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Archive for October, 2012

Foolproof Plan for Obama Victory

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 30th, 2012 11:08 pm by HL

Foolproof Plan for Obama Victory
Will Marshall, Politico
The last time Barack Obama sought my political advice was, let’s see, when was it … oh yeah – never. That’s a shame, because like every D.C. pundit who never won more than a high school election, I’m sure I know exactly what he needs to do to win a second term.So Mr. President, here it is: my foolproof if unsolicited plan for eking out a victory next month over hard-charging Mitt Romney. Its goal is to enable you to seize America’s pragmatic political center, and it has four parts: 

As Go Catholics, So Goes the Nation?
John Baer, Philadelphia Daily News
MY ONLY PRAYER for next week's election is that it ends with a winner.I say this because of the threat of an unresolved result, an Electoral College tie.That would set the stage for (pick one) arm-twisting, blackmailing or bribing electors to change their votes on or before meeting Dec. 17, or House/Senate action in January producing a Romney/Biden administration.

Sandy Teaches a Lesson
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post
WASHINGTON — Back when he was being “severely conservative,” Mitt Romney suggested that responsibility for disaster relief should be taken from the big, bad federal government and given to the states, or perhaps even privatized. Hurricane Sandy would like to know if he'd care to reconsider.The absurd — and dangerous — policy prescription came in a GOP primary debate in June. Moderator John King said he had recently visited communities affected by severe weather, and noted that the Federal Emergency Management Agency “is about to run out of money.”

Unrest Roils China’s Burgeoning Middle Class

Romney: An Independent Choice for President
David Walker, Wash Times
America is at a critical crossroads. We have strayed from the principles and values on which our nation was founded. We also face a range of challenges that threaten our collective future, chief among these being how to grow the economy, generate jobs and put our nation's deteriorating finances in order.Over the past seven years I have traveled to 49 states addressing the public on our huge fiscal challenges and how to address them, including a recent 34-day, 27-state and 9,500-plus mile national fiscal responsibility bus tour. During this trip, I solicited voters' views on ways to…

This Is What Rolling Stone Asked Barack Obama?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 27th, 2012 11:08 pm by HL

This Is What Rolling Stone Asked Barack Obama?
Matt Welch, Reason
Back when Rolling Stone interviewed President Barack Obama in 2010, I had a little fun at the expense of ageless/deathless interviewer Jann Wenner, because his first three questions to the most powerful man on earth were about how awful those damn dirty Republicans are (“When did you realize that the Republicans had abandoned any real effort to work with you,” etc.).Not that this was such a far cry from Wenner's 2008 interview with Obama (“What do you think went wrong with the Bush administration? How did things get so bad in these last eight years? What happened to…

Pa. Among “Reach” States Tempting Romney Camp
Scott Conroy, RCP
KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. — If Mitt Romney were to make a last-minute move to expand his electoral map, Ground Zero for that effort likely would be here amid the suburban sprawl of Montgomery County, outside of Philadelphia.But as about 20 Obama campaign volunteers gathered Thursday night for another evening of phone-banking, there was little concern among the Democratic partisans inside Dave Hopkins' actuarial office just off of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.Confidence about the president carrying Pennsylvania has always been high here, as he has not trailed in a single state poll since…

Women Can’t Trust Mitt Romney
Robyn Blumner, Tampa Bay Times
An open letter to women voters:Ladies, I write to you because this is our election. Both President Barack Obama and his challenger Mitt Romney desperately need us to win, which means it is up to us to determine the path of this nation. To me, it comes down to whether we want a country where Americans have each other's backs, or one where we are on our own with a tattered safety net. But there is another central question in this campaign: trust.

The State of the States: Obama’s Odds Still Over 70%

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 26th, 2012 11:08 pm by HL

The State of the States: Obama’s Odds Still Over 70%
Nate Silver, NYT
Thursday was a busy day for the polls, with some bright spots for each candidate. But it made clear that Barack Obama maintains a narrow lead in the polling averages in states that would get him to 270 electoral votes. Mr. Obama also remains roughly tied in the polls in two other states, Colorado and Virginia, that could serve as second lines of defense for him if he were to lose a state like Ohio.The day featured the release of 10 national polls, but there was little in the way of a consistent pattern in them. On average, the polls showed a tied race. Furthermore, among the nine polls that…

Parity Politics and the Ripple Election
Lou Cannon, RealClearPolitics
In the final years of the 20th century and the first 19 months of this one, the United States was, in the words of demographer Michael Barone, politically “divided down the middle.”President Bill Clinton was re-elected in 1996 with 49.2 percent of the vote. George W. Bush and Al Gore each received slightly more than 48 percent of the vote in 2000, with Gore winning the popular vote and Bush the presidency after a controversial Supreme Court decision. In three consecutive congressional elections beginning in 1996, the winning Republicans received between 48 and 49 percent and held…

