had some intensive coaching from his debate prep team and was acting under orders to do change everything. Romney strategist Stuart Stevens quipped afterwards that he became ‘Joe Biden without the charm’.The problem is that the difference was so stark it was jarring. And by throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Romney – we had tax rates, Bain, big bird and the 47 per cent – there was more than a whiff of desperation. While Obama flung mud, Romney was intent on dismantling Obama’s record in office.
These are my links for October 9th through October 11th:
Biden: ‘You Ever See Me Rope-a-Dope?’– Joe Biden, on his way to tonight’s vice presidential debate in Kentucky, asks the press, “You ever see me rope-a-dope?”From the pool report:Vice President Biden arrived at about 10:50 a.m. at New Castle Airport. He climbed out of a gray SUV, greeted some military (see below) and then walked toward the press gathered near the wing.Asked about tonight’s debate he said, “Looking forward to it.”
Asked about his strategy, whether it was rope-a-dope, he responded:
“You ever see me rope-a-dope?”
A bunch of Bidens are joining the VP, including: sons Hunter and Beau, daughter Ashley, sister Valerie. Debate partner Rep. Chris Van Hollen and former Sen. Ted Kaufman are on board, as is Shaleigh Murray, who played moderator Martha Raddatz in debate practice.
GOP Turnout Effort Tests Obama Campaign’s Prowess– Republicans are narrowing Democrats’ organizational advantage in critical swing states, but the latter say they are on track to improve upon President Obama’s 2008 early-vote count.Now that the election has moved full-throttle into get-out-the-vote mode, both campaigns are tracking the daily tabulation of absentee ballots requested in key battlegrounds along with the number of early votes already cast. In half of the most critical swing states — Colorado, Florida and North Carolina — Republicans have requested more absentee ballots than have their counterparts. And in Nevada, the two sides are nearly even.
ObamaCare: Health Care Direction Awaits Verdict of Presidential Race– Joyce Beck, who runs a small hospital and network of medical clinics in rural Nebraska, is reluctant to plan for the future until voters decide between President Obama and Mitt Romney. The candidates’ sharply divergent proposals for Medicare, Medicaid and coverage of the uninsured have created too much uncertainty, she explained.“We are all on hold, waiting to see what the election brings,” said Ms. Beck, chief executive of Thayer County Health Services in Hebron, Neb.When Americans go to the polls next month, they will cast a vote not just for president but for one of two profoundly different visions for the future of the country’s health care system. With an Obama victory on Nov. 6, the president’s signature health care law — including the contentious requirement that most Americans obtain health insurance or pay a tax penalty — will almost certainly come into full force, becoming the largest expansion of the safety net since President Lyndon B. Johnson pushed through his Great Society programs almost half a century ago.If Mr. Romney wins and Republicans capture the Senate, much of the law could be repealed — or its financing cut back — and the president’s goal of achieving near-universal coverage could take a back seat to Mr. Romney’s top priority, controlling medical costs.
Given the starkness of the choice, historians and policy makers believe this election could be the most significant referendum on a piece of social legislation since 1936, when the Republican Alf M. Landon ran against Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal programs. (Nearly eight decades have passed, but the debate sounds strikingly familiar: Landon described the Social Security Act, passed in 1935, as “the largest tax bill in history” and called for its repeal.)
California gas prices are a warning– California’s record gasoline prices and long service station lines are a warning to all of us about what green energy can do to our pocketbooks.On Monday, California gasoline cost $4.67 per gallon, compared with the $3.81 U.S. average. California’s environmental standards are the most stringent in the country, and Californians are paying the price.The price spike started with an August fire in Chevron’s Richmond refinery. Then, two other refineries, operated by Tesoro and Exxon Mobil, went down for maintenance. Because California requires different blends of gasoline from other states, and pipelines across the Rockies are limited, gasoline can’t be shipped in from elsewhere.On Sunday, in an attempt to lower gasoline prices, Gov. Jerry Brown suspended the environmental regulations that kept California prices above those in the rest of the United States.
