August 14, 2011 archive

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Think Bachman can’t win?

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

I’ve had people opine that I’m overly pessimistic, that a walking talking jackass can’t possibly win.

Well on Wednesday I quoted Robert Reich

I’m told White House political operatives are against a bold jobs plan. They believe the only jobs plan that could get through Congress would be so watered down as to have almost no impact by Election Day. They also worry the public wouldn’t understand how more government spending in the near term can be consistent with long-term deficit reduction. And they fear Republicans would use any such initiative to further bash Obama as a big spender.

So rather than fight for a bold jobs plan, the White House has apparently decided it’s politically wiser to continue fighting about the deficit. The idea is to keep the public focused on the deficit drama – to convince them their current economic woes have something to do with it, decry Washington’s paralysis over fixing it, and then claim victory over whatever outcome emerges from the process recently negotiated to fix it. They hope all this will distract the public’s attention from the President’s failure to do anything about continuing high unemployment and economic anemia.

Saturday’s New York Times

Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Plouffe, and his chief of staff, William M. Daley, want him to maintain a pragmatic strategy of appealing to independent voters by advocating ideas that can pass Congress, even if they may not have much economic impact. These include free trade agreements and improved patent protections for inventors.

Administration officials, frustrated by the intransigence of House Republicans, have increasingly concluded that the best thing Mr. Obama can do for the economy may be winning a second term, with a mandate to advance his ideas on deficit reduction, entitlement changes, housing policy and other issues.

Yup, those same neoliberal ideas that lose jobs and weaken the economy and increase the deficit.

Barack Obama and his advisers are totally out of touch with economic reality-

The ailing economy, barely growing at the same pace as the population, has swept all other political issues to the sidelines. Twenty-five million Americans could not find full-time jobs last month. Millions of families cannot afford to live in their homes. And the contentious debate over raising the federal debt ceiling – which Mr. Obama achieved only after striking a compromise with Republicans that included a plan for at least $2.1 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years – has further shaken economic confidence.

A wide range of economists say the administration should call for a new round of stimulus spending, as prescribed by mainstream economic theory, to create jobs and promote growth.

And they are out of touch with the voters-

So far, most signs point to a continuation of the nonconfrontational approach – better to do something than nothing – that has defined this administration. Mr. Obama and his aides are skeptical that voters will reward bold proposals if those ideas do not pass Congress. It is their judgment that moderate voters want tangible results rather than speeches.

Mr. Plouffe and Mr. Daley share the view that a focus on deficit reduction is an economic and political imperative, according to people who have spoken with them. Voters believe that paying down the debt will help the economy, and the White House agrees, although it wants to avoid cutting too much spending while the economy remains weak.

As part of this appeal to centrist voters, the president intends to continue his push for a so-called grand bargain on deficit reduction – a deal with Republicans to make even larger spending cuts, including to the social safety net, in exchange for some revenue increases – despite the strong opposition of Congressional Democrats who want to use the issue to draw contrasts with Republicans.

How’s that plan working out for you Barack?  As I pointed out Friday the latest ABC News / Washington Post poll shows increasing disapproval of Barack Obama and his policies, not just among so-called Independent voters, but also a marked erosion of his Democatic support-

More than four in 10 Americans say they “definitely will not” support Obama in 2012, while fewer than half as many, just two in 10, are certain to back the president for reelection. The number of “definite” Obama voters marks a low in polls since November 2009 and has dropped four percentage points since a Post-ABC poll in June, and eight points since April.

Support for Obama has softened considerably on the left: In the new poll, 31 percent of liberals say they are certain to vote for Obama next year, down from 46 percent in June. One in five liberals says they “definitely will not” vote for him, while a 43 percent plurality says they’ll considering casting a ballot for Obama.

Obama’s 2008 election was fueled by winning majorities of key swing groups, including political independents, women and voters under age 50. But with 15 months left before Election Day, more than three times as many independents say they “definitely will not” vote for Obama in 2012 as say they “definitely will” – 45 percent versus 14 percent. And among women and those under 50, more say they’ll definitely oppose than definitely support Obama next year.

