Archive for July, 2011.
In a world where the U.S. House of Representatives is controlled by hobbits who are hell-bent on preventing poor kids from attending college , only one man stands between the all powerful ratings agencies and a potential credit downgrade . Unfortunately, that man, ” President ” Obama, is reluctant to use all of his Constitutional powers . Perhaps his aversion to saving America from itself stems from his foreign background , or maybe it’s the fact that he never belonged to a country club . Whatever the case, the responsibility for staving off economic disaster now falls on a ragtag group of negotiators who’ve thus far proven to be rather pathetic .
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Sunday Talk: Nothing left but the crying
Pew Research Center 7/20-24/11; 1,501 adults, 3.5% margin of error Mode: Live telephone interviews Read More… More on Pollster
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US-2012 Primary: 21% Romney, 12% Perry, 11% Palin, 11% Bachmann (Pew 7/20-24)
“Anything embarassing about me isn’t running for president.” (Larry Downing/Reuters) Michele Bachmann today : BACHMANN: I’m running for the presidency of the United States. My husband is not running for the presidency, neither are my children, neither is our business, neither is our foster children and I’m more than happy to stand for questions on running for the presidency of the United States. Ah yes. Families are off limits! Too bad Michele Bachmann disagrees with that. Michele Bachmann, 10/18/2008 : MR. MATTHEWS: I mean, if you’re liberal, are you anti-American? REP. BACHMANN: Well, the liberals that are Jeremiah Wright and that are Bill Ayers, they’re over-the-top anti-American. And that’s the question that Americans have. Remember, it was Michelle Obama who said she’s only recently proud of her country. And so these are very anti-American views. You know what else wasn’t running for president in 2008? Obama’s church. Or Bill Ayers. They weren’t even using federal funds for whatever it is that they do. Like Bachmann’s husband’s clinic to pray away the gay. But let’s be serious. Spouses are fair game. They always have been. They always will be. There’s a reason why politicians love commercials featuring their entire families. Families are a reflection of who you are as a person. They accentuate the positives, expose the negatives. Spouses have tremendous bearing on who politicians are as human beings, not to mention have incredible influence on their politics. In Bachmann’s case : [U]nlike several other candidates’ spouses, he’s enthusiastically embraced his wife’s run, sketching out a new kind of role for himself: Equal parts confidant, body man, image consultant and political strategist That goes for everyone from Michelle Obama to Cindy McCain to Calista Gingrich to Bill and Hillary Clinton (switch them back and forth depending on the election year) to anyone else (like Sarah Palin’s tabloid family). Now as a candidate, you may not like it. But if you don’t, then don’t feature your spouse as a campaign prop while having him run your show. (Jeff Haynes/Reuters)
Bachmann: Lay off my spouse, while I go after yours
It’s no secret that Amy Winehouse and ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil shared a simultaneously passionate and self-destructive relationship–so much so that Fielder-Civil’s mother fears her son, “wracked with guilt” over Winehouse’s death, will “kill himself.” Even Fielder-Civil’s current girlfriend–and mother of his newborn son–Sarah Asprin, acknowledges as much, telling the UK’s The Sun this week: “I saw him and Amy together and I know they were really … soul mates…” But on Tuesday, details emerged concerning the distribution of Winehouse’s financial assets that may call into question the depth of Winehouse and Fielder-Civil’s relationship. Specifically this one: Fielder-Civil’s name does not appear once in Winehouse’s Â£10 million will. Read More…
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Amy Winehouse Death: Blake Fielder Civil Singer Left Out Of Will
Fifty states in the Union. Which ones will get the most attention next year? Though it rankles some (I can personally recall some scintillating pie fights on the subject during the era of debates over a “50-state strategy” back in the day), it is inevitable that some states will receive more attention than others at election time. Attention can be defined in numerous ways. Attention can be defined as media attention; it can be defined as activist attention (it wasn’t CNN that made Wisconsin the epicenter of American politics this year, after all); and it can be defined in the cold hard cash dispensed by both campaigns and party committees. With the elections still off in the considerable distance (excluding those four states holding statewide elections in the off-year), today represents our first chance to examine which states will be the electoral battlegrounds of 2012. To create this list, I elected to create a simple formula. The parameters are below. They are subject to debate, of course, and I am more than willing to entertain tweaks to this formula given a compelling argument. Here are the criteria I created: 1. THE RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE As always happens, we can expect Barack Obama’s re-election to consume the lion’s share of the oxygen in this campaign cycle. So, it is weighted the heaviest. The math here was pretty simple: start with the state’s electoral votes. Then divide it by a number that is created by drawing an average of the assessment of the three best known elections prognosticators. Unfortunately for us, at this early stage, only one of the three pundits (Charlie Cook) has offered ratings on the presidential level. So, this will get revised as time goes on, of course. If they rate a state as a toss-up, it was assigned a value of 1. If they rate a state as leaning in one direction, it was assigned a value of 2. If they rate a state as likely to go in one direction, it was assigned a value of 4. If they rate a state as safe, it was assigned a value of 8. For example, Florida is the highest rated state: a toss-up worth 29 electoral votes. The lowest was a tie among several states (Delaware, Vermont, DC, Wyoming and the Dakotas all come to mind). Three electoral votes in each case, rated by Cook as safely in one party’s corner. 2. THE RACE FOR THE U.S. SENATE With Senate control potentially at a knife’s edge, the upper chamber in Congress will deservedly get a lot of attention here. We will also look at the race ratings provided by three prognosticators: Cook, Stu Rothenberg and Larry Sabato. And all three have offered an early take on the landscape. Because we are not dividing here, the figures are inverted. If a race is defined as a toss-up, it will be worth eight points. If a race is defined as “leaning” to a party (even if it is not the incumbent party), it will be worth four points. A race defined as “likely” to go to a certain party gets two points. A “safe” seats gets absolutely nothing. The state’s “Senate rating” is created by averaging the three scores together. In other words, if two of the guys have a race as leaning Democratic, while one has it as a likely Democratic race, the overall rating would be 3.33. 3. THE RACE FOR THE U.S. HOUSE Count me among those who think House control could also be very easily at a knife’s edge. We will also go with the prognosticators here as well (who will eventually be replaced by our own Daily Kos Elections race ratings, by the way). Because it is possible for one state to have multiple races in the mix, the point values here will dissipate a bit: four points for a toss-up, two points for a leaner, and one point for a “likely” rating. Once again, an average of the three pundits will be taken. It is worth noting that, of all the parameters, this is the one that seems the most likely to shift dramatically, since the whims of redistricting are going to play a substantial role here. Also, expect big shifts as we go along, because one of the three pundits (Rothenberg) appears to only be forecasting in states where redistricting is already completed. 4. THE RACE FOR THE STATEHOUSE For now, this will mean just the gubernatorial races. I’d like to also add vulnerable state legislatures to the mix (a task I’m sure to which our good friends at the DLCC would be more than willing to offer their two cents). For the sake of simplicity, let’s offer up the same point values as the Senate races. Based on that set of parameters, I hammered the numbers for all 50 states (plus DC, despite the lack of Congressional races) into a database. Before we find ourselves checking out the top 10, however, let’s take a quick look at the bottom five. A quintet of states all have something in common: statewide races with no intrigue whatsoever, a single (and, thus far, deemed uncompetitive) House race, and three electoral votes whose landing place are not in doubt. So congrats to Wyoming, Washington D.C., South Dakota, Delaware, and Alaska for being collectively heaved into the “foregone conclusions” pile. Each earned the minimum possible score of 0.38. I don’t know if I agree with the prognosticators on this one (I don’t think SD-AL is a foregone conclusion, for example), but the political press is unlikely to bear down on these places anytime real soon. Which states are far from foregone conclusions? Behold, the top 10: 10. WISCONSIN (14.34 points) This years’ most-watched political state may well be 2012’s most-watched political state, as well. You have an open seat Senate battle that is bound to be competitive, with top tier candidates on either side. Half of the state’s eight seats in the House could be worth watching (Ryan, Kind, Duffy, Ribble), pending the whims of redistricting. Add to that a potential gubernatorial recall (which is not yet included in the point totals) and 10 electoral votes that could be up for grabs in November, and you have a lot of reasons to pay attention to the Badger State, even after the recalls this summer. 9. MONTANA (16.05 points) Sure, it’s tiny. Sure, it only has three electoral votes and almost everyone assumes that they will be headed to the GOP. But Montana has three races to watch below the race for the White House, and those races propel Big Sky Country into the top 10. A U.S. Senate showdown between incumbent Democratic Sen. Jon Tester and Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg might be the one that decides control of the Senate. Meanwhile, former GOP Rep. Rick Hill seeks a career comeback in an exciting open seat gubernatorial race where it looks like a couple of legit Democrats are eying the race. Finally, Rehberg’s departure opens up a House seat that could also be extremely competitive. 8. NEVADA (16.67 points) I’d fully expect the Silver State to move up the charts as we go along, particularly as the redistricting process works itself out and a clearer picture of the state’s quartet of House races emerges. The Senate battle between appointed Sen. Dean Heller (R) and longtime Rep. Shelly Berkley (D) looks like a real coin flip, as does the battle for the state’s six electoral votes. 7. CALIFORNIA (18.53 points) It is the biggest prize in the race for the White House (55 electoral votes), but that really isn’t why California makes the list. After all, few doubt that the president will, as he did in 2008, easily seize those electoral votes for the Democrats. What lands Cali on the list, quite simply, is the House. After a decade of largely (and often absurdly) uncompetitive races for Congress, the independent redistricting process threatens to shake up the House race picture in the Golden State, with as many as a dozen incumbents in both parties potentially getting legitimate sweats in their bids for re-election. A clearer picture of the districts will emerge by the end of the summer, but a certain healthy layer of chaos seems inevitable. There is also a Senate race, but that one seems unlikely to be interesting, absent a primary challenge or a retirement, neither of which seems particularly likely. 6. MISSOURI (19.00 points) Mizzou makes the list because of the wide variety of contests on the docket in 2012. In addition to a battle for its 10 electoral votes that is not a lock for either side (though virtually everyone makes the GOP a narrow favorite), you also have a potentially vulnerable Democratic incumbent seeking re-election to the Senate. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) has middling poll numbers, but her two GOP rivals (Rep. Todd Akin and former state treasurer Sarah Steelman) have been a touch underwhelming, particularly on the fundraising front. Meanwhile, speaking of underwhelming, everyone assumed that GOP Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder would provide a first-tier challenge to incumbent Gov. Jay Nixon (D). His campaign thus far, however, has been a comedy of errors, and the general consensus is that Nixon is now a betting favorite. Missouri’s House races have largely been gerrymandered into irrelevance, though there is some intrigue in seeing where Rep. Russ Carnahan (D) decides to make his final stand. If he does it in the open (and red-tinted) 2nd District, that might make for a race worth watching. 