Rove: The Dividends of Romney’s Debate Victory– How big an impact did Mitt Romney’s performance in last week’s debate have? Huge. Mr. Romney not only won the night, he changed the arc of the election—and perhaps its outcome. Surveys have him leading the RealClearPolitics average of polls for the first time since securing the GOP nomination in mid-April.Prior to Oct. 3, Mr. Romney trailed President Barack Obama by an average of 3.1 points in national polls tallied by RealClearPolitics. Since the debate, Mr. Romney now leads Mr. Obama in the RCP average by a point, 48.2% to 47.2%, and the bounce is likely to grow. By comparison, Sen. John Kerry was widely seen to have bested President George W. Bush in the first 2004 debate (held on Sept. 30 of that year), but he never led in the RCP average in October.In seven of the past nine presidential debate series, the challenger has gained more in the polls than the incumbent (or the candidate of the party in power). The first debate generally frames the series and establishes whether the bounce will be large or modest. Mr. Romney’s bounce is significant.
Greek Unemployment Rises Above 25 per cent– The unemployment rate in Greece rose to 25.1 percent in July, from 24.8 percent the month before, as the financial crisis continued to destroy jobs.Greece’s statistical authority says in a statement Thursday that 1.26 million Greeks were jobless in July, with more than 1,000 jobs lost every day over the past year.In the worst-affected 15-24 age group, unemployment was 54.2 percent.In July 2008, a year before Greece’s acute financial crisis broke, there were only about 364,000 registered unemployed.
Greece is surviving on international bailout loans, granted on condition of harsh austerity measures to curtail the country’s large budget deficits. The economy is set to enter a sixth year of recession in 2013.
CBS 5 Poll: Romney Gains 8 Points On Faltering Obama In California– The effects of President Barack Obama’s falter in the first debate with Mitt Romney are not just being felt in battleground states, according to KPIX-TV CBS 5?s latest tracking poll of California which shows Romney slicing eight points off Obama’s lead.Obama had led by 22 points in the CBS 5 tracking poll released four weeks ago. Obama now leads by only 14 points, an 8-point improvement for Romney. At the same time, the poll found U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s support for her re-election bid remained largely unchanged, month-on-month, suggesting that the erosion in Democratic support is not across-the-board, but contained to Obama. Unclear is whether the Obama erosion is fleeting or long-lasting.
11 Of Lance Armstrong’s Teammates Testified Against Him To The USADA– The USADA is releasing a full report of evidence that Lance Armstrong was doping during his cycling career.Eleven of Armstrong’s former teammates testified against the seven-time Tour de France winner saying he used performance enhancing drugs.The teammates who testified against Armstrong were: Frankie Andreu, Michael Barry, Tom Danielson, Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, Levi Leipheimer, Stephen Swart, Christian Vande Velde, Jonathan Vaughters, and David Zabriskie.
Lawyer who filed complaint has ties to multiple anti-ALEC groups– The lawyer who filed an IRS whistleblower complaint against the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) on behalf of a shadowy organization known as “Clergy Voice” has ties to Common Cause, the liberal government watchdog group and renowned ALEC foe.Marcus Owens, former director of the Exempt Organizations Division of the IRS from 1990 to 2000, filed a whistleblower complaint in July against ALEC, alleging the group was violating IRS tax law.“ALEC has deliberately and repeatedly failed to comply with some of the most fundamental federal tax requirements applicable to public charities,” Owens wrote in his complaint against the influential free-market group. “The information in this submission also suggests, quite strongly, that the conduct of ALEC and certain of its representatives violates other civil and criminal tax laws and may violate other federal and state criminal statutes as well.”As reported by the Free Beacon, the “grassroots” movement against ALEC is a well-coordinated campaign orchestrated by well-funded and often secretive progressive groups.