Obama 2nd Term ‘Plan’ an Empty Stage Prop

Moderate Mitt Wouldn’t Make It Past Jan. 20
Jonathan Alter, Bloomberg
You have to hand it to Mitt Romneyand his team. Starting in the first debate, he pivoted almosteffortlessly to the center, which is where elections are won. Ifhe beats President Barack Obama, it will be because he Etch-A-Sketched his earlier positions and convinced enough people thathe would be a moderate president.Unfortunately, he has little chance of governing that way.We don't know which Romney will show up on a given day, but wesure know which Republican Party would be in charge inWashington every minute. The Republicans have become the mostextreme major political party in…

What “Moderate Mitt” Is Hiding

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 24th, 2012 11:08 pm by HL

What “Moderate Mitt” Is Hiding
Harold Meyerson, Washington Post
Any resemblance between the Mitt Romney of recent weeks and the Romney of the primary season isn't coincidental; it's an oversight on the part of his managers, who have proven more adept at Etch a Sketching away the Romney of spring than many imagined was possible. The Romney who showed up for the third presidential debate Monday night was, by design, the challenger as milquetoast.

Obama’s Libya Response Will Haunt Him
Chris Stirewalt, FOX News
“Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and has called for an attack on Embassy Tripoli.”– State Department email obtained by FOX News showing that within two hours of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya hundreds of Obama administration officials had been alerted to the potential role of al Qaeda-affiliate Ansar al-Sharia.If Barack Obama fails in his bid for a second term as president, historians and political analysts will spend years trying to answer why and how he and his administration so badly mishandled the attack on…

Reality Check: Obama Is Losing
Erick Erickson, Red State
Barack Obama has lost North Carolina and Florida.His ground game is at near parity in early voting with the GOP, the GOP is more energized, and he is going to lose both.But he will not stop spending money in those two states and redirect the resources to Ohio, which is now a must win state for him. He will not do it because he does not want news stories to come out in the last two weeks of the campaign that he's closing up show in two battleground states. 

The Left Was Easily Confused by Reagan, Too

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 23rd, 2012 11:08 pm by HL

The Left Was Easily Confused by Reagan, Too
James Taranto, WSJ
Mitt Romney missed a golden opportunity during last night's debate. “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back,” Barack Obama said. The perfect comeback would have been: “Oh yeah? Well, the ocean called, and they're running outta ships!” True, Romney delivered a version of this zinger, but much later. His timing was all wrong.Oh well, maybe Romney can arrange another meeting with the president and get it right this time. We understand Obama will be in Ohio.Obama went on to tell Romney: “You seem to want to import the foreign policies of…

Obama Unnerved — by Ohio?
Michael Knox Beran, National Review Online
Talk about the sullen presage of a campaign’s decay. Something was wrong with President Obama last night, to judge by his performance. Was Ohio on his mind? An AP story says that the Obama campaign is now talking about a way to win without taking the state:The vice president is midway through a three-day tour of uber-battleground Ohio, and Obama’s team contends it’s best way of ensuring victory is a win there. The campaign says internal polling gives Obama a lead in the Midwestern battleground state, in large part because of…

Obama & Romney Bristle From the Start
Baker & Cooper, New York Times
BOCA RATON, Fla. — President Obama and Mitt Romney wrapped up a series of defining debates on Monday night with a bristling exchange over America’s place in the world as each sought to portray the other as an unreliable commander in chief in a dangerous era.Follow along with this interactive replay of the final debate, using fact-checks and graphics to take a closer look at attacks and assertions by President Obama and Mitt Romney.

GOP’s False Narratives About Benghazi Attack
Juan Williams, The Hill
With the presidential candidates preparing for Monday's final debate on foreign policy, it is time for American journalism to hit pause on the political spin cycle and “” without taking sides “” make three corrections to the record about the campaign's most controversial foreign policy topic: the murder of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya.The first correction is to the charge that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice lied to the American people in the days after the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.Rice told television interviewers the violence grew out of a…

2012: The Battle for 7 States
Jonathan Martin, Politico
BOCA RATON, Fla. – The two presidential campaigns are sounding sharply different notes about how they can get to 270 electoral votes, but beneath the post-debate bravado from both sides there is a rough consensus about the shape of the race in its final two weeks.Top strategists for both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney flooded the media center following the third and final presidential debate here Monday night, and made clear they will be primarily fighting over seven states and will spend most of their time and money in them between now and Nov. 6.

