December 05, 2013
Some great clicks over at Wonk Wire
"In a significant development, GOP candidates have embraced a concept
that was unthinkable a year ago: fixing President Obama's landmark law," The Hill
"Others, meanwhile, have offered replacement healthcare plans."
"Polling shows a majority of people would rather Congress fix the law than scrap it entirely, which is clearly playing a role in the Republican pivot. Yet, offering to fix a law that is reviled by the GOP base is politically tricky. Some in Republican circles want the law to flop miserably, which would increase the chances of an eventual repeal."
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford called allegations
in a police document that he tried to buy a video showing him smoking crack cocaine an "outright lie" and "ridiculous," the Toronto Star
"The documents describe Ford's habit of doing drugs including heroin with gang members, his offering to buy the crack video for $5,000 and a car and his being targeted for a blackmail attempt."
"The Affordable Care Act, as I said, the bill itself has got very good concepts and yes, I would support it again."
-- Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), quoted by WAFB
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Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) said that global climate change could have an upside for his state, the Bangor Daily News
Said LePage: "Everybody looks at the negative effects of global warming, but with the ice melting, the Northern Passage has opened up. So maybe, instead of being at the end of the pipeline, we're now at the beginning of a new pipeline."
"The Northeast Passage, also known as the northern sea route, is a maritime route through the Arctic Circle that connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, providing a shortcut from the U.S. East Coast to Asia -- and all the markets therein -- that shaves 40 percent off the distance of the traditional route through the Mediterranean Sea and the Suez Canal."
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A new Field Poll
finds California Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) public approval rating "has surged to a new high, and he is the overwhelming early favorite to win re-election next year."
Key finding: 58% approve of the job Brown is doing, up seven points from July.
Brown leads his closest Republican challengers, former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado (R) and Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R), by more than 40 points.
Said pollster Mark DiCamillio: "It's overwhelming. Voters may be satisfied enough with Jerry Brown that they never seriously entertain any of the challengers. At least that's what it's looking like at this stage."
"Some of our members just aren't as sensitive as they ought to be."
-- Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), quoted by the Washington Post
, on GOP attitudes towards women.
New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio (D) named William Bratton to lead the New York Police Department, the New York Times
"The move will return Mr. Bratton to the helm of the nation's largest force at a time of historically low crime rates and a deepening rift between officers and the public. The appointment has been highly anticipated and will most likely be among the most consequential for Mr. de Blasio, who turned discontent with the Police Department's stop-and-frisk practices into a key part of his winning election run."
Mark Halperin, the co-author of Double Down: Game Change 2012
, is our guest on today's episode of the Political Wire podcast
. It was a great conversation.
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This episode is sponsored by the Cook Political Report
. If it's your business to know politics, you need to be reading it.
Political polling provided to National Journal
shows that "white women" have soured considerably on Obamacare, "especially in the month since its botched rollout. The skepticism runs especially deep among blue-collar women, sometimes known as 'waitress moms,' whose deeply pessimistic attitudes toward the Affordable Care Act should riddle Democratic candidates with anxiety.""
"I think that we have to be very aggressive on what she's done or hasn't done. And the things that she is famous for, like a
botched health care rollout in the 90s, and Benghazi, and the things
that she is involved with that are or went obviously pretty badly, we
need to focus in on."
-- RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, tell Hugh Hewitt
that the opposition research against Hillary Clinton has already begun.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) "continues to make headlines for what is ostensibly a roll-out for another run
at the White House in 2016, but a new Smart Politics report
demonstrates that the nation's pollsters are not convinced and have largely ignored the Texas governor this year."
"Perry ranks as just the 11th most listed Republican candidate in horse race polling questions of the GOP presidential primary field for the 2016 cycle. The names of only three Republicans have been given as a choice to survey respondents in all 17 such polls conducted this year: Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, and Marco Rubio. Paul Ryan and Rand Paul are next with 15 followed by Bobby Jindal with 12, Ted Cruz with 10, Rick Santorum with nine, and Scott Walker and Susana Martinez with six."
Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) "is causing friction with some of his colleagues by pushing the House GOP campaign arm to deny support for some of the party's gay congressional candidates," Politico
"Forbes has waged a lengthy crusade to convince his colleagues and the National Republican Congressional Committee brass they shouldn't back some gay candidates. His efforts on Capitol Hill were described... by more than a half-dozen sources with direct knowledge of the talks."
"The National Republican Congressional Committee wants to make sure there are no Todd Akin-style gaffes next year, so it's meeting with top aides of sitting Republicans to teach them what to say -- or not to say -- on the trail, especially when their boss is running against a woman," Politico
"Speaker John Boehner is serious, too. His own top aides met recently with Republican staff to discuss how lawmakers should talk to female constituents."
"The contours of a mini-deal to avert another government shutdown emerged Wednesday, a rare glimmer of bipartisanship in a Congress noted for division and dysfunction," the Los Angeles Times
"The pending two-year deal levies no new taxes and fends off some Pentagon budget cuts -- which Republicans demanded -- but preserves spending for social programs favored by Democrats, like Head Start for preschoolers, according to those familiar with the private talks who requested anonymity to speak candidly."