Barack Obama, VP debate moderator wedding guest– President Barack Obama was a guest at the 1991 wedding of ABC senior foreign correspondent and vice presidential debate moderator Martha Raddatz, The Daily Caller has learned. Obama and groom Julius Genachowski, whom Obama would later tap to head the Federal Communications Commission, were Harvard Law School classmates at the time and members of the Harvard Law Review.After TheDC made preliminary inquiries Monday to confirm Obama’s attendance at the wedding, ABC leaked a pre-emptive statement to liberal-leaning news outlets including Politico and The Daily Beast Tuesday, revealing what may have been internal network pressure felt just days before Raddatz was scheduled to moderate the one and only vice-presidential debate Thursday night.
Jack Welch: I Was Right About That Strange Jobs Report– Imagine a country where challenging the ruling authorities—questioning, say, a piece of data released by central headquarters—would result in mobs of administration sympathizers claiming you should feel “embarrassed” and labeling you a fool, or worse.Soviet Russia perhaps? Communist China? Nope, that would be the United States right now, when a person (like me, for instance) suggests that a certain government datum (like the September unemployment rate of 7.8%) doesn’t make sense.Unfortunately for those who would like me to pipe down, the 7.8% unemployment figure released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) last week is downright implausible. And that’s why I made a stink about it.Before I explain why the number is questionable, though, a few words about where I’m coming from. Contrary to some of the sound-and-fury last week, I do not work for the Mitt Romney campaign. I am definitely not a surrogate. My wife, Suzy, is not associated with the campaign, either. She worked at Bain Consulting (not Bain Capital) right after business school, in 1988 and 1989, and had no contact with Mr. Romney.
The Obama campaign and its supporters, including bigwigs like David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs, along with several cable TV anchors, would like you to believe that BLS data are handled like the gold in Fort Knox, with gun-carrying guards watching their every move, and highly trained, white-gloved super-agents counting and recounting hourly.
Let’s get real. The unemployment data reported each month are gathered over a one-week period by census workers, by phone in 70% of the cases, and the rest through home visits. In sum, they try to contact 60,000 households, asking a list of questions and recording the responses.
State Dept reveals new details of Benghazi attack– All was quiet outside the U.S. Consulate as evening fell on Benghazi and President Barack Obama’s envoy to Libya was retiring after a day of diplomatic meetings.There was no indication of the harrowing events that night would bring: assailants storming the compound and setting its buildings aflame, American security agents taking fire across more than a mile of the city, the ambassador and three employees killed and others forced into a daring car escape against traffic.Senior State Department officials on Tuesday revealed for the first time certain details of last month’s tragedy in the former Libyan rebel stronghold, such as the efforts of a quick reaction force that rushed onto the scene and led the evacuation in a fierce gun battle that continued into the streets. The briefing was provided a day before department officials were to testify to a House committee about the most serious attack on a U.S. diplomatic installation since al-Qaida bombed the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania 14 years ago.The account answers some questions and leaves others unanswered. Chief among them is why for several days the Obama administration said the assault stemmed from a protest against an American-made Internet video ridiculing Islam, and whether the consulate had adequate security.
State Department: No video protest at the Benghazi consulate– Prior to the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi late in the evening on Sept. 11, there was no protest outside the compound, a senior State Department official confirmed today, contradicting initial administration statements suggesting that the attack was an opportunistic reaction to unrest caused by an anti-Islam video.In a conference call with reporters Tuesday, two senior State Department officials gave a detailed accounting of the events that lead to the death of Amb. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. The officials said that prior to the massive attack on the Benghazi compound by dozens of militants carrying heavy weaponry, there was no unrest outside the walls of the compound and no protest that anyone inside the compound was aware of.
The liberal media loved Obama to death – It was in Denver one week ago that the long-running romance between Barack Obama and the national press — aka the “Slobbering Love Affair,” as Bernard Goldberg put it — hit the wall. The motel bill, unpaid these many long months and ages, at long last came due.