5. PENNSYLVANIA (21.32 points) By the time 2012 actually rolls around, I’d be willing to wager that the Keystone State will leap into the top three. With the huge shift in the House last year here, one has to assume that barring a truly unreal gerrymandering effort by the GOP-dominated lege, there will be a number of interesting races to watch in November. This could also be the epicenter of presidential politics, as well: few states have seen the president’s numbers erode more than Pennsylvania. As a result, the state looks like a real coin flip. If there is a relatively quiet race here, it might prove to be the Senate race. Sen. Bob Casey (D) is in his first re-election bid, but the GOP seems to lack a candidate with the horsepower to take advantage. 4. VIRGINIA (21.67 points) Virginia was one of the big surprises of 2008, a historically red state that suddenly wasn’t. It won’t sneak up on anybody in 2012, and that means that there will be a lot of eyes on the Commonwealth next year. If presidential politics didn’t put Virginia into the political conversation, the fact that the highest profile Senate race in America is located there would ensure a lot of attention. Both George Allen (R) and Tim Kaine (D) are making their comeback attempts in electoral politics, in what might be the most expensive Senate race in the nation. As for House races, redistricting is certain to play a role here. Three House seats changed hands in 2010, with a fourth less than one percent from doing so. 3. NORTH CAROLINA (24.50 points) The Tar Heel State might be Tar Hell for the Democrats, at least where the House is concerned. North Carolina was the GOP’s version of Redistmas, as they could net as many as four seats in the state delegation. Furthermore, the state is the site of a gubernatorial battle that has been established basically since the day the polls closed in 2008. It is a rematch, as embattled Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue gets challenged by Republican Pat McCrory. McCrory has led in pretty much every poll to date. Last, but certainly not least, there is the presidential sweepstakes. North Carolina was one of the three closest states in the Union in 2008, and it may well be again, if recent polling is any indicator. 2. OHIO (26.00 points) Ohio always seems to get attention on Election Day. For certain, 2012 will be no exception. The state might have lost a couple of electoral votes in the reapportionment process (when two House seats were eliminated), but its 18 electoral votes are still considered essential to the march to 270 for both parties. Add to that what promises (post-redistricting) to be a bunch of interesting House races, especially with two districts being drawn out of existence. As of right now, the Senate race looks good for incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown (D), but youthful Republican Josh Mandel raised a boatload of cash last quarter, and has to be taken at least somewhat seriously. 1. FLORIDA (39.66 points) Just like in 2000, when the late Tim Russert scribbled it on his whiteboard, the election is largely going to be about “Florida, Florida, Florida.” Now up to 29 electoral votes after redistricting, it is the largest presidential prize whose partisan leanings are not clearly pronounced. As such, it will reside squarely at the top of the target lists for both parties heading into 2012. On top of that, the redistricting process here could yield six or more competitive House races, and it offers Democrats a great villain to slay in the form of Rep. Allen West. Add to that a Senate race that could heat up at any time with longtime Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson (though his GOP rivals have been underwhelming thus far), and you have a state that offers a ton of intrigue in the 2012 election cycle. Who could crack this top ten? Michigan just missed the cut, but could be well worth watching now that the Senate race is becoming more defined. Iowa could have, and this is a rarity, all of its House races become truly competitive. For its House races alone, both Illinois and New York merit a lot of attention. The big wild cards here are twofold: redistricting and the GOP primary. The redistricting process could make states infinitely more interesting (California), or it could turn the state’s House races into a snoozefest (Wisconsin, if the proposed plan there holds up). The Republican presidential sweepstakes matters, as well. Michigan matters less, for example, if Mitt Romney is not the GOP nominee. This is a list we will be sure to revisit as we move closer to the heat of the cycle. It is also a formula we will revisit. Some possible shifts: using polling instead of race ratings (it’s way too early for that, given the relative dearth of data), or using our own Daily Kos Elections race ratings. And, as mentioned before, suggestions and tweaks in the comments are more than welcome.
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On the radar: The states to watch in 2012
(Elizabeth Cromwell/ CC BY-SA 3.0 ) Public Policy Polling (PDF) (7/15-17, registered voters, 6/19-12 (PDF) in parens): Barack Obama : 45 (47) Mitt Romney : 45 (45) Undecided : 10 (8) Barack Obama : 48 (50) Tim Pawlenty : 39 (39) Undecided : 13 (11) Barack Obama : 48 (48) Herman Cain : 36 (38) Undecided : 16 (14) Barack Obama : 53 (52) Sarah Palin : 37 (38) Undecided : 9 (10) Barack Obama : 48 Michele Bachmann : 41 Undecided : 11 (MoE: ±3.2%) Tom Jensen headlined this poll by saying Obama is in “perilous” shape. I think Obama certainly isn’t in very good shape, but I don’t think I would go as far as saying things are “perilous.” Just looking at the trendlines, very little has changed since last month, and Obama in fact improved two net points against two potential opponents while declining by two against two others. Still, Tom makes a compelling case that things are very tough for the president right now: Here’s an important note on all of this early 2012 polling though: Obama’s numbers are worse than they appear to be on the surface. The vast majority of the undecideds in all of these match ups disapprove of the job Obama’s doing but aren’t committing to a candidate yet while they wait to see how the Republican field shakes out. Here’s an idea of where these various match ups might stand once all voters have made up their minds: • In the Obama/Romney head to head 21% of undecideds approve of Obama and 61% disapprove. If you allocate them based on their approval/disapprove of Obama, Romney would lead 52-48. But he notes: If there’s a silver lining for Obama it’s this — he trailed Romney in our poll last July and then led him for each of the next 11 months. For whatever reason summer and particularly the month of July has not been friendly to Obama in the polls ever since he hit the national stage. So perhaps he’ll see another recovery now as he has in the past. But for now he’s in one of the weakest positions of his Presidency. As in 2010, I think it’s all going to come down to the economy and jobs. There is still time for things to change. In July of 2003, George Bush led John Kerry by double digits in the national polls, a race that wound up getting decided by only three. Of course, that only means that things could either get better or worse. Right now it’s just impossible to say which—but if things don’t change, then the president may indeed be in perilous territory.
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Is Obama in ‘perilous’ shape, as PPP suggests?
Every serious candidate for public office who has already held public office has something in her or his record to keep out of the public eye. That is usually some big screw-up, an on-the-record flame-out or a policy that had an unfortunate outcome. In Mitt Romney’s case, however, what he’d like everyone to forget is something he did right. As Brad Johnson writes , these days Romney is saying: … [W]e have made a mistake is what I believe, in saying that the EPA should regulate carbon emissions. I don’t think that was the intent of the original legislation, and I don’t think carbon is a pollutant in the sense of harming our bodies. That wasn’t Romney’s stance when he was governor of Massachusetts. Rather the opposite , according to Sarah Bufkin: While in office, Romney pushed state regulations aimed at enforcing emissions standards on power plants for four “pollutants,” including carbon dioxide. Here is an excerpt from the regulation, 310 CMR 7.29, as it stood in May of 2004, over a year after Romney took office: The purpose of 310 CMR 7.29 is to control emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), mercury (Hg), carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2) and fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) (together “pollutants“) from affected facilities in Massachusetts. 310 CMR 7.29 accomplishes this by establishing output-based emission rates for NOx, SO2 and CO2 and establishing a cap on CO2 and Hg emissions from affected facilities. After the Department of Environment instigated the broader regulation 310 CMR 7.29 to clean up the state’s “Filthy Five” power plants in 2001, the Romney administration took the initiative on developing the emission limits and implementation schedule for carbon dioxide. And it wasn’t just words. In 2003, Romney personally told Pacific Gas & Electric that their request for a two-year delay in extending the life of the dirty Salem Harbor coal-fueled power plant was out of line: “If the choice is between dirty power plants or protecting the health of the people of Massachusetts, there is no choice in my mind,” said Romney. “I will always come down on the side of public health.” That situation at Salem Harbor didn’t get resolved until recently . But that doesn’t change the fact that Romney was greenish on regulating carbon emissions, even supporting a state cap-and-trade plan. Attracting voters imbued with the Foxaganda version of environmental consciousness means Romney has to hope they pay attention to what he says now rather than what he actually did for four years as governor. He was right then and wrong now. That doesn’t exactly give him an edge against candidates who were wrong then and wrong now. But it says so much about the cohort of voters he hopes to attract in the primaries that he’d rather blend in on this issue than stand in contrast to his rivals.
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Does Romney really think his retreats on carbon control will buy him climate-change denier votes?
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) Quinnipiac University (7/12-7/18, Registered Voters, May results in parentheses) Sherrod Brown (D) 49 (45) Josh Mandel (R) 34 (31) Sherrod Brown (D) 50 (44) Kevin Coughlin (R) 32 (28) A handful of voters have come off the fence in the Buckeye State, and the Democratic incumbent has held onto quite a few of them, according to the latest Q poll. Right-wing analysts immediately noted Brown’s position at or under “the 50 percent threshold.” But that threshold means a bit less when a candidate is right on the number, and his opponent is still down 15-20 points. Republican golden child Josh Mandel raised some eyebrows earlier in the month with his $2+ million fundraising haul, and while he is the early leader in the GOP Senate primary, it is a fairly unimpressive advantage. “Undecided” still leads the GOP primary with 46 percent of the vote, well ahead of Mandel (35 percent) and Coughlin (12 percent). Assuming Mandel does emerge as the Republican nominee, he is going to have his work cut out for him in chasing Sherrod Brown. Unlike a lot of incumbent politicos, the first-term Democrat actually enjoys halfway decent job approval numbers. He sits at a 49/30 spread, with independents approving by a 43/32 margin. He even is at parity (38/39) with born-again evangelicals (President Obama, by comparison, is at 28/68). Brown does have to worry a bit about Mandel’s fundraising prowess, and the climate does not bode terribly well for incumbents generally. But he heads into the dog days of summer in a pretty enviable position. Meanwhile, the president is in a familiar position in Ohio, according to the Q poll. Middling job approval numbers, but he maintains a lead forged on the general lack of enthusiasm for the Republican alternatives. Barack Obama (D) 45 Mitt Romney (R) 41 Barack Obama (D) 47 Rick Perry (R) 35 Barack Obama (D) 49 Michele Bachmann (R) 36 Barack Obama (D) 51 Sarah Palin (R) 35 The Republicans are deeply divided when looking at their corps of pretenders to the throne. No candidate draws more than 16 percent of the vote in the poll’s Republican primary ballot test. That might explain why the president gets virtually all of the vote from those who approve of his job performance, but the GOP contenders do not get all of the vote from those who disapprove of his job performance. Ohio is a “must have” for the GOP in 2012, and if the poll makes one thing clear, the current field of Republicans is miles away from sealing the deal. If President Obama can hang onto Ohio in 2012, his path to 270 becomes much, much clearer.