The Benghazi Timelines We Need Answers About

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 20th, 2012 11:08 pm by HL

The Benghazi Timelines We Need Answers About
James Rosen, WSJ
'I do not think,” Nixon campaign aide Jeb Magruder told the Senate Watergate committee in the spring of 1973, “there was ever any discussion that there would not be a coverup.” Mr. Magruder's lament aptly described the bureaucratic impulse to hide inconvenient facts that seizes every modern White House at some point. His testimony was brought to mind by the growing number of high-profile Republicans accusing the Obama White House of engaging in a coverup in the Benghazi case.Much remains unknown about the terrorist attacks that killed U.S. Ambassador to Libya…

Romney Winning White Voters by 1984 Margins
Aaron Blake, Wash Post
Political analysts (including The Fix) spend a good bit of time these days talking about important voter groups — Latino voters and female voters, in particular.But all of the focus on these groups has obfuscated one fact: Mitt Romney is performing very, very well among white voters. And in fact, most recent polls show him winning the white vote by more than any GOP presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan.

Libyan Turmoil Persists Year After Gaddafi Death
Paul Schemm, AP
On the anniversary of the capture and killing of Moammar Gadhafi, Libya is still grappling with the legacy of his four decades of rule as the interim government and the dictator's former spokesman engaged in a war of words amid the ongoing chaos.The Libyan government said Saturday that its forces had detained Gadhafi's high profile spokesman Moussa Ibrahim, but an online recording from a man purporting to be Ibrahim denied that claim and said he wasn't even in the country.The conflicting reports, neither of which could be independently verified, reflect the turmoil that has…

It’s Romney’s Positions That Bind Women Down

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 19th, 2012 11:09 pm by HL

It’s Romney’s Positions That Bind Women Down

D.C.-Region Bureaucrats Rake In Big Bucks
Ben Giles, DC Examiner
More than 4,500 local government employees in the Washington region, or roughly one of every 12 workers, make $100,000 or more in base salary alone.Of roughly 56,262 government workers in the District, Alexandria and Arlington, Fairfax, Montgomery and Prince George's counties, 4,555 employees, or 8.1 percent, earn high individual incomes, which don't include benefits and overtime pay that typically exceed those provided in the private sector, government spending experts said. The list does not include public school employees.

After 3 Days, WH Story Changed on Libya
Allam & Landay, McClatchy
 WASHINGTON — In the first 48 hours after the deadly Sept. 11 attacks on U.S. diplomatic outposts in Libya, senior Obama administration officials strongly alluded to a terrorist assault and repeatedly declined to link it to an anti-Muslim video that drew protests elsewhere in the region, transcripts of briefings show.The administration’s initial accounts, however, changed dramatically in the following days, according to a review of briefing transcripts and administration statements, with a new narrative emerging Sept. 16 when U.S. ambassador to the United Nations…

Candidates Tangle in Fractious Debate

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 17th, 2012 11:08 pm by HL

Candidates Tangle in Fractious Debate
Hook & O’Connor, Wall St. Journal
President Barack Obama, seeking to regain momentum in his campaign, battled with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during a tense and highly anticipated rematch Tuesday marked by repeated confrontations.Just three weeks before the election, Messrs. Obama and Romney disbanded the debate's town hall-style format in offering competing plans for creating jobs, expanding energy production and taxes.

Game, Set, Obama
Robert Kuttner, The American Prospect
The president did exactly what he needed to in tonight's debate: He used Romney against Romney. President Barack Obama laughs as he talks with audience members after the second presidential debate at Hofstra University.President Obama did what he needed to do tonight. He took the debate to Mitt Romney. He was relaxed, even jaunty, as he scored one point after another. He seemed to be enjoying himself at Romney's expense. He looked more comfortable and commanding as the debate wore on, while Romney looked more stiff, edgy, and salesman-like. 

Behind Pandit’s Suprise Ouster at Citi
Roose & Coscarelli, New York Mag
Vikram Pandit's sudden ouster as CEO of Citigroup, which was announced this morning to the shock of everyone on Wall Street, was the product of a long-running feud with Citigroup's board, according to a well-placed source at the bank.According to the insider, who has ties to Pandit, the problems began when the bank failed a “stress test” given by the Federal Reserve last March, and intensified in April, when shareholders shot down Pandit's proposed $15 million pay package. But the “nail in the coffin” was when Citi was forced to take a massive $4.7 billion…

Obama’s Record Wins It for Mitt – Again
David Harsanyi, Human Events
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney couldn’t match his soaring first debate performance in a rematch with Barack Obama … but considering it was often a two-on-one, he didn’t do that poorly either.And after taking a drubbing in the first presidential debate, a re-energized President Barack Obama vowed to bring passion to Hofstra University. He did. Feeling better in the more tranquil altitude of Long Island, the president deployed all his populist hits.