It had been the real thing, not a commonplace fling with your generic Democrat, but the love of a lifetime, the genuine article, the sum of all dreams: He was not just a Democrat, he was also a liberal. He was not just a liberal, he also biracial, also multinational; also hip, cool, and clever. He was themselves as they wanted to be. Like them, he was gifted at writing and talking (and, as it turned out, not much beyond that), like them, he stood up for Metro America; like them, he viewed the people outside it with a not-very-measured disdain. “I divide people into people who talk like us and people who don’t talk like us,” said David Brooks, speaking for all of them. “You could see him as a New Republic writer … he’s more talented than anyone in my lifetime … he IS pretty dazzling when he walks into a room.”Dazzled indeed, they turned on their old flames, Bill and Hillary Clinton. They dumped John McCain, with whom they had flirted; and when Romney appeared — rich, square, and looking like Dad in a mid-50s sitcom — it was clear the long knives would be out.
The LEFT melts down over Obama Debate Performance– Let me suggest something that many conservatives realized after the debate: Obama did not do that badly. For Obama. He was the same listless, droning, exhausted-of-ideas scold we have seen for at least two years now (and maybe three).He was Obama. This is what he is. He is not quick-witted. He is not, as I think I saw Mickey Kaus note, a wonk. He has never been a wonk, a detailed-policy guy.He is a guy who speaks vacuously of hopes and dreams and change and fairness.He always has been.
The problem, for the liberals, is not Obama. This is what you bought. This is your guy. It wasn’t his A game, but it was something close to his B+ game.
The problem was Romney, who was commanding, fluent, reasonable, articulate, sharp-witted, warm, occasionally funny, full of ideas, full of facts, full of thoughtful, detailed criticisms of Obama policy (who the hell expected him to bring up, as an afterthought, Dodd-Frank’s failure to specify what a “reasonably qualified” mortgage applicant was, and how that chilled lending? Obama sure didn’t!), and, therefore, ultimately, full of qualification for the job and yes, full of gravitas.
That’s the problem.
Not Obama. I repeat: This is who Obama is. He has never been this brilliant intellect and keen policy analysts liberals have, in their BubbleWorld, dreamed him as.
After Debate, Obama Protection Dam Breaks– President Obama might think sagging polls are his biggest post-debate problem. But it’s really people like Buzz Bissinger, Stacey Dash and Bill Maher showing it’s now acceptable in polite society to attack The One.In an eye-opening piece Monday on the Daily Beast, “Friday Night Lights” author and lifelong Democrat Buzz Bissinger announced he was voting for Romney.The tipping point, he wrote, “was last week’s debate in Denver,” which showed Obama out of energy and out of ideas. Obama is “no longer the chosen one. He is just too cool for school in a country desperate for the infectiousness of rejuvenation.”
Angst grows among Obama supporters– First came the nausea. Then came the anxiety.After months of watching Mitt Romney twist in the media glare, a growing number of President Barack Obama’s supporters — though confined for now to a noisy minority of liberals — are peering into the Obama-might-actually-lose abyss for the first time after last week’s disastrous first debate.
NASA – NASATV – RT @NASA on @SpaceX #Dragon capture: “Looks like we’ve tamed the Dragon. We’re happy she’s on-board with us.”
Rep. Issa closes in on Clinton on Libya– Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is setting his sights on his biggest political target yet: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.Issa, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is treading more carefully than he did with his investigation of Attorney General Eric Holder and the Fast and Furious gun-tracking program, which led to a House vote placing Holder in contempt.Issa has not called on Clinton to testify at a hearing Wednesday morning meant to investigate security lapses at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.Issa’s staff has also praised Clinton for vowing to cooperate with the investigation of how an attack on the consulate left U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other American diplomats dead.