How’s that working out in the Electoral College for you Barack?  In the swing state of Pennsylvania

Public Policy Polling as cited by John Aravosis and Taylor Marsh

For the first time since last July Barack Obama does not lead Mitt Romney in PPP’s monthly national poll on the 2012 Presidential race. Romney has now pulled into a tie with the President at 45%.

Obama’s approval rating this month is 46% with 48% of voters disapproving of him. There are 2 things particularly troubling in his numbers: independents split against him by a 44/49 margin, and 16% of Democrats are unhappy with the job he’s doing while only 10% of Republicans give him good marks. Republicans dislike him at this point to a greater extent than Democrats like him and that will be a problem for him moving forward if it persists.

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.

How undecideds change the race if you allocate them based on their approval/disapproval of Obama-

Matchup Approve Disapprove Winner/Margin
Obama/Romney 21% 61% Romney 52-48
Obama/Pawlenty 9% 75% Tied 50-50
Obama/Bachmann 10% 67% Obama 51-49
Obama/Cain 8% 76% Obama 51-49
Obama/Palin 5% 84% Obama 54-46

Confirmed by the latest (August 2nd) result from Quinnipiac

Pennsylvania voters say 52 – 42 percent that Obama does not deserve to be reelected. Matching the president against possible Republican challengers shows:

  • Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with 44 percent to Obama’s 42 percent;
  • Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum with 43 percent to Obama’s 45 percent;
  • Obama leads Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann 47 – 39 percent;
  • Obama tops Texas Gov. Rick Perry 45 – 39 percent.

Do you think campaigning on a program of cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid is going to work any better in Florida when Obama is also losing Latino voters because of his harsh immigration policy?

But wait, ek you say, surely in a State as true Blue as New York, where the Republican Party hardly exists, surely Barack Obama can win there!

From Quinnipiac, also August 2nd-

New York State voters disapprove 49 – 45 percent of the job President Obama is doing, a huge drop from his 57 – 38 percent approval June 29 and the first time the president ever has had a negative score in New York, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Democrats approve 75 – 19 percent, down from 82 – 12 percent in June. Disapproval is 86 – 10 percent among Republicans, compared to a 74 – 23 percent disapproval in June, and 58 – 36 percent among independent voters, compared to a slightly positive 49 – 45 percent in June, the independent Quinnipiac University poll finds.

“The debt ceiling hullaballoo devastated President Barack Obama’s numbers even in true blue New York,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “He just misses that magic 50 percent mark against a no-name Republican challenger.”

Don’t bet on it.  And don’t call me Shirley.

As I pointed out on Tuesday Obama and his advisers have decided that their only hope is a slime campaign to try and drive up his opponent’s negatives faster than the economy tanks.

So that is hope, and you can’t expect things to change either.  Again-

Administration officials, frustrated by the intransigence of House Republicans, have increasingly concluded that the best thing Mr. Obama can do for the economy may be winning a second term, with a mandate to advance his ideas on deficit reduction, entitlement changes, housing policy and other issues.

Who’s the walking talking jackass?  Why vote Obama unless you think things are improving, which an overwhelming and increasing majority of Voters don’t?

The best thing Obama can do for the economy and the Democratic Party is fire his advisers and resign.  The second best thing Obama can do for the economy and the Democratic Party is fire his advisers and not seek a second term.

Electoral victory my ass.


August 30, 2003

The Fowl Friend Episode 4 Season 1

Now with Part 2!

Nero Fiddles

Roubini: "capitalism could self destruct"

by Chris in Paris, Americablog

on 8/13/2011 06:10:00 PM

If you have a spare 22 minutes it’s well worth it. Roubini believes that the chances for a double dip are above 50%.

Gravel (D) says he will probably run for President if supporters raise $1 Million

From   Gravel names his price: $1 million to challenge Obama

Somebody should challenge Obama, there’s no question about it. He is what he is, and it’s not what we want,” former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel said in an interview with The Daily Caller. “I’d be happy to do it, but it takes money. Without enough money to be heard, you come off as somewhat foolish.”

Gravel said he will challenge Obama if there is sufficient financial backing.

“If [supporters] would put up $1 million, I probably would run. And that would at least fund enough activity to get a message out,” Gravel said.

On This Day In History August 14

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

August 14 is the 226th day of the year (227th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 139 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law.