"If approved, the pact would eliminate the need for about half of the $91 billion in so-called sequester cuts, which are set to take effect Jan. 15, arbitrarily slashing budgets for defense and social programs. Lawmakers on both sides are eager to avoid such cuts, which economists warn could harm the economy."Roll Call
warns: "Budget negotiators are nearing a deal that could ease the way
for leaders to avert another government shutdown before the 2014
elections, but only if rank and file -- particularly in the House -- buy
into the agreement."
has a fascinating look back at the 1992 Democratic presidential primary in New York, which was a dramatic and chaotic do-or-die test for Bill Clinton after he lost the Connecticut primary unexpectedly to Jerry Brown.
"When the Connecticut result came in, the basic nature of the Democratic
race changed on the spot, transforming the next major contest on the
calendar into a make-or-break test for Bill Clinton. If he could win it,
his inevitability would be restored. But lose again, to Jerry Brown,
and all hell would break loose."
"And here was the worst part for Clinton. Of all the venues for that that next major test, that do-or-die battle, it would be playing out in a state where they practiced a notoriously cutthroat brand of politics; a state where his southern accent marked him as a suspicious outsider, a used car salesman; where the media delighted in chewing up supposed front-runners; where an unusually powerful tabloid press would giddily plaster his personal baggage on its covers; where one major liberal columnist was already calling him "Slick Willie" while another simply branded him "a fraud"; where one of the biggest-name Democratic politicians was openly arguing that his "character problems" made him "unacceptable to the vast majority of Democrats"; a state whose Democratic governor had nearly launched a presidential campaign of his own, and who was now being touted as the white knight who could rescue the party if Clinton stumbled just once more - a governor, by the way, whom Clinton had personally insulted in secretly recorded conversations that had come to light months earlier."
: "So why is Obama's approval on the issues lower than his overall approval rating? We've got two theories."
"One is that, despite his fall from grace, the president retains some of the likability that once kept his favorable rating -- a personal feeling towards the president -- above his approval rating -- an evaluation of his job performance."
"Another is that Obama's leadership ability has taken a hit. Polls have shown a significant decrease in the number of Americans who view Obama as a strong leader -- a decrease that suggests even some supporters don't have faith that Obama can execute on issues like immigration."
"More than two dozen of the nation's biggest corporations, including the five major oil companies, are planning their future growth on the expectation that the government will force them to pay a price for carbon pollution as a way to control global warming," the New York Times
" The development is a striking departure from conservative orthodoxy and a reflection of growing divisions between the Republican Party and its business supporters."
December 04, 2013
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's "habit of doing drugs with gang members led to him being targeted in an apparent extortion plot related to the crack cocaine video and possibly a series of photographs of him in compromising situations, newly released police documents say," according to the Toronto Star
"At one point earlier this year, Ford offered $5,000 and a car to a gang member in exchange for the embarrassing video, an offer that was rejected. The same gang member planned to ask for $150,000 from Ford in return for the video of him smoking crack cocaine and making homophobic and racially charged remarks."
"Whether Ford paid and obtained the original video is not known. A copy was recently recovered by police on a laptop hardrive."
The New York Times
picks the 10 best books of the year which includes one political book: Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House
by Peter Baker.
FBI officials executed a search warrant at former state Sen. Kent Sorenson's (R) home two weeks ago and confiscated computers and other materials connected to presidential campaign politics, the Des Moines Register
"Earlier this year, a report from a state special investigator suggested that two presidential campaigns - those of Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul - may have violated federal election laws by skirting rules to funnel money to Sorenson for campaign work."
: "Prognostications about the upcoming midterm election are coming fast and furious. The bullishness about the Democrats' prospects, so frequently expressed (and exaggerated) during the government shutdown, is gone. Current forecasts typically range from 'a midterm headache for Democrats' to 'a midterm nightmare' for Democrats and possibly even another Republican wave. But at this moment, what's most likely is something less dramatic, at least as far as the House of Representatives is concerned. An early version of this blog's forecasting model suggests that there will be only a small shift in House seats in 2014 -- one more likely to advantage Republicans than Democrats, but one that will fall far short of a wave."
For another perspective on 2014, listen to our recent conversation with Larry Sabato:
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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said that she will not make a presidential bid in 2016, the Boston Herald
Said Warren: "I'm not running for president and I plan to serve out my term,"
: "Probably the most jarring election story of 2013 was the successful recall of two Democratic state senators in Colorado. Both represented districts that had voted for President Obama by wide margins: In the recall, Angela Morse ran 15 points behind the president, while John Morse (pictured) ran 12 points behind him."
"These were extreme cases: low-turnout recall elections where the pro-recall forces were unusually energized by the gun issue. But they highlight what is probably the most troubling indicator for Democrats right now as we inch toward the midterm-election season: The drop-off in Democratic performance in elections this year -- Democrats have been running three to five points behind Obama's 2012 showing with surprising consistency."