“After dealing with the Department of Justice’s stonewalling in Operation Fast and Furious, the State Department and Secretary Clinton have been a breath of fresh air,” said Frederick Hill, a spokesman for Issa, in an interview with The Hill. “They pledged their cooperation when we
These are my (Flap) links for June 18th through June 19th:
A White House mess– One little-known fact about the world of journalism is that news organizations prepare obituaries of famous people while those people are still alive, so that packages of material will be ready to go when a death is announced.Over the past week, journalists have been writing articles that have the quality of these sorts of pre-obituaries — only the event they’re anticipating isn’t the last breath of an individual but the defeat of President Obama’s re-election bid.Even more striking, these journalists aren’t conservatives indulging in their deepest wish, but rather liberals who admire Obama and want to see him win a second term.Al Hunt, who was for decades the voice of liberal conventional wisdom as the Washington bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal, declared yesterday in his Bloomberg column that Obama “needs an intervention.”
The Sad Demise of the Occupy Movement– Remember when the Democratic Party saw the Occupy movement as the Left’s equivalent of the Tea Party? That lasted until it became obvious that 1) Occupy wasn’t actually much of a movement, and 2) to the extent it existed, it was an embarrassment. Occupy is in the process of fading away, not with a bang but a whimper, and with more criminal prosecutions to its credit than normal citizens converted to the leftist cause.But, much as a dead frog’s legs will continue kicking for a while, a few remnants of Occupy cling to a fitful existence. To see what the “movement” is up to these days, check out this online diary that documents the Occupy Caravan. The Caravan is a group of nine leftists who are driving, in two minivans, from California to Philadelphia. The diary, by one James Jennison, is hilarious but sad. You can’t help feeling sorry for this ragtag band of misfits who evidently think they are making some kind of political statement
Another Ridiculous Lie From Liberal Media – Distorting Romney’s “WAWAs” Hoagie Speech– Another example of how ridiculous the media is in their uncompromising struggle to distort the truth in order to make sure Obama wins and Conservatives lose.Today it’s being widely reported that Romney had a moment were he was amazed at the existence of WAWAs, a convenience/gas store, and the electronic touchtone ordering of sandwiches. They have spun this to make it seem like he’s out of touch – BUT THE VIDEO IS EDITED DECEPTIVELY:
MSNBC mischaracterizes Romney remarks– MSNBC aired footage today that inaccurately portrayed Mitt Romney’s remarks at a campaign stop in Pennsylvania.Discussing how the public sector suffers from a lack of competition, Romney told the audience about an optometrist who wanted to change his address and subsequently received 33 pages of paperwork from the federal government, which begat a months-long bureaucratic nightmare during which the optometrist in question wasn’t receiving his checks. “That’s how government works,” Romney said.Then, to illustrate the advantages of competition in the private sector, Romney shared an anecdote from his visit to the local WaWa chain store. “I was at WaWas, I went in to order a sandwich. You press a little touchtone keypad — you touch this, touch this, go pay the cashier — there’s your sandwich. It’s amazing. People in the private sector have learned how to compete. It’s time to bring some competition to the federal government.”
Will GOP demand Plame-style leak investigation?– A lot of lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, are angry about the damaging national security leaks that have come out of the Obama administration. But Republicans are probably angrier, and their feelings can be explained in two words: Valerie Plame.The Plame affair was a complicated, tortured episode in which the George W. Bush White House was accused of having deliberately leaked classified information — the identity of an undercover CIA agent — to score political points during a particularly intense time in the Iraq war. Now, many Republicans believe the Barack Obama White House has deliberately leaked classified information — among other things, details of the U.S. cyberwar against Iran — to score political points during a particularly intense time in the presidential campaign.