How Obama Squandered His Presidency

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 16th, 2012 11:08 pm by HL

How Obama Squandered His Presidency
Victor Davis Hanson, NRO
The Obama narrative is that he inherited the worst mess in memory and has been stymied ever since by a partisan Congress – while everything from new ATM technology to the Japanese tsunami conspired against him. But how true are those claims?Barack Obama entered office with an approval rating of over 70 percent. John McCain's campaign had been anemic and almost at times seemed as if it was designed to lose nobly to the nation's first African-American presidential nominee.

Right Wing’s Benghazi Madness
Joan Walsh, Salon
Americans in both parties are entitled to ask questions about the Sept. 11 Benghazi terror attack that took the lives of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other people. I reject efforts by Democratic partisans to insist that all such questions, especially by Republicans, are unfairly “politicizing” the tragedy, even though that’s the way the GOP would play it if the attack had come under a Republican president. We deserve answers about what happened in Benghazi, about particularly whether the compound should have been better protected given the rising…

For U.S. Senate: Dean Heller

Why Romney Has the Advantage Tonight
Mark Salter, RealClearPolitics
The first thing to know about a “town-hall-style” presidential debate is that it bears as much resemblance to an actual campaign town-hall event as a marble statue does to its animated subject.Real town halls are usually unscripted and unpredictable and often raucous events. Town-hall debates are orderly, with the questions from the audience screened — selected to represent questions the moderator would ask if they were doing the questioning. Moderators are likely to reframe some questions and ask their own follow-ups in the language of Sunday morning talk shows. The…

We Can’t Afford Obama
H. Ross Perot, Des Moines Register
Our country faces a momentous choice. The fact is the United States is on an unsustainable course. At stake is nothing less than our position in the world, our standard of living at home and our constitutional freedoms.That is why I am endorsing Mitt Romney for president. We can’t afford four more years in which debt mushrooms out of control, our government grows and our military is weakened.

Obama’s Messenger Who Does the Shooting

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 13th, 2012 11:08 pm by HL

Obama’s Messenger Who Does the Shooting
Amy Chozick, NY Times
TWO days after President Obama’s first debate against Mitt Romney, Stephanie Cutter, a deputy campaign manager for the Obama re-election effort, decided to tweak Mr. Romney for his attack on federal funding for PBS. A one-stop destination for the latest political news "” from The Times and other top sources. Plus opinion, polls, campaign data and video.Stephanie Cutter on TV in July. Ms. Cutter with Sen. John Kerry in 2004, when she was his presidential campaign's communications chief. On Twitter,…

Bombastic Blather Will Fool No One
Michael Goodwin, New York Post
Told ya so. President Obama should have pulled a Joe Girardi and benched Joe Biden long ago. Hillary Rodham Clinton would have knocked last night's debate out of the park and probably won the election for the Democrats.Instead, Biden took the stage and made a fool of himself. The experience that supposedly qualifies him to be a heartbeat away is more than offset by the manic behavior he exhibited.

Now It’s Obama’s Turn to Win the Debate
Michael Tomasky, Daily Beast
Okay, Joe Biden did his part. Now, or soon, it's Barack Obama's turn again. If he flubs this like last time, this race is probably over. If he manages a draw, he'll stay what he is now, the narrow favorite whose rickety lead is based chiefly on an edge in Ohio that doesn't feel all that solid, and both sides will be sweating bullets right through election night. He has to win. And frankly, there's reason to wonder whether he can. He'll need to be on his toes on taxes and Medicare and health care, sure. But before all that, I hope someone is reminding him that he…

Fed May Be Helping Banks More Than Borrowers
Danielle Douglas, WP
JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, the nation's largest mortgage lenders, said Friday they won't make home loans much cheaper for consumers, even as they reported booming profits from that business.Those bottom lines have been padded by federal initiatives to stimulate the economy. The Federal Reserve is spending $40 billion a month to reduce mortgage rates to encourage Americans to buy homes. Instead, its policies may be generating more benefits for banks than borrowers.

State Rejects White House Story on Benghazi
John Hinderaker, PowerLine
The State Department has released a transcript of a briefing that two high-ranking department officials gave to a number of reporters via conference call on October 9 (Tuesday). I am not certain about this, but I believe the transcript was only made public today. You should read it in its entirety; it is the most detailed description I have seen of the events in Benghazi on September 11. While this is by no means clear, it appears that the State Department may have released the transcript as part of the escalating conflict between Barack Obama and Joe Biden and the Secretary of State, Hillary…