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Ohio: Brown keeps double digit edge, Obama has narrow lead
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A Pennsylvania man is asking an Alaska court to dissolve a restraining order against him from Sarah Palin, saying a state magistrate denied his right of due process. Craig Christy is the father of 19-year-old Shawn Christy, who is accused of stalking the former Alaska governor, 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee and possible GOP presidential candidate. Read More… More on Sarah Palin
Craig Christy, Shawn Christy’s Father, Wants Order Dropped In Sarah Palin Stalking Case
(Romney photo credit: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters) Public Policy Polling (7/15-7/17, Republican primary voters): Michele Bachmann: 21 Mitt Romney: 20 Rick Perry: 12 Herman Cain: 11 Ron Paul: 9 Newt Gingrich: 7 Tim Pawlenty: 5 Jon Huntsman: 3 Someone else/not sure: 12 (MoE: ±3.6%) Bachmann’s lead is just one point, but it’s a meteoric surge, putting her atop the field in PPP’s first poll since her official entrance in to the race. She also leads Romney in a hypothetical heads-up match for the nomination, taking 44 percent to Romney’s 41 percent. It’s notable that she leads Romney despite not being as well-known; while 74 percent of Republicans have an opinion of Bachmann, 80 percent have an opinion of Romney. If Sarah Palin were to run, Romney would lead the field, but only because Palin would divide the field more than it already is. Romney’s support is stuck at 20 either way, suggesting yet again that there is a Mitt Romney ceiling . Mitt Romney: 20 Michele Bachmann: 16 Sarah Palin: 12 Rick Perry: 11 Herman Cain: 10 Ron Paul: 9 Newt Gingrich: 6 Tim Pawlenty: 5 Jon Huntsman: 2 Someone else/not sure: 10 (MoE: ±3.6%) It’s important to remember this the GOP nomination process will take place on a state-by-state basis, so a poll like this is really only useful for understanding broad trends, but those trends are not good news for Romney, and they are even worse for Tim Pawlenty who previously registered in double-digits but is now a non-factor. Also noteworthy: Rick Perry does very well for a potential candidate who has not yet announced whether he is running. Given his conservative profile, if he does run he appears well-positioned to go after Michele Bachmann’s supporters, especially if she falters. Looking ahead, it’s hard to see how things will get better for Romney, especially with liabilities like RomneyCare. Check out this question: Would you be willing or unwilling to vote for a Presidential candidate who supported a law at the state level mandating that people have health insurance? Willing 17 Unwilling 66 Not sure 17 When Romney finally faces a candidate willing to challenge him, it’s going to be brutal. On the substance, Romney is a nonstarter for the GOP, and as PPP’s Tom Jensen notes , he’s going to have to base his campaign around electability. In other words, he’s going to have to tell Republicans that teapartiers are unelectable at the national level. But that’s not a message the GOP base is interested in hearing.
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PPP: Bachmann leads GOP 2012ers, Palin bid would help Romney
Why, you ask, must Republican members of Congress behave like this ? That’s the now infamous exchange between Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and presidential adviser Elizabeth Warren, in which McHenry harassed her and called her a liar, with no basis. Why would a grown man and supposed statesman behave this way? Because, of course, he’s amply rewarded for doing so. Think Progress : According to a ThinkProgress analysis of new campaign finance data released on Friday, McHenry received $63,800 from lobbyists and executives from banks, mortgage companies, payday lenders, pawn shop executives, and other predatory lenders in the last three months alone. Notably, much of the campaign donations from payday lenders came on a single day, April 20, 2011: – Advance America PAC: $10,000 on 4/20/11 – Dennis Bassford, CEO of the Seattle-based payday lender MoneyTree: $4,600 on 4/20/11 – Sarah Bassford: $2,700 on 4/20/11 – Community Financial Services Association of America PAC (trade association for payday lenders): $5,000 on 4/20/11 – Checksmart Financial LLC PAC, an Ohio-based payday lender: $2,000 on 4/20/11 – A. David Davis, CEO of Ohio-based payday lender Check-n-go: $2,000 on 4/20/11 – Jared Davis, CEO of Ohio-based payday lender Axcess Financial: $2,000 on 4/20/11 – Roger Dean, CFO of Axcess Financial: $500 on 4/20/11 – EZCORP PAC, a Texas-based payday lender: $2,000 on 4/20/11 – Natl Pawnbrokers Assoc. PAC: $2,000 on 4/20/11 The surge of payday lender money to McHenry on a single day suggests the congressman had a campaign party with opponents of Warren. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is tasked with policing and regulating dozens of predatory lending practices. A few weeks after the predatory lending campaign money started flowing to McHenry, he used the hearing with Warren to berate a leading consumer advocate. Try to conceal your shock.
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Elizabeth Warren attacker well funded by financial institutions
(Illustration by DonkeyHotey ) I am beginning to despair for our national sanity. Somewhere along the line, the bar for presidential candidates got substantially lowered. You were allowed to be dumber than before, and less informed than before, but I think the topper is that you are now allowed—no, strike that, encouraged—to believe batshit crazy conspiracy theories : On Fox News Sunday today, host Chris Wallace pursued Cain’s reasoning behind his rabid opposition to the Tennessee center. Cain explained that while the Constitution guarantees a separation of church and state, the Islamic faith “combines church and state. They’re using the church part of our First Amendment to infuse their morals in that community.” WALLACE: But couldn’t any community then say they don’t want a mosque in our community? CAIN: They could say that. Chris, lets go back to the fundamental issue that the people are basically saying they’re objecting to. They’re objecting to the fact Islam is both a religion and a set of laws, Sharia law. That’s the difference between any one of our other traditional religions where it’s just about religious purposes. The people in the community know best, and I happen to side with the people in Murfreesboro. WALLACE: You’re saying any community, if they want to ban a mosque? CAIN: Yes. They have a right to do that. That’s not discriminating based upon religion. Yes. Imagine the national outcry if some religion used the “church part of the First Amendment” to “infuse their morals” into the rest of us. That would be truly horrible and insidious and stuff. I’ll go out on a limb here and bet that Herman Cain can’t name one element of “Sharia law,” though he’s convinced that whatever it is, it’s about to doom us all. But I think it’s the inclusion of the word “law” that’s the heart of this interesting conspiracy theory. His premise is that while Christianity or Judaism has “commandments,” Islam has “laws,” and that makes it an entirely different thing, because hey, check out that crazy different word we’re using! This conspiracy theory is widely held, by the way: Murfreesboro’s state Sen. Bill Ketron (R) sponsored a bill that would make it a felony to practice Sharia law, “which includes lessons found in the Quran, the holy book of Islam, and which can inform how Muslims live their everyday lives, including prayer rituals.” I’m trying to imagine how this would work if applied to any other religion. Let’s suppose we pass a law that makes it a felony to follow the Ten Commandments, because hey, pal, those are both religious and “laws,” as anyone who ever demanded we set up a monument to the Ten Commandments in front of some courthouse or other public building could tell you (and probably has, repeatedly). So how would that be enforced, exactly? If you got caught honoring your mother and your father, would you face prison time? I imagine not committing adultery would land you in the pokey for a good long while; let’s not even contemplate what would happen to anyone whose house was suspiciously empty of graven images. You are going down , you religious sicko. What about the ban of religious clothing? Here I have some sympathy. I for one would pay good money to see Sarah Palin carted off for wearing a gigantic cross around her neck. What’s fascinating is the lengths people will go to rationalize their own ignorance-based bigotries. Cain doesn’t know or really care what “Sharia” is, or what it represents. But he knows that it’s insidious because it “combines church and state” in a way that other religious (coughfoundamentalistchristianitycough) he says doesn’t. It would be wrong to pass religious-based laws, and we don’t do such things, except for his entire caucus which makes a point of advocating for exactly that, but that doesn’t count because it’s, you know, the right religion, not one of those shifty wrong ones. Cain simply can’t see that such a belief could be “discriminating based upon religion,” because, in his mind, Islam isn’t a true religion, but some sort of world plot masquerading as one. Oh, no, that’s not discriminatory at all, right?
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Herman Cain: We ‘have a right’ to ban mosques
Rupert Murdoch’s American media outlets weren’t close to the Bush White House for nothing, it seems. When it comes to the phone hacking scandal, they’re taking the ” slime and defend ” page out of Bush’s book. It’s not just Fox News, either. The Wall Street Journal is fully in the game. Let’s take a closer look at today’s editorial saying, “We’re the greatest; libruls and our competitors are the real issue in the phone hacking scandal”: Our readers can decide if we are a better publication than we were four years ago, but there is no denying that News Corp. has invested in the product. Joe Nocera, who had been a vocal supporter of Murdoch taking over the WSJ , last week detailed the changes he saw in the paper: Soon came the changes, swift and sure: shorter articles, less depth, an increased emphasis on politics and, weirdly, sometimes surprisingly unsophisticated coverage of business. Along with the transformation of a great paper into a mediocre one came a change that was both more subtle and more insidious. The political articles grew more and more slanted toward the Republican party line. The Journal sometimes took to using the word “Democrat” as an adjective instead of a noun, a usage favored by the right wing. In her book, “War at The Wall Street Journal,” Sarah Ellison recounts how editors inserted the phrase “assault on business” in an article about corporate taxes under President Obama. The Journal was turned into a propaganda vehicle for its owner’s conservative views. That’s half the definition of Fox-ification. The other half is that Murdoch’s media outlets must shill for his business interests. With the News of the World scandal, The Journal has now shown itself willing to do that, too. The WSJ ’s defensive editorial continues: The measure that really matters is the market’s, and on that score Mr. Hinton was at the helm when we again became America’s largest daily. Some, of course, might argue that law-breaking is as meaningful a point of judgment as the market. This scandal continues to expand and while the Wall Street Journal has yet to be accused of law-breaking, its now-resigned publisher was running Murdoch’s British newspapers at the time of the hacking . And of course, the market would have been a key justification for the phone hacking in the first place: get ahead of the competition by any means necessary. That’s the defend part. The editorial isn’t short on sliming, either. Where News Corp’s role in the scandal created by its own illegal actions is dismissed in two paragraphs, the real culprits, as identified here, are many and varied. On British politicians: The British politicians now bemoaning media influence over politics are also the same statesmen who have long coveted media support. The idea that the BBC and the Guardian newspaper aren’t attempting to influence public affairs, and don’t skew their coverage to do so, can’t stand a day’s scrutiny. The overnight turn toward righteous independence recalls an eternal truth: Never trust a politician. Yes, the British political establishment Murdoch and his minions worked so hard to get close to, and particularly the conservative politicians they campaigned so assiduously for, are implicated. And any who were complicit in illegal ways should certainly be held to account. But again, they were not the ones hacking into thousands of people’s telephones. On the entire rest of the media: We also trust that readers can see through the commercial and ideological motives of our competitor-critics. The Schadenfreude is so thick you can’t cut it with a chainsaw. Especially redolent are lectures about journalistic standards from publications that give Julian Assange and WikiLeaks their moral imprimatur. Schadenfreude means “satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else’s misfortune.” As such, it implies misfortune as opposed to justice. There’s no question that many of us, including perhaps some News Corp competitors, would feel Schadenfreude if the phones of Rupert Murdoch and top News Corp executives were hacked and embarrassing personal secrets publicized. But that’s not what happened. This isn’t a matter of some passive misfortune; it’s justice. And you know what? Let’s say that every bit—every single bit—of media coverage has commercial and ideological motives. So what! News Corp still behaved criminally as a means of making profit and influencing world politics. They’re going to have to do a lot better than this if they want us to forget that.