Dem hopes of taking House dim– Democratic hopes of recapturing the House are dimming as a series of race-by-race setbacks and economic uncertainty suggest that the 25 seats they need to net might be out of reach.The Hill projects that Democrats will net somewhere between 10 and 15 seats, assuming the presidential election remains a close contest.House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has given her party a better than 50-50 chance of wresting control of the lower chamber — but missed opportunities in specific races and increasing economic worries have put that prediction in doubt.“The environment certainly isn’t as good as it was six months ago for Democrats,” a senior Democratic strategist who works on House races told The Hill, speaking on the condition of anonymity in order to comment candidly.“Democrats are way off track of where they need to be to regain the majority,” said David Wasserman, the House race editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report
Marco Rubio Not Being Vetted to Be Mitt Romney’s Running Mate– Even before the Republicans chose a presidential nominee it was widely assumed that Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., would be at the top of anybody’s list of vice presidential candidates. The reasons are obvious: Not only is he young, charismatic and wildly popular with conservatives, but he could also help Republicans win a key state (Florida) and make inroads with Hispanics.But knowledgeable Republican sources tell me that Rubio is not being vetted by Mitt Romney’s vice presidential search team. He has not been asked to complete any questionnaires or been asked to turn over any financial documents typically required of potential vice presidential candidates.
After spat with former construction management company, officials get projects back on track– Months after the El Monte Union High School District cut ties with its former construction management company, details are emerging about related issues that have come at a hefty expense to the district.A construction update last week revealed that the district is paying the price for design plans that didn’t have the required state approval before the construction work began at several campuses.In one case, work began on a new two-story classroom building without the plans getting state approved, resulting in the district being forced to make extensive revisions.In another a much publicized case, the state didn’t sign off on plans for new heating and air conditioning systems in two high school auditoriums before they were installed. The buildings have been closed for months as officials work to rectify the issue.The projects are part of a $148 million bond measure approved by voters in 2008. After parting ways with its construction management company Alsaleh Project Management (APM) last year and hiring another firm, officials have been working to get projects back on track. But it hasn’t been easy, or cheap.The costs of some construction projects under the bond measure have increased by up to 36 percent over what was originally budgeted, according to last week’s construction update.
While some of the rising costs were the result of upgrades desired by district leaders, part of the increase is related
A Guide to How Obama’s New Immigration Policy Will Work, And a Word of Caution– The policy memo directs ICE and Customs to begin using their on-the-ground discretion immediately. Citizenship and Immigration Services is ordered to implement what is known as “deferred action” for this category of immigrants within 60 days. It’s a good sign that the administration is moving quickly. But bear in mind, deferred action is exactly what it sounds like. It means the federal government isn’t placing you in removal proceedings now. In fact, the memo says specifically that the deferral is good for two years before the next re-evaluation. What happens after that is anyone’s guess. “The question becomes: What if the person is granted deferred action and then they turn 30,” Schwamkrug asks. “Does that mean it won’t be renewed?”If it isn’t, and that person doesn’t have some sort of legal status, current policy is to automatically forward them to immigration court for removal proceedings. Two years-worth of work authorization may be small recompense for imminent deportation.Perhaps the biggest wild card here is the November presidential election. Obama’s policy is just that. It doesn’t amount to citizenship, nor is it law, enacted by Congress. You can bet one of Mitt Romney’s first acts as president would be to rescind Napolitano’s memo. And then what? Young people who have lived their lives as Americans announce their presence as undocumented immigrants and become subject to removal proceedings. “You’re luring people out, dangling a carrot of employment authorization in exchange for putting themselves on the radar,” Schwamkrug says. “As attorneys, we’d have to lay everything out to our clients and let the clients make the choice. We can’t tell them what to do. But I personally think there’s cause for concern.”In other words, the undocumented American may rejoice, but must remain mindful that there’s no permanence to Obama’s extended hand. And in just five short months, it may be snatched away altogether.
Scalia and Ginsburg Drop Hints about Obamacare’s Fate at the Supreme Court– The Supreme Court is set to issue its ruling on the epic Obamacare case, Florida v. HHS, at the end of June. Two of the High Court’s justices, Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, dropped hints this weekend as to what the Court might do. Between what they said, and the scuttlebutt I’ve been hearing, we can start to think about what the Court may do—and when.On Friday, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke at the annual Court review of the American Constitution Society, a group “dedicated to…countering the activist conservative legal movement.” Ginsburg said that she was quite aware of the controversy surrounding the Obamacare case. “Some have described the controversy as unprecedented and they may be right if they mean the number of press conferences, prayer circles, protests, counter protests, going on outside the court while oral argument was under way inside.”