On this day in 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs into law the Social Security Act. Press photographers snapped pictures as FDR, flanked by ranking members of Congress, signed into law the historic act, which guaranteed an income for the unemployed and retirees. FDR commended Congress for what he considered to be a “patriotic” act.

U.S. Social Security is a social insurance program that is funded through dedicated payroll taxes called Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). Tax deposits are formally entrusted to the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund, the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, or the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund.

The main part of the program is sometimes abbreviated OASDI (Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance) or RSDI (Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance). When initially signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935 as part of his New Deal, the term Social Security covered unemployment insurance as well. The term, in everyday speech, is used to refer only to the benefits for retirement, disability, survivorship, and death, which are the four main benefits provided by traditional private-sector pension plans. In 2004 the U.S. Social Security system paid out almost $500 billion in benefits.

By dollars paid, the U.S. Social Security program is the largest government program in the world and the single greatest expenditure in the federal budget, with 20.8% for social security, compared to 20.5% for discretionary defense and 20.1% for Medicare/Medicaid. Social Security is currently the largest social insurance program in the U.S., constituting 37% of government expenditure and 7% of the gross domestic product and is currently estimated to keep roughly 40% of all Americans age 65 or older out of poverty. The Social Security Administration is headquartered in Woodlawn, Maryland, just to the west of Baltimore.

Social Security privatization became a major political issue for more than three decades during the presidencies of Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Aung San Suu Kyi in first political trip beyond Rangoon

Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has made her first political trip outside Rangoon since her release from house arrest last November.  

The BBC 14 August 2011  

She called for national unity as she visited Bago, about 80km (50 miles) north of Burma’s main city.

Hundreds of people lined the streets as her convoy made its way to Bago.

The Burmese authorities had earlier warned that such a trip could trigger unrest and security agents were monitoring the convoy.

However, the BBC’s South-east Asia correspondent, Rachel Harvey, says recent moves have suggested a thaw in relations could be under way.

Sunday’s Headlines:

Elephant and rhino poaching ‘is driven by China’s economic boom’

FBI investigates secret payments to Fifa whistleblower

Bitter battle as Libyan rebels take key town

Kidnapping of American in Lahore highlights risks for US aid efforts in Pakistan

Shammi Kapoor passes away

Late Night Karaoke

Health Care Law Mandate Ruled Unconstitutional

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This afternoon (Friday) the individual mandate of the Affordable Health Care Act has been found unconstitutional. A three panel court of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Florida upheld a lower court ruling that had held the entire ACA to be unconstitutional. The ruling determined that individuals cannot be forced to purchase expensive private health care insurance from birth to death or face penalties. The court allowed the rest of the law to stand.

   – It is immaterial whether we perceive Congress to be regulating inactivity or a financial decision to forego insurance. Under any framing, the regulated conduct is defined by the absence of both commerce or even the “the production, distribution, and consumption of commodities”-the broad definition of economics in Raich… To connect this conduct to interstate commerce would require a “but-for causal chain” that the Supreme Court has rejected, as it would allow Congress to regulate anything.

   – In sum, the individual mandate is breathtaking in its expansive scope. It regulates those who have not entered the health care market at all. It regulates those who have entered the health care market, but have not entered the insurance market (and have no intention of doing so). It is over inclusive in when it regulates:it conflates those who presently consume health care with those who will not consume health care for many years into the future. The government’s position amounts to an argument that the mere fact of an individual’s existence substantially affects interstate commerce, and therefore Congress may regulate them at every point of their life.

In June, the 6th Circuit in Ohio had ruled that the mandate was constitutional for Congress to mandate Americans buy health care insurance. As David Kurtz at TPM makes a couple of very important points:

  • usually these suits are only ever get heard before a three judge panel but because of the legal significance of this case the entire court may decide to hear the case. Either way this will in all probability be fought out in the Supreme Court.
  • Because of the conflicting rulings between legal authorities, it is more likely than not that the case will get decided by the Supreme Court

Florida et al v. Dept. Of Health & Human Services et al

Rick Perry Will Be The Republican Nominee

Cross-posted to MyLeftWing and CandyBullets

“If you want to live in a state that is favorable to smoking marijuana and gay marriage – then move to California,” — Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Zombie Mondale has entered the race!