Wall Street Journal defends Murdoch, News Corp. phone hacking
To receive the Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest via email each weekday, sign up here . Senate : • CT-Sen : A very weak haul from ex-SoS Susan Bysiewicz, who comes in behind her two competitors in the Democratic primary. Her takes of $427K puts her back of not only Rep. Chris Murphy ($925K) but also state Rep. William Tong, the essentially unknown Lieberman acolyte who brought in $550K in his inaugural quarter. Meanwhile, on the GOP side, Kevin Rennie says that ex-Rep. (and ex-CT resident!) Chris Shays is waiting on “the results of a public poll” to see if he can beat Linda McMahon for the Republican nomination. What poll could Rennie mean? Something from Quinnipiac? • FL-Sen : Sean Sullivan at the Hotline has a good summary of Mike Haridopolos’s recent travails as he seeks the Republican Senate nomination, including the departure of his campaign manager and another top advisor. I always urge caution when trying to analyze staff shakeups like this, especially where, as here, a new CM is already in place. (That to me suggests “orderly transition” rather than “upheaval.”) But it is a little curious when key people leave the campaign of a supposed frontrunner this early on. Also, Sullivan flags this report in the Miami Herald which goes a long way toward explaining why Haridopolos’s fundraising plummeted from $2.5 million in Q1 to just $900K in Q2: Huge chunks of his early money came from special interests with business before the state legislature (where Haridopolos runs the Senate). The legislative session ended in early May, though, so it would make sense if these moneybags simply shut their coffers at that point. • MA-Sen : President Obama nominated former Ohio AG Richard Cordray to become the first director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, passing over interim chief Elizabeth Warren (who immediately endorsed Cordray for the job). Presumably, this means Warren is now free to pursue a senate run in Massachusetts, though I’m unclear how long she might remain in her current role (technically, she’s a special advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury) while Cordray’s nomination is pending. (Republicans predictably hate Cordray, too, so it may be a while before he gets confirmed, if ever.) • MI-Sen : A couple of interesting developments in the Michigan Senate contest. First, Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner John McCulloch, who had been mulling a run for a little while, officially entered the race on Friday, making him the most prominent Republican by far to jump in. But a second, much bigger name, is apparently reconsidering : ex-Rep. Pete Hoekstra, who previously declined a run, is apparently having second thoughts, according to Dave Catanese’s sources. I guess that turtle fence must be nearing completion. • MO-Sen : I can’t say I’m impressed with Republican fundraising in the Missouri Senate race. While Sen. Claire McCaskill pulled in a strong $1.4 million, her two chief GOP rivals didn’t fare nearly so well. Rep. Todd Akin managed $500K (and has $1.2 mil cash-on-hand), while ex-Treasurer Sarah Steelman took in just $200K (and has $181K in the bank after spending more than she raised this quarter). • MT-Sen : Montana Republican Senate candidates seem to have remarkably douchey attitudes towards firefighters (click the link for details about how both Conrad Burns and Denny Rehberg have treated them), so it’s no surprised that the Montana State Fireman’s Association is backing Jon Tester for re-election. • NM-Sen : Aww yeah, baby. Now the New Mexico Republican Senate primary can really begin. After dancing around the issue for weeks and weeks, Lt. Gov. John Sanchez finally uttered those magic words: “I would vote for Rep. Ryan’s plan.” And with that, he started hammering ex-Rep. Heather Wilson, ensuring that she’ll either be forced to play ball, or wind up failing this key conservative litmus test. Let the cat fud fly! • OH-Sen : GOP Treasurer Josh Mandel’s continued attempts to pretend that he’s not running for Senate have reached truly comical heights. In his press release touting his 2Q fundraising haul ($2.3 million), Mandel refers to himself as a “Senate challenger”… but a spokesman still insists he isn’t actually running (yet). Come on! • UT-Sen : Speaking of sucky numbers, Rep. Jason Chaffetz raised just $124K in Q2 — as Aaron Blake notes, just a tenth of what the guy he’s likely to primary (Orrin Hatch) took in. Now, Chaffetz doesn’t necessarily need to win a primary — he can send Orrin packing posthaste as long as he gets 60% of the delegates at the GOP convention. But even that will take some money. • WA-Sen : While a couple of big names haven’t formally ruled it out, the GOP is getting down to stems and seeds in the search for a challenger to Sen. Maria Cantwell. The latest name is one you probably have never heard of: Scott Stanzel, a one-time deputy press secretary for none other than George W. Bush. • WI-Sen : Republican robopollster Magellan is out with surveys of both primaries in the open Wisconsin Senate race. Unbelievably (for a polling company that wants to be taken seriously), they actually describe (PDF) the Dem respondents as “likely Democrat primary voters” and asked them if they’d “choose to vote in the Republican primary or the Democrat primary?” Groan. Anyhow, they asked two tests on the D side: Tammy Baldwin vs. Ron Kind, and Baldwin vs. Steve Kagen. The results favored Baldwin in both cases: 41-19 for the former, and 46-21 for the latter. For the Republicans , they also tested twice. The first matchup had Tommy Thompson at 41, Mark Neumann at 26, and Jeff Fitzgerald at 15, while the second was Thompson 44 and Neumann 36. Gubernatorial : • LA-Gov : With the election less than four months away, Democrats may finally have found a challenger to Gov. Bobby Jindal: state Sen. Rob Marionneaux, who will soon be term-limited out of office. • MO-Gov : Gov. Jay Nixon is still keeping a good distance between himself and his likely Republican opponent when it comes to fundraising. Nixon took in $1.5 million in the most recent quarter, compared to Peter Kinder’s $1 mil, and has twice the cash-on-hand: $3.2 million to $1.7 mil. • NC-Gov : PPP tests their home-state gubernatorial race every month, and I’m impressed that Tom Jensen always finds something to say about it. But things are pretty stable, and I’m out of ideas. House : • CA-03 : Though Democrats already have a strong challenger to GOP Rep. Dan Lungren, Assemblywoman Alyson Huber says she’s thinking about running, too, depending on the outcome of redistricting. If she gets into the race, she’d first have to get past the well-funded Ami Bera, who is seeking a rematch. • CA-Long Beach Port : Long Beach City Councilman Gary DeLong is setting up a congressional exploratory committee and may run if the final maps place him in the a new LB-centered district. Another Democrat, state Sen. Alan Lowenthal, has already said he plans to run here. • CT-05 : It’s a confusing story, but the bottom line is that Dan Roberti is engaging in a bullshit attack against fellow Dem Chris Donovan. The short version is that in the wake of the collapse of a $1.6 billion concession package negotiated with state unions, Gov. Dan Malloy sought the authority to make budget cuts on his own (including layoffs of state workers and reductions in aid to cities and towns). Donovan, the Speaker of the House, successfully fought to limit this plan… but somehow Roberti decided that preventing cuts in funding for cities constituted “protecting special interests,” and sent out a press release attacking Donovan for doing just that. That’s both deeply weird and dishonest, and I think shows you where the ideological fault lines are likely to run in this primary. • FL-10 : We’ve seen this movie a few times before, but is this just a re-run, or a sequel? Ancient GOP Rep. Bill Young raised just $8,700 in the second quarter, but no one is dumb enough to say the small take is “fueling retirement speculation,” because you just never know with this guy. Joshua Miller also mentions a couple of possible Democratic candidates in this swingish (but subject-to-change) district: state Sen. Charlie Justice, the once-touted candidate who flopped miserably with just 34% of the vote last year; state Rep. Rick Kriseman; former State Rep. Janet Long; and Pinellas County Commissioner Kenneth Welch. • IA-04 : It’s the announcement of the announcement: Former Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack will, according to a source, formally enter the race against GOP Rep. Steve King tomorrow. (By the way, Vilsack totally housed King in fundraising this quarter, $424K to $169K.) • IL-17 : East Moline Alderwoman Cheri Bustos, who had been contemplating the race for a while, formally threw her hat into the ring last week. Several other Democrats are also seeking the nomination. • ME-02 : Republican state Senate President Kevin Raye says he’s considering a run against Dem Rep. Mike Michaud, which would be a rematch of the 2002 race Raye narrowly lost when the seat came open in 2002. Interestingly, Raye ran to Michaud’s left on the issue of abortion, which makes me wonder if 2010 candidate and teabagger fave Jason Levesque (also mentioned as a possible rematch contender) could give Raye serious trouble in a primary. • MI-05 : Dem state Sen. John Gleason, who contemplated a primary challenge to Rep. Dale Kildee back in 2008, says he’s taking a “very serious look” at seeking the seat now that Kildee is retiring. Meanwhile, as we had speculated, Dan Kildee (nephew of Dale) also says he’s thinking about the race. And on the GOP side, both former Lt. Gov. John Cherry and 2010 candidate John Kupiec say they are possible candidates. • NM-01 : Republican Janice Arnold-Jones, who has been in “exploratory” mode since forever, has finally gotten into the race for real… I think? Click the link and tell me if you can make sense of this latest nonsense. • OR-05 : Dem Rep. Kurt Schrader just caught a break: 2010 GOP gubernatorial nominee Chris Dudley, who came very close to winning the governor’s mansion last year, said he wouldn’t run for Congress. That’s good news, because Dudley did quite well in the 5th CD. The guy who actually did run against Schrader last year, Scott Bruun, also sounds pretty unlikely, saying “I am not” the strongest candidate. (Who is? Dudley, says Bruun.) • SD-AL : Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth became the first Democrat to file paperwork for a challenge against freshman GOPer Kristi Noem, but he says he won’t formally announce his campaign until September. Minnehaha, located in the southeastern part of South Dakota, is actually the state’s largest county (pop. 183K) and contains the state’s biggest city, Sioux Falls. Other Races : • WI Recall : Wisconsin’s Democratic Party released a poll by the Mellman Group showing Dem Rep. Sandy Pasch edging GOP Sen. Alberta Darling 47-46 — a pretty surprising result, if accurate, since Darling is pretty much our toughest target in the upcoming recalls. • Special Elections : Johnny Longtorso: We have not one, not two, but three specials in Georgia on Tuesday. First, in SD-26, located in Macon and some surrounding rural territory, the incumbent Senator has resigned to run for mayor of Macon. Three candidates have filed, including two Democrats, realtor Miriam Paris and ex-State Rep. David Lucas (who resigned to run for this seat), and one Republican, minister Bobby Gale. This is a majority-black, safely Democratic seat (about 70-30 Obama), so one of the two Democrats is likely to win here, regardless of who gets into the runoff. Second, there’s a runoff in HD-113, where Republican Charles Williams and Democrat Dan Matthews advanced from the first round. This is a heavily Republican seat, so Williams is definitely favored to win here. Finally, HD-139, which was held by the aforementioned David Lucas, is up, and one of two Democrats will be taking the seat, optometrist James Beverly or chiropractor/college professor Anissa Jones. No Republicans filed here. Grab Bag : • FEC : Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) took in a monster haul this past quarter — $3.1 mil, good for $5.8 cash-on-hand — but the real reason I want to flag this story is because she’s taking up the cause of legislation to finally, finally, finally force Senate campaigns to file their campaign finance reports electronically. It’s absolutely insane, but the way it works now (and has for many years) is that Senate candidates file paper reports, which are then scanned in. Not only is this ridiculously cumbersome and wasteful, and not only is quality of the scanned documents poor, but it also leads to serious lagtime in getting these reports online. For insane reasons, it’s been impossible to get this legislation through Congress in previous sessions, but here’s hoping Gillibrand has better luck. • Pennsylvania : PPP has their miscellaneous roundup for the Keystone State, the most interesting number of which is the generic ballot, which shows Democrats leading 46-40 in the state. Says Tom of this result and a similar one from Florida last week: “I think Democrats’ chances of retaking the House are being significantly undervalued by most experts right now.” • WATN? : Criminal charges against 2010 OH-13 GOP candidate Tom Ganley, who was accused of sexually assaulting a prospective campaign volunteer, were dropped by the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office. The charges derailed Ganley’s candidacy almost overnight, but the victim no longer wished to go to trial. Redistricting Roundup : • North Carolina : Republicans are saying that they plan to release a new congressional map soon — supposedly as early as this past weekend, but I’m not sure that actually happened. • New Jersey : Former state Attorney General John Farmer will reportedly be tapped to serve as the tiebreaking vote on the state’s congressional redistricting commission. Farmer served as AG, which is an appointed position in New Jersey, under Republican Govs. Christie Whitman and Donald DiFrancesco. He also served as counsel earlier this year to Prof. Alan Rosenthal, who was the tiebreaking vote for the legislative remap. • Ohio : Another redistricting competition with cash prizes on the line, this time in Ohio. While the software isn’t up and running yet, organizers specifically suggest using Dave’s App to get started in the meantime.