Re: Newt and Individual Mandate – Thanks to Joe for posting this latest example of Gingrich’s utter disdain for real individual liberty. The way I have described it, Republicans/conservatives considering voting for Gingrich are showing a massive case of collective amnesia or, worse, a massive procilivity to (political) suicide that is so strong that they may as well OD on pills, stand at the top edge of a 1,000-foot building, and fire a gun at themselves, just to make sure that if one method of suicide doesn’t work another one will. As an observer of politics, from a purely neutral standpoint, Gingrich’s rise in the polls is astonishing, especially in a year when Republicans are supposedly absolutely desperate for a winner above all else — for somebody who can beat Obama, regardless of philosophical purity. How can a guy who absolutely imploded the only time he was in power, a guy around whom Bill Clinton ran rings, a guy who can’t keep himself from absurdly grandiose statements and from major verbal gaffes at least every six months (MAJOR, not just minor), possibly be expected to defeat Obama?
Herman Cain’s campaign a study in ineptitude – Herman Cain is in the midst of “reassessing” whether to continue his 2012 bid, but its legacy is already settled: His campaign will go down as one of the most hapless and bumbling operations in modern presidential politics, setting a new standard for how to turn damaging press coverage into something far worse.
The botched responses to allegations of marital infidelity, sexual impropriety and his own gaffes — not to mention the puzzling strategic decisions — have, in the eyes of many veteran strategists, reached record levels of ineptitude.
Rove: GOP Faces Most ‘Vicious’ Election Battle Ever – Highly respected political analyst Karl Rove tells Newsmax that Republicans stand a 55 percent chance of regaining the White House in 2012 but warns that President Barack Obama’s “hard-nosed Chicago pols” will run a vicious campaign to smear the GOP nominee.
In an exclusive, wide-ranging interview with Newsmax.TV, Rove says the president has “walked out on his daytime job” to focus exclusively on re-election, predicts Obama won’t jettison Vice President Joe Biden in 2012, and doubts that a third-party candidate will emerge in the presidential race.
The 2012 race will be the toughest the GOP has seen, Rove warned, adding that Obama’s Chicago-run operation “is going to take the Republican nominee and subject him or her to the worst beating of their life, every day for roughly 11 months.”
“It’s going to cause him problems in Iowa, which is an immigration-sensitive state, and I, frankly, personally agree with him that there needs to be a practical way to resolve the situation of people who are in the United States.”
And interestingly, Rove then says that Newt told him that he was — in Roves’s description — “persuaded by the arguments of John McCain and Mike Huckabee that we need to find a humane and practical way to do this.”
Conservatives should think twice about Newt – Newt Gingrich’s surge to the top of the Republican presidential field has some conservatives imagining the former House Speaker as the anti-Romney. Gingrich is encouraging such a view with his claim that he is “certainly more conservative” than the former Massachusetts governor. The Manchester (N.H.) Union-Leader’s endorsement added to the perception of a growing “newt-mentum” to anoint Gingrich as the preferred conservative in the Republican presidential field. But there are substantial reasons why thoughtful conservatives should think very carefully before jumping on this bandwagon.
There are, for example, gaping holes in Gingrich’s conservative credentials. As the American Spectator’s David Catron pointed out Monday, Gingrich has long been a fan of Dr. Donald Berwick. Berwick just resigned as President Obama’s director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees Obamacare. Obama put Berwick there because of his professed love for Britain’s socialized medicine.
Berwick’s views are so radical that not even a Democratic Senate would confirm him, yet Gingrich wrote this in a Washington Post op-ed published in 2000: “Don Berwick at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement has worked for years to spread the word that the same systematic approach to quality control that has worked so well in manufacturing could create a dramatically safer, less expensive and more effective system of health and health care.”
Gingrich’s wonkish delight in industrially rationed health care may come as a sho