“I don’t even know who this lady is.”
President Obama’s signature healthcare law got a boost when an appeals court agreed with a lower court that dismissed a challenge and found the law’s mandate that everyone buy health insurance was constitutional, Reuters reports.
Said one judge: “It certainly is an encroachment on individual liberty, but it is no more so than a command that restaurants or hotels are obliged to serve all customers regardless of race.”
The Wall Street Journal notes today’s ruling comes as the Supreme Court is scheduled to
discuss several challenges to the health-care overhaul during the
justices’ private conference. “The court decides during its
closed-door conferences which cases it will consider in the coming
months. The high court isn’t required to hear a health-care case, but
given the disagreement in the lower courts, it is highly likely to do
A new Gallup survey finds Herman Cain’s image among Republicans is starting to get worse amid claims that he sexually harassed several women in the 1990s.
Cain’s latest “Positive Intensity Score” — which is based on two weeks of polling — is currently 25, but it ranged from 29 just after the news broke to 20 in the days since.
Joshua Spivak points out that in an otherwise less-than-memorable Election Day, there will be at least 26 recall elections across the country today, including two big state legislative recalls — the first time in history that two states will have a state-level recalls on the same day.
It’s not clear if the recalls today is a record — because no one has kept statistics — but it does point to the growing use of the recall.
Stephen Colbert tries to make the complex world of campaign finance and Super PACs a little more understandable and definitely more entertaining.
Campaign finance expert Rick Hasen says Colbert has “done more to educate the general public about the troublesome nature of super PACs than anyone else in the media or academia.”
Jonathan Chait thinks Bill Daley ultimately failed as White House chief of staff — and was stripped of authority — because Americans “were not itching for Obama to make peace with corporate America. Americans are in an angry, populist mood — distrustful of government, but even more distrustful of business.”
First Read notes this is the message of the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll: “Heading into 2012, America is looking for a populist. According to the poll, a whopping 76% agree with the statement that the current economic structure of the country is out of balance and favors a small proportion of the rich over the rest of the country.”
He added that a third term shouldn’t be consecutive — presidents should be required to take time off after serving eight years.
Said Clinton: “I believe that should be the rule. And I think as a practical matter, you couldn’t apply to anyone who has already served. But if going forward, I personally believe that should be the rule.”
The 2012 presidential election is less than a year away, but voters across the country head to the polls today to decide thousands of local races.
First Read is watching five contests: 1) the referendum on the anti-collective-bargaining law in Ohio, where polls close at 7:30 pm ET; 2) the governor’s race in Kentucky, where all polls close at 7:00 pm ET; 3) the governor’s race in Mississippi, where polls close at 8:00 pm ET; 4) the “personhood”/abortion amendment in Mississippi; and 5) the battle of control for the state Senate in Virginia, where polls close at 7:00 pm ET.
David Nir provides a handy “pocket guide” to today’s elections.
Heidi Heitkamp (D) will run for U.S. Senate in North Dakota for the seat being vacated next year by Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), The Hill reports.
Democrats instantly called the race “the new toss-up” while releasing a poll showing that Heitkamp’s likely rival Rick Berg (R) leads a generic
Democrat by just four points, 44% to 40%.
CNN: “Democrats were quick to tout Heitkamp’s independent streak in the state that went for Sen. John McCain in 2008 and former President George W. Bush in 2004. While no Democrat has won the state in a presidential election since 1964, the party controlled the state’s entire congressional delegation until last year.”
First Read: “If Obama is sitting pretty with his African-American base, the same can’t be said with the middle of the country. In our poll, 56% of independents, 57% of suburban residents, and 52% of folks from the Midwest disapprove of the president’s job. And in a hypothetical match-up against Romney, independents and suburban residents swing for Romney, while folks from the Midwest are split between Obama and Romney. So if Obama’s base could explain why he wins re-election, his struggles with the middle of the country could explain why he loses in 2012.”
Just published: SEAL Target Geronimo: The Inside Story of the Mission to Kill Osama bin Laden by Chuck Pfarrer.
The Daily Beast notes the author “certainly had access” and was a SEAL Team Six assault-element commander in the 1980s.
Bloomberg notes that President Obama routinely describes the recession as both a current condition and an historical event
The president “has toggled between the past and present in the more than 235 references to the economy he has made since Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives one year ago… Obama’s inconsistency could complicate his effort to convince voters the economy has improved and that he deserves a second term, said economists and polling experts. His task, they said, is to talk up the economy, without talking down to the voters who are struggling under it.”
The ABC News Frustration Index — based on presidential approval, ratings of the economy, dissatisfaction with the government — is now at 72 on its scale of 0 to 100, one of its highest readings on record.
The index “correlates closely with election outcomes, including the rate at which incumbents
are re-elected and the loss or gain of House seats by the incumbent
reports that congressional Democrats, feeling burned after making
repeated concessions to Republicans over extending the Bush tax cuts and
raising the debt ceiling without new revenues, are determined to play
hardball in the next fight: approval of the supercommittee’s deficit
reduction proposal, to be released later this month.
demanded that Republicans on the supercommittee agree to substantial tax
increases and are refusing to back down. At the same time, they are
pounding Republicans on the issue of jobs. Senate Majority Leader Harry
Reid (D-Nev.) has forced Republicans to vote several times on jobs
legislation — including funding for teachers, first responders and
infrastructure — paid for by slightly increasing the tax rate on income
over $1 million… The argument is this: Republicans have much less
leverage now than earlier.”
White House chief of staff Bill Daley “turned over day-to-day management of the West Wing to Pete Rouse, a veteran aide to President Obama,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
The unusual recalibration of Daley’s portfolio “is designed to smooth any kinks in the president’s team as it braces for the overlapping demands of governing while campaigning for re-election, people familiar with the matter said. The West Wing is preparing for budget battles with Congress and is seeking to use its executive powers more extensively.”
The new set-up effectively makes Rouse the president’s inside manager and Daley his ambassador to Congress, “roles that appear to better suit both men’s talents.”
Politico: “Daley’s relationship with some of his West Wing colleagues has been strained, and many pined for Rouse, who served as a bridge between the volatile Rahm Emanuel, now the mayor of Chicago, and Daley, the son and brother of Chicago mayors — who assumed office just ten months ago.”
Herman Cain will address the latest sexual harassment allegations
against him at a news conference later this afternoon.
According to ABC News, Cain did take questions from comedian Jimmy Kimmel last night about the latest woman to say Cain sexually harassed her.
Said Cain: “At least it wasn’t one of the many that have the first name ‘Anonymous’ — so now this one actually had a name and a face and we’re gonna see who it was and what it was, and tomorrow we’re gonna have a press conference.”
Politico: “Beyond the charges themselves, the widening scandal is now threatening Cain in another way: the story has begun to loom so heavily over the GOP race that it’s irritating Republicans who want to focus on defeating President Obama.”
A new JMC Enterprises poll in Iowa shows Herman Cain and Mitt Romney tied atop the Republican presidential field with 20% each, followed by Newt Gingrich at 16%.
The rest of the field: Michele Bachmann at 6%, Ron Paul at 6%, Rick Perry at 4%, Rick Santorum at 4% and Jon Huntsman at 2%.