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Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: 7/18
The weekend after the final installment of the Harry Potter film premiered, select theaters around the US debuted Sarah Palin’s full length documentary ‘The Undefeated’ to a nearly empty audience, reports The Atlantic. As the publication’s Conor Friedersdorf found out, a viewing of the film in Orange County, CA included himself, two women (who lasted 20 minutes), and a brief visit from a couple with intentions not pertaining to Palin at all. “Shortly before the end of the film, a young couple entered, walked to the back row, started making out, then interrupted their session and left (spoiler alert) as Andrew Breitbart, who made one of several guest appearances, started talking about eunuchs. Then I was alone again, working. Instead of researching civil liberties violations, or the war in Libya, or the contest to elect the next president of the United States, I was both a journalist and the only member of the public willfully paying attention to Sarah Palin, as if standing in for the pathologies of my profession.” Read More… More on Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin Documentary Premiere: Film Opens To Nearly Empty Audience
“Just calling yourself a Christian feminist doesn’t make you one, and if other people are calling (Palin and Bachmann) that, they don’t know what it means,” said feminist theologian Rita Nakashima Brock. Read More… More on Religion and Politics
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Cathleen Falsani: Is Michele Bachmann a Christian Feminist?
WASHINGTON — Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin says she’ll announce her intentions for the White House in late August or early September. Palin told Fox News’ Sean Hannity Wednesday night that she thinks she could win a campaign against President Barack Obama, a sentiment first reported in a Newsweek cover story. Palin says she would campaign for a candidate with “good executive experience” and a “servant’s heart” who wasn’t so “obsessively partisan that they can’t just do what’s right.” At the moment, though, she says she doesn’t see that candidate in the Republican field. Read More… More on Sarah Palin 2012
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Sarah Palin 2012? Former Governor Offers Timeline For Decision On Presidential Run (VIDEO)
During an appearance on Fox News’ “Hannity” on Wednesday night, Sarah Palin sent a strong message to Republicans on the issue of raising the nation’s deficit limit. “We cannot default, but we cannot afford to retreat right now either,” the former Alaska governor said. “Now is not time to retreat, it’s time to reload.” She continued, “We reload with reality by giving facts and numbers to the American public so that those of us across the United States can start chiming in and letting our representatives know that we will not capitulate.” Read More… More on Sarah Palin
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Sarah Palin On Debt Ceiling: It’s ‘Not Time To Retreat, It’s Time To Reload’ (VIDEO)
Jewish mothers became the secret stars of the evening as Harvey Weinstein introduced a private screening of “Sarah’s Key” at the MoMA on Monday, July 11: the evening’s host, Diane von Furstenberg, is such a mother, as is Weinstein’s own, Miriam, who was in the audience, happy, he said, that this new film was not controversial in the manner of a recent Weinstein release, Julian Schnabel’s “Miral.” Indeed, “Sarah’s Key,” based upon the wildly popular novel by Tatiana de Rosnay and already a hit in Europe, will not have B’nai B’rith asking, “Is it good for the Jews?” Directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner, “Sarah’s Key” is the story of a 10-year-old Jewish girl who is arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel’ D’Hiv roundup of July 16, 1942. Thinking she can save him, young Sarah (Melusine Mayance) locks her little brother in a secret cupboard, promising to return. She clutches the key even in the most horrific circumstance, ripped away from her mother at Beaune-la-Rolande, and awaiting transfer to the death camps. Read More…
Regina Weinreich: ‘Sarah’s Key’: Thank Heaven for Little Girls
Quinnipiac 7/5-11/11; 2,311 registered voters, 3.2% margin of error 913 Republican primary voters, 3.2% margin of error Read More… More on Pollster
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US-2012 Primary: 25% Romney, 14% Bachmann, 12% Palin, 10% Perry (Quinnipiac 7/5-11)
Sarah Palin — who has not yet announced whether she will run for president — remains a formidable presence among Republicans nationwide. She is almost universally recognized, and her current Positive Intensity Score ties her with Mitt Romney, trailing only Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann. Read More… More on Herman Cain 2012
Sarah Palin Evokes Strong Emotions Among Republicans
Menlo Park resident Roy Kaylor appeared on Monday night’s episode of A&E’s ‘Hoarders,’ where audiences were treated to a tour of the 150-acre spread of land he owns north of Santa Cruz filled to the brim with abandoned, rusting vehicles and miscellaneous junk parts. Kaylor, who claims he purchased the land in an effort to protect the redwood trees, is currently ensnared in a nasty legal battle with Santa Cruz county officials, who recently sued him on the guise that his use of the land violates zoning laws. The 72-year-old vehemently defends his use of the land and discarded cars, insisting the components of his “outside workshop” are “the basis for making other inventions.” We prefer the Santa Cruz Sentinel ’s assessment of the situation , who deemed Kaylor “the modern-day version of the Shel Silverstein character Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout, who refused to take the garbage out.” Read More… More on Video
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Roy Kaylor, Menlo Park Resident, Featured On ‘Hoarders’ (VIDEO)
It’s been apparent for some time that Mitt Romney’s status as presumptive GOP frontrunner has been built on two things: money, and name recognition acquired during his 2008 bid. It has also been apparent that it wouldn’t take long for someone to emerge out of the also-rans and become a legitimate threat to his frontrunner status. According to one GOP poll out of the Hawkeye State, that threat has already emerged. Feel the Bachmann-ia, Mitt. Voter/Consumer Research (R) for the Iowa Republican website (6/26-6/30, Likely Iowa GOP Caucus goers, No trendlines): Michele Bachmann: 25 Mitt Romney: 21 Herman Cain: 9 Tim Pawlenty: 9 Ron Paul: 6 Newt Gingrich: 4 Rick Santorum: 2 Jon Huntsman: 1 Though the trial heat margin between Bachmann and Romney was rather modest, there was a much more substantial gap in favorabilities. Bachmann has crazy good numbers among the GOP faithful (76/11), while Romney’s are considerably more modest (66/25). What’s more, Bachmann’s splashy entrance (and the resulting media attention) has pulled her close to even on name recognition among the likely caucus goers that V/C Research surveyed. Bachmann’s newfound status as a co-front runner is apparent in other ways, as well. This weekend, while a guest on Meet the Press , fellow Minnesota politico and 2012 GOP hopeful Tim Pawlenty ripped Bachmann , declaring that “her record of accomplishment in Congress is non-existent.” It is a line of attack that Pawlenty is apparently building his sagging campaign around, with a new tagline on web ads boldly promising “results, not rhetoric.” But with Bachmann surging, and no other legitimate candidates on the horizon (and no, Sarah Palin’s latest overpublicized “Look at me!” moment does not count), Pawlenty is going to need more than a snappy tagline to get into the first tier. His fellow Minnesotan has clearly stolen his thunder. What remains to be seen is whether she will emerge as a co-leader of the pack with Mitt Romney, or seize frontrunner status all to herself.
