December 06, 2013
The White House on Friday criticized as misleading a report claiming
that President Obama and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius met just once since the signing of the Affordable Care Act more than three years ago, Politico
Said press secretary Jay Carney: "The published report that was written by an advocate is based on a ridiculously false premise. Cabinet secretaries don't regularly get entered into the White House visitors logs, [though] they come frequently. Kathleen Sebelius comes frequently, and she meets frequently with the president."
Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) has decided to seek re-election and is expected to
announce that decision shortly, Roll Call
The incumbent will likely
face a competitive primary election against state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R).
"If cops are not doing stop-and-frisk, they are not doing their jobs. It
is a basic, fundamental tool of police work in the whole country. If you
do away with stop-and-frisk, this city will go down the chute as fast
as anything you can imagine."
-- New York City police chief designate William Bratton, quoted by the New Yorker
in May, expressing very different views than Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio.
notes that with so much riding on the line with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, "one would assume" President Obama "held weekly, if not daily, one-on-one meetings with his Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to isolate problems, challenge assumptions, apply executive pressure where needed and successfully manage a project of scale."
"A new Government Accountability Institute (GAI) analysis finds that from July 12, 2010, to Nov. 30, 2013, the president's public schedule records zero one-on-one meetings between Obama and Sebelius. Equally shocking, over the same period, the president's calendar lists 277 private meetings with his other Cabinet secretaries (excluding full Cabinet meetings)."
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"Let me explain it this way, Joel, and you might feel the same way. When I find out my wife's been shopping at a home improvement store, I get nervous. I wonder what ideas are going on in her pretty little head and 'What's it going to cost me?'"
-- North Dakota State Sen. Dwight Cook (R), in an interview on KFGO
: "Democrats may be counting on Republicans to engage in more self-destructive behavior when government funding expires in mid-January and the debt ceiling expires in February. But it looks increasingly likely that Republicans will go along with a deal, averting a spending/debt-ceiling crisis, and not repeat the disaster of this fall. Avoiding such a fight would keep most of the public's focus on Obamacare, and, in Republicans' eyes, give them the gift that will keep on giving. At this point, that doesn't appear to be an unrealistic expectation."
"But what will happen next? A jaded observer might suggest that certain Senate Democrats may try to move the goalposts of a budget deal, pushing for additional Republican concessions to the point that House Speaker John Boehner can't deliver enough of the hard-liners in his caucus, thus creating a repeat of last fall's showdown. Of course, that is a highly cynical view, but it does not seem implausible that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid might try such a strategy. The catch is whether Democrats could potentially sabotage a budget deal without leaving any incriminating fingerprints."
: "But as universally praised and beloved as Mandela is now, anyone who was politically aware in the 1980s or 1990s knows that always wasn't the case. After all, in 1986, President Ronald Reagan vetoed legislation -- which Congress overrode -- punishing South Africa for its racial apartheid. A lot of it had to do with Cold War mentality at the time; some viewed Mandela as on the wrong side of that fight. But it's all a reminder how the passage of time and history can transform a one-time controversial figure into a political saint, and vice-versa. But it's also a lesson that sometimes a policy of the moment will end up being embarrassing; politicians today ought to think about what a policy decision in the moment will look like a generation later."
Just published: The Romney Family Table
by Ann Romney.
Detroit Free Press
"Today, Detroit has the eye of the Republican Party. This morning, the
state Republican Party will open an African American Engagement Office
as part of a nationwide effort to reach out to black voters. Then, U.S.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. -- expected by many to run for president in 2016 --
will outline a plan to the Detroit Economic Club to get the bankrupt
city back on its feet by slashing taxes. Along with a grassroots event
featuring Paul at Grace Bible Chapel on Oakman, the moves are designed
to help support a Republican plan to connect with minority voters who
widely rejected the party in last year's presidential election."
Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) was in New Hampshire last night but kept dodging the question of whether he would run for Senate from that state, the Londonberry Patch
Said Brown: "I don't think anything's off the table at this point. I'm in no hurry, there's no timetable."
Meanwhile, a video
caught Brown showing he wasn't even sure what state he was in.Politico
: "Scott Brown: Where am I?"
"Several House Democrats are feeling heat for their connections to a centrist think tank that has called for cuts to federal entitlements, highlighting fissures within the Democratic Party over the direction of economic policy," the Wall Street Journal
"The lawmakers are being criticized by progressive groups due to their association with Third Way, a centrist think tank whose positions on issues are more conservative than those in the Democratic base. For instance, Third Way advocates some cuts to entitlement programs to help shrink the federal deficit."
President Obama stayed neutral about his possible successor, saying both Vice President Biden and former secretary of State Hillary Clinton "would make outstanding presidents," The Hill
Asked to "compare and contrast" the pair's presidential attributes, Obama said there was "not a chance am I going there."
He added: "They've got different strengths, but both of them would be outstanding."
President Obama told Chris Matthews
that Republicans ought to be "embarrassed" of their record low productivity during their time in charge of the House of Representatives.
Said Obama: "They've got to be embarrassed. Because the truth of the matter is they've now been in charge of the House of Representatives - one branch or one chamber in one branch of government - for a couple of years now. They just don't have a lot to show for it."
"I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set. And so long as I live I will do what I can to learn from him."
-- President Obama, quoted by the Washington Post
"South Africans have gathered in Johannesburg and Soweto to mourn their former leader, Nelson Mandela, who died on Thursday aged 95," the BBC
"Mandela spent 27 years in jail before becoming South Africa's first black president in 1994. His administration replaced the racist white-minority regime that had enforced segregation of black and white people in a policy known as apartheid."
New York Times
: "As flags flew at half-staff across South Africa, a sense of loss, blended with memories of inspiration, spread around the world from President Obama in Washington to members of Britain's royal family and on to those who saw Mr. Mandela as an exemplar of a broader struggle."
: "To a country torn apart by racial divisions, Mr. Mandela became its most potent symbol of national unity, using the power of forgiveness and reconciliation to heal deep-rooted wounds and usher in an era of peace after decades of conflict between blacks and whites... And to a world roiled by war, poverty and oppression, Mr. Mandela became its conscience, fighting to overcome some of its most vexing problems."
December 05, 2013
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.
Subscribe via iTunes
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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.
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
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."