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Iowa GOP poll: Bachmann seizes lead from Romney
To receive the Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest via email each weekday, sign up here . 2Q Fundraising : • CT-Sen : Chris Murphy (D), $925K raised, $1.6 million cash-on-hand • CT-05 : Chris Donovan (D), $230K raised, $220K cash-on-hand • NH-02 : Annie Kuster (D), $365K raised; Charlie Bass (R), $303K raised (nice going, Annie) • NM-01 : Eric Griego (D), $119K • WA-?? : Denny Heck (D), $230K raised (in five weeks), $260K cash-on-hand (includes $40K transfer from 2010 account) • WA-01 : Laura Ruderman (D), $102K raised (in four weeks); Roger Goodman, $56K raised • WI-01 : Paul Ryan (R), $900K raised, $3.8 million cash-on-hand Senate : • AZ-Sen : Former AZ Dem state party chair Don Bivens has formed an exploratory committee for Jon Kyl’s open seat. Bivens says he thinks Rep. Gabby Giffords will not run for Senate, and he says he’ll make a decision on whether to actually run by Labor Day. • FL-Sen : Former steakhouse CEO Craig Miller is about to (try to) fail upwards. Last month , Miller — who came in third in a three-way primary for the FL-24 GOP nomination last year — said he was “leaning toward” a Senate run. Now Dave Catanese has gotten his hands on a Miller schedule which shows him formally declaring tomorrow. • MA-Sen : Joshua Miller of Roll Call takes note of the Massachusetts- and DSCC-heavy schedule Elizabeth Warren has been keeping lately. While we noted a meeting between the possible Dem Senate candidate and Chuck Schumer in mid-June, Warren’s also had appointments with Patty Murray, John Kerry, David Axelrod, and a trio of Bay State reps. Recall that at the end of May , Murray promised Democrats would recruit a “good, strong candidate within weeks.” I don’t know if Warren is the answer to our prayers, but that was six weeks ago. • MO-Sen : Looks like Sarah Steelman is about to get turned into a wound-faking Vietnam veteran who pals around with domestic terrorists: her primary opponent, GOP Rep. Todd Akin, has hired Chris LaCivita, the bottom-feeding pondscum who was a key architect of the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” smear machine. • NJ-Sen : New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, with plenty of free time thanks to the NFL lockout, is busy helping Mitt Romney raise money — someone we previously noted he’d been spending time with. But in addition to humping for the GOP frontrunner, Johnson says he’s “open to looking at” a run for office of his own. (You’ll have to scroll all the way to the end of the article.) That almost assuredly means for Senate, since Chris Christie’s ass is firmly planted in the governor’s mansion for the time being. • NM-Sen : I love watching them squirm. Ex-Rep. Heather Wilson, who has been desperately trying to avoid the “moderate” label that served her well when she was in office, is refusing to say whether she’d vote in favor of the Ryan budget plan. The real question still is whether Lt. Gov. John Sanchez, who is trying to claim the mantle of “true conservative” in the GOP primary, will ever have the stones to say he actually supports Ryan’s Curse himself. He’s been dancing around it , but if he can’t bring himself to pull the trigger, then Wilson might just skate. • OH-Sen : Josh Mandel, whose nominal day job is state Treasurer but who spends most of his time pretending he’s not running for Senate, sat down for his first formal TV interview since getting elected last fall. The host asked Mandel about his pledge to “definitely” serve out his full term. Mandel, of course, had no answer, but tried to blame the other guy, saying: “I’ve developed this great concern about where Sherrod Brown will take this country.” • WA-Sen : Jim Brunner at the Seattle Times offers a run-down on the current state of the possible GOP field to take on Sen. Maria Cantwell. Former TV newscaster and 2009 King County Exec loser Susan Hutchison sounds unlikely but says: “At this point, I am not making a decision.” Rep. Dave Reichert is also still “mulling” a run (says Brunner), but the GOP state chair thinks he’ll seek re-election instead. And finally, Port of Seattle Commissioner Bill Bryant, who previously weighed a gubernatorial run before AG Rob McKenna got in, says he’ll “look at the landscape.” First he has to deal with re-election to his current post this fall, though. • WI-Sen : Businessman Tim Sullivan, a possible Senate candidate, has just retired as head of mining equipment maker Bucyrus International (it was bought by Caterpillar ). In a TV news interview, Sullivan suggested he might run as an independent, which would be interesting because he is definitely rich. Sullivan previously said he wouldn’t make a decision until after the Caterpillar deal closed, so perhaps he’ll make a decision soon. Gubernatorial : • MT-Gov : I feel like we’ve been quaffing a lot of tea in the Montana gubernatorial race lately. Here’s what we found at the bottom of our latest cuppa: Dem state Sen. Dave Wanzenried is terminating his gubernatorial campaign after half a year of disappointing fundraising. (He had just $19K on hand as of June 30.) While that’s certainly a good enough reason to bail, it could also be that he expects AG Steve Bullock to jump into the race — and in fact, he encouraged Bullock to do so. In the meantime, the only Democrat in the race is state Sen. Larry Jent, whose campaign appears to be almost penniless. But wait, here’s another tea leaf , and this one might mean more: Former prosecutor and assistant AG Pam Bucy says she’s going to join the Democratic field for attorney general, the second person to do so. Both she and former state Sen. Jesse Laslovich are waiting on Bullock’s decision, but they probably have an inkling that the seat will be open. • NH-Gov : Ex-state Sen. Maggie Hassan, who also, served as the Democrats’ Majority Leader, says she’s considering a run for governor if John Lynch decides not to seek a fifth two-year term. House : • IN-02 : Thirty-three-year-old Army vet and military consultant Brendan Mullen ( previously mentioned here ) says he will run as a Democrat for the seat being left open by Rep. Joe Donnelly, who is making a Senate bid. • IN-06 : John Hatter, an Army vet and college administrator, says he’ll join the crowd of Republicans seeking Rep. Mike Pence’s open Senate seat. Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Star’s Mary Beth Schneider does a name game on potential Democrats: a sociology prof Jim Crone, attorney Lane Siekman, and three-time candidate Barry Welsh are running or considering. • MO-02 : Ed Martin has an internal of the GOP primary from a firm called American Viewpoint. It shows him leading Ann Wagner 38-16 with 45 percent undecided, and an MoE of ±5.7%. • NC-08 : Another Joshua Miller special: This time, the Roll Call scribe walks us through a list of possible GOP opponents for Rep. Larry Kissell, whose district (at least for now) just got made much tougher. Among the names: state Rep. Justin Burr (no relation to Sen. Richard Burr) is taking “a serious look”; state Rep. Jerry Dockham is “probably going to be a yes”; businessman and former Iredell County Commissioner Scott Keadle is “poised to join” (Miller’s words); and businessman Pat Molamphy is… in the mix, I suppose. Meanwhile, Kissell (a notoriously weak fundraiser) confirmed he’ll seek a third term. • NC-13 : This sure seems like it’s going to be a crowded GOP primary: former Winston-Salem city councilman Vernon Robinson says he’s in the race, as is Forsyth County Republican Party Chairman Nathan Tabor. A lot of bigger names are still considering. • OH-02 : The House Ethics Committee announced that it’s investigating GOP Rep. Jean Schmidt for improperly accepting thousands of dollars worth of free legal services from an organization called the Turkish Coalition of America, a group which lobbies American politicians to encourage them to deny the Armenian genocide. There’s an interesting backstory to all this (after all, why is Schmidt mixed up with free Turkish legal aid?), which you can find at the link. Other Races : • WI Recall : Several new ads are airing on behalf of Democrats in the Wisconsin recalls as the broadcast wars heat up. The first is a spot by the labor group We Are Wisconsin, attacking Alberta Darling for her support of education cuts and tax breaks for the wealthy. An ad from EMILY’s List goes after Sheila Harsdorf on the exact same themes. Meanwhile, Fred Clark hits Luther Olsen for supporting a plan that would make seniors pay more for Medicare. • Special Elections : Johnny Longtorso: Up Tuesday is Arkansas’ HD-54, a majority-black seat in the West Memphis area. This seat was vacated by Fred Smith after he was convicted of theft. Firefighter Hudson Hallum is the Democratic nominee, while Republicans nominated businessman John Geelan. A third candidate is in the race, D’James Rogers, who lost a primary to Smith last year. Going by his website , I wouldn’t consider Rogers a particularly strong candidate, but as the only black candidate in a 70% black district, he could see quite a bit of support, especially since there seems to be an assumption among some in the district that he would become a Democrat once elected. I doubt this will lead to a split in the vote that leads to a Republican win; the last time a Republican even ran here was in 2004, garnering just 32% of the vote. Geelan himself won the Republican primary by an 80-21 margin — that’s total votes, not percentages. Hallum got eleven times Geelan’s total in his primary runoff. Normally I don’t put too much stock in primary votes translating to a general election, but, well, that’s pretty lopsided. Grab Bag : • ActBlue : What ever happened to the Republican version of ActBlue? Click the link to find out! (It’s quite entertaining.) • Crossroads GPS : As part of a $7 million, two-week ad buy attacking President Obama in a number of swing states, Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS is also running spots against Jon Tester (MT-Sen), Ben Nelson (NE-Sen), Claire McCaskill (MO-Sen), Sherrod Brown (OH-Sen), and Bill Nelson (FL-Sen). Links to all the ads are available at the linked article. Redistricting Roundup : • Wisconsin : Republicans formally unveiled their redistricting plans late on Friday, and if they look familiar, it’s because they are: The congressional map is basically unchanged from one leaked several weeks ago. But click through for our full analysis.
Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: 7/11
While Sarah Palin isn’t letting any details slip on any plans she may have in the works to run for president in the next election cycle, that’s not stopping her from sounding off on the state of the Republican presidential primary field. In an interview published online on Sunday, Newsweek ’s Peter Boyer asks the former Alaska governor for her take on the fact that some within the Republican party are looking for another candidate to emerge who’s not already in the current pool of GOP contenders. “It suggests that the field is not set,” Palin explained. “Thank goodness the field is not yet set. I think that there does need to be more vigorous debate. There needs to be a larger field. And there’s still time. There’s still months ahead, where more folks can jump in and start articulating their positions.” Read More… More on Sarah Palin
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Sarah Palin On 2012: ‘Thank Goodness The Field Is Not Yet Set’
It is an abiding source of annoyance to Palin that her success story as Alaska’s governor vanished overnight in 2008. “Do people not understand why McCain picked me?” she said with some exasperation. Read More… More on Sarah Palin
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Sarah Palin To Newsweek: ‘Do People Not Understand Why McCain Picked Me?’
Will the president be laughing in 2012? The numbers are fascinating. (Official WH photo by Pete Souza) Tom Jensen, who writes much of the analysis on behalf of our polling partners at PPP, broke down the new numbers in Pennsylvania earlier in the week. In so doing , Jensen made an analytical point that he has used so often this cycle he probably need only cut-and-paste it at this point: If there’s one thing Obama does have going for him in Pennsylvania it’s that voters don’t think much of any of his prospective Republican opponents either. Bachmann has the ‘best’ favorability rating but it’s still a -7 spread at 34/41. That’s followed by Romney (35/46) and Cain (22/33) at -11, Pawlenty (21/39) at -18, Palin (36/57) at -21, and Santorum (31/54) at -23. Obama’s able to tie Romney and lead the rest of the GOP hopefuls despite his own unpopularity because they are even more unpopular. It’s just another reminder that with the economy still doing poorly Obama’s best hope may be for the Republicans to put forth someone so unpalatable that he wins on a sort of ‘lesser of two evils’ vote. PPP is not the only one to notice that the field of GOP contenders vying to challenge the president are largely unknown and mostly unloved. Examining the 2011 compendium of polls put together by the website Polling Report , here are the average fav/unfav numbers for the leading GOP candidates: Ron Paul: 35/30 (4 polls) Mitt Romney: 36/32 (8 polls) Herman Cain: 21/17 (2 polls) Michele Bachmann: 27/24 (6 polls) Tim Pawlenty: 22/21 (6 polls) Jon Huntsman: 15/15 (5 polls) Rick Santorum: 21/22 (5 polls) Rick Perry: 22/25 (1 poll) Newt Gingrich: 28/45 (10 polls) Sarah Palin: 32/56 (12 polls) (Note: Polling Report does not include automated pollsters in their database) Taking the perennially unpopular pairing of Gingrich and Palin out of the equation, the balance of the GOP field is a quivering mass of “meh.” Nobody scores a net favorability of higher than +5, and it isn’t solely because of a lack of name recognition (indeed, half of the field is recognized by a majority of respondents). How does that compare with previous years? Looking at the last presidential election, check out the fav/unfavs for the first half of 2007 for the three leading players on the Democratic side (Obama, Clinton, and Edwards) and three leading players on the GOP side (McCain, Giuliani, and Romney): Rudy Giuliani (R): 54/24 (21 polls) Barack Obama (D): 45/20 (23 polls) John McCain (R): 45/27 (24 polls) John Edwards (D): 42/27 (21 polls) Hillary Clinton (D): 46/43 (24 polls) Mitt Romney (R): 19/19 (23 polls) The differences are pretty stark. The 2008 fields, on both sides, had at least a couple of candidates who were both well known, and reasonably well liked. Based on this, it would seem that the characterizations of the current Republican group as uniformly weak has some merit. The Polling Report database gets a little thinner dating back to 2003, but it is worth noting that the few polls lodged there had John Kerry at roughly a +11 net favorability, as well. The problem for the GOP field, at present, isn’t that it is a mass of unknown quantities. It is that they are known, and not particularly beloved. This puts a bit of a limit on the upside for many of these candidates. The bulk of the GOP field already has unfavorabilities with the electorate that matched their 2008 compatriots, but with roughly half of their favorables. That is not attractive math for the GOP. Does this mean that President Obama is in the driver’s seat for re-election? Not necessarily. The 2010 elections, in at least one sense, could serve as a cautionary tale for 2012. It could well be an errant assumption that the president can take advantage of the lack of horsepower on the GOP side and ride it to a re-election win. Last year proved, if nothing else, that unpopular opposition does not a victory make. Consider what, in my mind, was the most amazing statistic from the 2010 exit polls . On Election Day, even as the Republicans were swiping everything that wasn’t bolted down, they actually had a lower net favorability (41/53) than did the Democratic Party (44/52). A big part of the Democratic margin of defeat came from voters who were dissatisfied with the GOP, but voted for them anyway. Nearly a quarter of voters who had an unfavorable view of the GOP ended up voting Republican anyway. Therefore, the big question may not be how popular the GOP contenders are, but how popular the president will be come Election Day. To be sure, presidential approval ratings are always a key indicator of his re-election prospects. In the case of Barack Obama, his approval ratings fall in what could best be defined as a grey area. As Gallup’s Frank Newport noted a few weeks ago: Presidents with job approval ratings below 48% tend to lose their bids for re-election. Presidents with ratings at the 48% level (for George W. Bush) or above 50% for the rest, tend to win. As noted, there are not many cases to work with here. As seen with Truman, exceptions can occur. But if Obama is at 50% or higher next October, it certainly would not be too risky to hypothesize that he has a better than 50-50 chance of winning re-election. And if his job approval rating is down at 43%…his chances of winning re-election are probably lower than 50-50. The failure of the Republicans to have a well-known, well-liked candidate in the wings is what has kept the president in the ballgame thus far, despite a generally pessimistic electorate. And it is certainly possible for him to parlay voter concerns about the GOP field into re-election. In an odd way, the GOP seizure of the House last year probably aids the president to that end, because grumpy voters who want to “send a message” to Washington are no longer automatically relegated to voting Republican. That said, President Obama’s cause would be greatly aided by finding a slightly larger reservoir of goodwill with the electorate. That could come from a bump in the economy, or it could come from being on the right side of a showdown with Congressional Republicans. Either way, given the lack of strength on the other side of the table, it might not take much to make the president into a betting favorite. But how he plays his hands in the coming months still has an enormous impact.
Is Barack Obama blessed by the quality of his opposition?
His Holiness reappears on stage looking happy. He settles into his silk-fringed chair, and everyone starts chanting. It’s a rumbling, rhythmic sound that makes me think of what Ornette Coleman once said. Read More… More on Buddhism
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Sarah Deming: The Dalai Lama’s ‘Kalachakra for World Peace’: Day 3 — The Most Beautiful Choruses
Public Policy Polling (PDF) (6/30-7/2, 7/5, Pennsylvania voters, 4/7-10 in parens): Barack Obama (D) : 44 (42) Mitt Romney (R) : 44 (43) Barack Obama (D) : 53 (50) Sarah Palin (R) : 39 (39) Barack Obama (D-inc) : 50 (45) Rick Santorum (R) : 40 (43) Barack Obama (D) : 50 Michele Bachmann (R) : 43 Barack Obama (D) : 49 Herman Cain (R) : 37 Barack Obama (D) : 47 Tim Pawlenty (R) : 39 (MoE: ±4.2%) Mitt Romney continues to do well in Pennsylvania against Barack Obama, though interestingly, the president’s margin widened against Palin and Santorum despite otherwise lousy numbers for the POTUS. Here’s my question, though: Can Obama lose Pennsylvania but still win states which were closer in 2008? (That’s another way of asking, can he lose PA and still win?) Tom makes the following observation : Obama’s poll numbers are worse in Pennsylvania than they are in places like Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, and New Mexico, all states that went Republican in 2004 even as Pennsylvania voted Democratic. Tom thinks that “Hillary Democrats” are causing problems for the president, and while I think the evidence he cites is a little thin (74% approval among Dems, 70% among white Dems), I could still believe it. (As a completely irrelevant aside, I’m still amazed that Hillary Clinton, of all people, somehow turned into a touchstone for conservative, white, working class/blue collar Democrats.) But whether you buy this theory or not, if you think the presidency is winnable for Obama even without PA, you’ve still gotta ask yourself the mah nishtanah : “Why is this state different from all other states?” (Or at least, the ones listed above.)
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PA-Pres: Keystone State looking competitive, if the GOP nominates Mitt Romney
PPP: The Granite State is a legitimate toss-up in 2012 Public Policy Polling (6/30-7/5, New Hampshire Voters, April results in parentheses) Mitt Romney (R) 46 (46) Barack Obama (D) 44 (47) Barack Obama (D) 48 (–) Tim Pawlenty (R) 41 (–) Barack Obama (D) 49 (–) Michele Bachmann (R) 42 (–) Barack Obama (D) 49 (–) Herman Cain (R) 39 (–) Barack Obama (D) 53 (56) Sarah Palin (R) 38 (34) In 2008, New Hampshire’s four electoral votes were a comparably easy get for Barack Obama, as the Granite State went for the Democrat by nearly a 10-point margin. Something of a bellwether, New Hampshire went for Obama by a slightly wider margin than he achieved nationally. For a while, it has seemed likely that would not be the case in 2012. Polling throughout the cycle has suggested that, should Mitt Romney (who was elected from neighboring Massachusetts) become the Republican nominee, he could make the state a legitimate coin flip for the Democrats. The latest offering from our polling partners at PPP, released earlier in the week, confirms that exact finding. What’s more: it isn’t just about Romney. While the president enjoys a lead over the balance of the GOP field, a few of them would improve on John McCain’s 2008 performance. PPP’s Obama-Romney trial heat, for what it is worth, is echoed by a similar poll this week from UNH/WMUR , which gave Romney a four-point edge (47-43) over the president. Few states turned more violently against the Democrats in the 2010 catastrophe than the Granite State. Recall that not only did New Hampshire Democrats lose both U.S. House districts, they also lost the open-seat Senate contest by nearly 25 points. Even Democratic Gov. John Lynch, accustomed to winning with north of two-thirds of the vote, limped home with a margin of victory in the single digits. President Obama’s job approval rating in the state is underwater, but only slightly (46/49). This is primarily a function of erosion among independent voters, who had a slightly favorable view in April but now break 39/53 in disapproval. Obama’s fate is far from cast in New Hampshire, of course. The race is a coin flip, it’s still 16 months to Election Day, and the prospects of a vicious Republican presidential primary keeps growing. Indeed, in the companion poll from PPP of the New Hampshire GOP primary , Romney now leads in New Hampshire over Michele Bachmann by just seven points. He stands at just 25%, a potentially devastating performance in a state that, by all rights, should be a slam dunk for him. The president’s saving grace, electorally, throughout this year has been the relative weakness of his opposition. The more fractured the GOP field becomes, the better his odds of working those fissures in his favor.
NH-Pres: Obama trails Romney by two points in PPP poll
(Click for larger image)
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Palin vs. Bachmann
(Reuters) - Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin said in a newly disclosed email she sent just days after taking office in 2006 that she felt her circle of trusted advisors was “shrinking daily.” The message was released late on Wednesday as part of 54 pages of additional email correspondence from Palin’s early days as governor that state officials said were inadvertently omitted from a load of over 24,000 pages furnished last month to news organizations. Read More… More on Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin Email Reveals Complaints Of Losing Confidants In 2006
Sarah Palin is rejecting a report from the U.K.-based Daily Mail that she was “reduced to tears” after seeing a new documentary out on her tenure as governor of Alaska. According to the British tabloid, sources said Palin got emotional after her husband, Todd Palin, became enraged by the film, which premiered in Iowa last week. “Obviously weâve seen our share of media lies, but the latest fabrications circulated take a big slice of the cake,” Palin wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday. “The UK Daily Mail reports that I was ‘in tears’ as Todd ‘rages over Hollywood stars ripping’ me in the new film ‘The Undefeated.’ Huh? Really? The beautiful town of Pella, Iowa, was flooded with an army of media covering the premiere of this film. Youâd think someone would have caught those tears and rages on tape, right?” Read More… More on Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin On Crying Report: I Was Not In ‘Tears’ Over Movie ‘The Undefeated’
(Romney photo credit: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters) Public Policy Polling (6/30-7/5, New Hampshire Republican primary voters): Mitt Romney: 25 Michele Bachmann: 18 Sarah Palin: 11 Ron Paul: 9 Herman Cain: 7 Rick Perry: 7 John Huntsman: 6 Tim Pawlenty: 6 Newt Gingrich: 4 Someone else/not sure: 7 (MoE: ±5.3%) If Sarah Palin doesn’t run, Romney maintains a seven point lead: Mitt Romney: 28 Michele Bachmann: 21 Ron Paul: 9 Rick Perry: 9 Herman Cain: 7 John Huntsman: 7 Tim Pawlenty: 6 Newt Gingrich: 4 Someone else/not sure: 9 (MoE: ±5.3%) It’s hard to compare these numbers to PPP’s previous poll , which was conducted in April. The problem is that the matchups tested by PPP have changed since then, mostly because the field has changed. Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee, and Haley Barbour are all out, while Jon Huntsman is now in with Rick Perry waiting on the sidelines. That said, a few general patterns emerge if you compare each candidate’s current range of results to their range of results in PPP’s previous poll. In April, Michele Bachmann ranged from 3% to 8%, depending on the Matchup. Now her range is 14% to 21% (the 14% number comes from a third matchup tested by PPP in which Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and Rudy Giuliani also run), so she’s exploded in a big way. Newt Gingrich, meanwhile, has imploded. In April, he ranged between 11% and 17%. Now he’s at 4%. The only piece of good news in the poll for Mitt Romney is that he leads the field. In April, he ranged from a low of 27% to a high of 40%. Now he’s ranging between 25% and 28%. He still leads the poll, so it wouldn’t be fair to say he’s cratered, but it’s not a good sign that he’s now polling at the lowest part of his range in April. Clearly, Mittmentum is now taking him in the wrong direction. Romney’s challenge still remains figuring out how to win the support of of Republicans who are currently supporting other candidates, and thus far, he’s shown absolutely no ability to grow his base. Unless he figures out how to do that, he can’t win the nomination.
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NH-Pres: Bachmann surges, Romney stalls, Gingrich collapses
Wellness used to be just one compartment. Now we seek wellness in our work and our friendships, as well as physically and psychically. Read More… More on Healthy Living Body
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Laura Cococcia: Taking Healthy Living Personally: Interview With Sarah Wilson
Last month saw a lot of people Googling “Paul Revere” after Sarah Palin turned his classic story into an arms battle full of bells . We mean come on, everyone should know how Paul Revere warned the colonies of British attack by shining his lanterns — one if by land and two if by sea. But there’s more to the story than you might know. As it turns out, land and sea attacks were the least of Paul Revere’s problems. In this animated sketch by Better Than The Machine , we learn how prepared Revere really was to alert us to other various methods of British invasion. Dude had better get some more lanterns. WATCH : Read More… More on Funny Videos
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The Truth About Paul Revere (VIDEO)
While Sarah Palin’s eye-darting improvs fairly scream “I didn’t do my homework,” in all likelihood Bachmann did do her homework on the Founding Fathers. It’s just that she’s reading from a different text than most of us. Read More… More on Michele Bachmann
Spencer Critchley: No Mistake: Why Michele Bachmann Is Trying to Rewrite History
Whether it is Sarah Palin’s butchering of Paul Revere’s role in the American Revolution, or Michele Bachmann’s mangling of the facts to claim the founding fathers tried to abolish slavery, the Tea Party has shown a disdain for knowledge, facts and learning. Read More… More on Tea Party
Mitchell Bard: Independence Day, the Declaration of Independence and Understanding American History
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Iran denied in a statement issued by its U.N. mission on Friday that two U.S. citizens detained on spying charges have been mistreated, saying they had consular contact and a visit from their families. Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, together with Bauer’s fiancee Sarah Shourd, were arrested by Iranian forces on July 31, 2009, on suspicion of spying after crossing into Iran from neighboring Iraq. Read More… More on United Nations
Iran: U.S. Hikers Not Mistreated During Imprisonment
On Monday, July 4 , Americans will gather nationwide to celebrate the birthday of John Quincy Adams (aka “Quincizzy”), the Godfather of Founding . Quincizzy was born a poor black child , but thanks to a strict regimen of religion - based education and discipline , he was able to overcome those circumstances, quickly becoming one of the richest intellectual property owners in the colonies. Using his newfound wealth , Quincizzy then purchased a corporate jet which he named ” The Spirit of Waterloo .” It was aboard this plane that he and Paul Revere would take their famous ride to warn the Redcoats that there won’t be any mud wrestling . Upon returning from that fateful trip to New Hampshire , Quincizzy made his most revolutionary discovery—the recipe for independence ; and that is why we now raise our glasses to him.
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Sunday Talk: Freedom lives!
Let’s try something new this week. Good news first : Guess who benefits from legalizing gay marriage? Other than gays, of course. Straight women : To paraphrase the great gay songwriter Stephen Sondheim: Straight women, rise! As same-sex couples marry, things get better for us, too. Remember the scary (and since-discredited) stories about how a woman is more likely to be killed by a terrorist than to find a husband after she turns 40? Or the one about how suitors are fleeing from Maureen Dowd because they’re afraid of her Pulitzer Prize? The poll showing evangelical women in patriarchal marriages are happier than Sarah Jessica Parker? Well, same-sex marriage shows that people can make long-term, loving, sexual bonds with each other even where neither is naturally inclined to tell the other what to do. Or to be the natural homemaker or the hunter-gatherer. Same-sex marriage represents the possibility that marriage can be an equal deal after all—or at least one where inequality is not locked in at birth. The conservatives are right: Same-sex marriage will change opposite-sex marriage. And it’s a good thing, too. While we’re at it, how about some more good news for marriage equality? In a decision that could have far-reaching effects on immigration cases involving same-sex couples, federal officials have canceled the deportation of a Venezuelan man in New Jersey who is married to an American man, the couple’s lawyer said Wednesday. … Immigration lawyers and gay rights advocates said the decision represented a significant shift in policy and could open the door to the cancellation of deportations for other immigrants in same-sex marriages. “This action shows that the government has not only the power but the inclination to do the right thing when it comes to protecting certain vulnerable populations from deportation,” said the couple’s lawyer, Lavi Soloway. The case has been closely watched across the country by lawyers and advocates who viewed it as a test of the federal government’s position on the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law that bars the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. More of this please: Today, 12 jurors in Charlotte, N.C., found anti-abortion extremist leader Philip “Flip” Benham guilty of criminally stalking a Charlotte-area physician who provides abortions. This is the second time Benham, who is director of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue/Operation Save America, was convicted for conduct that caused persons to fear for their safety or the safety of their family. “For too long, Benham and his organization have been able to stalk and terrorize abortion providers and their families with impunity,” said duVergne Gaines, legal coordinator for the Feminist Majority Foundation, who attended the five-day trial. “They have distributed WANTED posters and engaged in other outrageous conduct in an attempt to intimidate doctors out of providing safe, legal abortions for women here in Charlotte.” See? Operation Rescue really is a terrorist organization. Now we’ll have one less terrorist on the streets. Looks like it’s a bad week to be an anti-choicer in North Carolina : North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue yesterday vetoed legislation that would have imposed a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion, as well as require an ultrasound before the procedure. The law would have also required women to view and hear a description of the ultrasound, and it would require providers to give women printed information about risks associated with the procedure. Not much better for the antis in South Dakota either: Yesterday, the day before SD HB 1217 was slated to take effect, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Karen Schreier granted a preliminary injunction. In a 61-page statement that doesn’t mince words, this judge, the daughter of a former SD legislator, found that Planned Parenthood is likely to prevail on its challenge to each of the requirements of the law, including the 72-hour mandatory delay and the “pregnancy help center” requirement. Judge Schreier wrote: Forcing a woman to divulge to a stranger at a pregnancy help center the fact that she has chosen to undergo an abortion humiliates and degrades her as a human being. The woman will feel degraded by the compulsive nature of the Pregnancy Help Center requirements, which suggest that she has made the ‘wrong’ decision, has not really ‘thought’ about her decision to undergo an abortion, or is ‘not intelligent enough’ to make the decision with the advice of a physician. Furthermore, these women are forced into a hostile environment. (h/t meralda) And the antis in Kansas can also suck it : A federal judge temporarily blocked Kansas from enforcing new abortion regulations Friday that would have prevented two of the state’s three abortion providers from continuing to terminate pregnancies. … In blocking the law, Murguia said evidence presented in court documents showed the providers would “suffer irreparable harm” through the loss of business and patients, and that at least two women currently seeking abortions would be harmed by not being able to go to the provider of their choice. Now brace yourselves. It wasn’t all good news this week : James O’Keefe pal and wannabe, Lila Rose—she of the doctored “sting” videos of Planned Parenthood —is at it again. And this time she has ” proof ” that President Obama, not the rabidly anti-woman legislature or Gov. Mitch “I’m shoring up my anti-woman street cred, just in case I ever run for president” Daniels, is to blame for denying health care to women. Live Action, Lila Rose’s anti-abortion rights group, recently released a video that features “undercover phone calls” aimed at displaying how Indiana’s law defunding Planned Parenthood has no effect on Medicaid beneficiaries. The group is claiming that the Obama administration is exercising an “abuse of power” by threatening to withhold federal Medicaid funds from the state. The video features recorded phone calls of women asking Planned Parenthood employees whether they (as Medicaid beneficiaries) can obtain the services they would otherwise get at Planned Parenthood elsewhere. Because the clinic lets the women know that they can get the same services at other clinics, Live Action dismisses the need for Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid provider in the state. Right. So, in other words, it’s totally fair for Indiana to defund the state’s primary medical provider for low-income women, so long as somewhere out there, women might be able to track down another provider. And somehow, Obama’s the bad guy for not allowing Indiana to violate the law and human decency by discriminating against poor women. That’s “pro-life” logic for you. This map will piss you off. Louisiana legislators won’t be deterred, just because most of their bullshit anti-woman bills didn’t pass this year; they’ll just try again next year : Rep. John LaBruzzo, R-Metairie, is one of the Legislature’s hardline abortion opponents. He is vowing to bring back his proposal to ban almost all abortions, even in pregnancies stemming from incest, and says the debate this year helped shape the bill into one that more anti-abortion groups can support. “Overall it will be easier and better (next year) because I’m expecting more Republicans to be elected,” he said. In case you missed Magnifico’s diary this week, go read it now to see how Republicans “compromise.” Short version? They’re willing to address budget concerns, but only if they get to throw in some good old fashioned anti-woman, anti-voting, anti-science legislation. Aw, poor dads. Now they’re the ones struggling with how to have it all: Though it may come as a surprise to stressed-out working moms, a new report says American men now experience more work-life conflict than women. The Families and Work Institute tries to explain why in a study, The New Male Mystique, that takes its cue from Betty Friedan. Much like the conflict women felt when they first entered the workforce in large numbers, the institute says men today feel “the pressure to do it all in order to have it all.” That is, be the breadwinner, spend more time with the kids, and wash the dishes after dinner, thank you very much. Maybe I could muster a little more sympathy if I hadn’t read and reported this little factoid just last week: Working moms pick up more child care and household duties than working dads—about 80 minutes more every day. Meanwhile, dads enjoy nearly 50 more minutes of watching TV and other leisure activities on a daily basis. Gosh, fellas, sorry that pitching in around the house and helping with the kids is cutting into your TV time and stressing you out, but your wives are still doing most of the work. And just because I always like to end on a good note, or at least a good laugh : Ohio GOP Lawmaker Celebrates Being Pro-Life By Driving Drunk : Republican “moral math” alert! Ohio state representative Robert Mecklenborg was arrested for driving around drunk on an Indiana state highway, which is sort of an “anti-life” thing to do, you might say. But just a few days ago, he also voted for the Fetal Heartbeat Bill, one of those fake “pro-life” thingies that Republicans love. Do they cancel each other out? Mecklenborg thought so, as he failed to tell anyone at the Ohio Statehouse about his arrest. Mecklenborg was also – hey hey! – full of Viagra and accompanied by a lady, presumably on a little super-sanctified sexytime trip to make their own angry fetus. That’s worth a few very literal “pro-life” points! So whatever, Mecklenborg is still against death on balance, why should anyone care? Thanks, Wonkette!
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This week in the War on Women
Bachmann says she’s not a joke and at least Republicans seem to agree Public Policy Polling (6/23-26, New Mexico Republican primary voters): Michele Bachmann: 21 Mitt Romney: 18 Gary Johnson: 13 Sarah Palin: 11 Herman Cain: 10 Tim Pawlenty: 7 Newt Gingrich: 6 Ron Paul: 5 Someone else/not sure: 9 (MoE: ±4.9%) There’s not much to say about those numbers other than wow . Michele Bachmann isn’t just leading Sarah Palin, isn’t just leading Mitt Romney, she’s also leading former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. She’s dealing a serious ass-kicking to the GOP field. PPP also asked two horserace questions in which Johnson was excluded; one had Palin running, the other didn’t. Bachmann led both, but with Palin in the race, she was tied with Romney for the lead at 22%. But with Palin out she jumped up to 27% while Romney gained just one point, hitting 23%. It’s a weird comparison to make because of the Johnson factor (no, that wasn’t a reference to Anthony Weiner or that hack from Morning Joe), but check out what the field looks like with and without Palin, keeping in mind that she takes 14% with Johnson excluded. The thing you see is that virtually all of her supporters go to candidates not named Mitt Romney, or become undecided. To me, that reinforces the notion that there’s a ceiling to Mitt Romney’s support. He’s obviously not quite at the ceiling just yet, but to win the nomination, he’s going to need to figure out how to win over most of the people in the third and fourth categories of the above chart. He’ll probably do okay with Huntsman and maybe Gingrich and Pawlenty supporters, but he’s going to get creamed with Paul and Cain supporters. Bottom-line: Romney hasn’t shown that he is going to be able to expand his coalition, and the polls I’ve seen lately reflects that notion .
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NM-Pres: Bachmann bests Romney, Palin, and former NM Gov. Johnson