Dailykos Elections….The Week that was……4/30/11


How different will the 2012 map be? New polls out this week give us a potential hint.

As we prepare to wave goodbye to April in a few hours, let’s take a look at the burning questions from the campaign trail from the past seven days:

  • What two states that were carried by President Obama in 2008 continue to look more perilous as he heads into 2012? Furthermore, which toss-up state in 2008 actually looks safer for Obama than it might have three years ago?
  • Before the political cartographers get to their map-drawin’ festival known as redistricting, might we have a marquee House race on our hands in 2011?
  • Why are both parties going to be paying rapt attention to some dude named Ross Miller in the coming week? Here’s a hint: it has to do with John Ensign.
  • What rapidly reddening state offered at least a little good news for Democrats this week?

All this…and more!…as we prepare to welcome May to the door by closing out the week with another edition of our weekend roundup.


NATIONAL: National general election polling slackens way off this week, with one of the sole contributions being a truly strange survey put out by internet-basedYouGov. Why so strange? It is the most extreme example I have seen yet of the dichotomy we have discussed all year long. Obama’s job approval numbers are pretty awful in this poll (41/51), but he has sizeable leads over the GOP field, much more than we have seen elsewhere. Paired against just three GOP rivals, Obama leads Mitt Romney by nine (46-37), and lays waste to both Donald Trump (49-32) and Sarah Palin (52-34). If you buy stock in this poll, the GOP has to be petrified by this thought: at least 46% of the electorate is either “not too likely” or “not at all likely” to vote for the entire GOP first tier. That gives them what would seem to be a narrow window of opportunity to derail Obama’s re-election campaign.

Meanwhile, Fox News looks at the GOP field, and unlike a lot of recent polls, they get a clear separation in that so-called first tier. They have Romney (19%) and Huckabee (17%) with a significant lead over the rest of the field. Unlike most other polls, the rest of the field is considerably more garbled, with everyone in the single digits (Palin, Trump, Gingrich, and Ron Paul all run between 7-9%). They do not test general elex numbers, but they do run the President’s job approval numbers, and they find him right at the break-even point (47/47).

Continue reading Dailykos Elections….The Week that was……4/30/11

Today 4/30/11…..Is the 36th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon…



A DSD Highlight….

I knew April 30th was a Vietnam War anniversary, I just couldn’t remember which (the bombing of Cambodia?, for example)

Today is the 36th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon, which some called her liberation, though not I.

Remember all those one-way helicopter trips? All those desperate folks climbing up the walls of the U.S. Embassy?

The tiger cages filled with liberals, trade unionists and troublesome Buddhists weren’t emptied; and the communists who were released were replaced with different political prisoners.

(A few years later, Tom Hayden and a bunch of anti-war actiivists, many of whom had rather naîvely apologized for Hanoi and the NLF during the war, made a generally-unsuccessful trip to Vietnam to express their concern about the repression and reimprisonment of Vietnamese with whom they’d made common cause against U.S. intervention and South Vietnamese repression.)

A year or two later, the indigenous South Vietnamese National Liberation Front leadership (Viet Cong) was replaced by a new one more acceptable to the North Vietnamese Politburo. [From Hanoi’s point of view, of course, Viet Nam had always been one country, the intervention of the North Vietnamese army (People’s Army of Viet Nam) was what had thrown the balance against the U.S. and South Vietnamese (Army of the Republic of Viet Nam) forces, and North Vietnamese, as well as South, had suffered great losses during the war, both from combat and from bombing.]

And war in Indochina didn’t stop in 1975: there were wars in Cambodia (still not fully resolved) and a Sino-Vietnamese border war.

I won’t claim to any kind of clairvoyance, but when a few dozen people marched through Berkeley on April 30th, 1975 to celebrate, I followed but, being a good social democrat/democratic socialist and thus an anti-Communist, kept my distance. One could always hope for the best, but it seemed too soon to celebrate.


Note…..If you think the General’s running the Afghan War Campaign aren’t aware of this date you’re crazy….

Nuff Said……

The Dog….

Egypt warms to Gaza…Talkandpolitics….

Reading the tea leaves – a Palestinian Statehood in September gives Iran & Egypt ample reason for intervention and liberation in the West Bank, demolishing settlements.


From the NyTimes:

CAIRO — Egypt is charting a new course in its foreign policy that has already begun shaking up the established order in the Middle East, planning to open the blockaded border with Gaza and normalizing relations with two of Israel and the West’s Islamist foes, Hamas and Iran.




Comments from the Dog…..

The cards are NOW up in the air…
Who knows how they will land?
I stressed this over at the Dog with Jack….

The US is still a player…But they have realized that Obama will sit back and watch the chess pieces move first….

Actually I agree with his strategy since pushing the parties hasn’t done dick for last 50 years!

The Most Badass Lady In Congress?

Ok..she can fundraise….

But Bad Ass?….

That IS a stretch folks…..

From Jezebel…..

The new chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, is so ferocious on television that, according toPolitico, Republicans worry their chairman won’t measure up. Here are some of her greatest hits.

According to the former communications director of the RNC, “Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz is particularly skilled at the ‘hand to hand combat’ of cable news debates, often causing Republicans to wish some other Democrat had been booked in her place.” His current Democratic counterpart said, “She’s one of the most effective spokespeople the Democratic Party has……



Mariah Carey Gives Birth to Twins!…


(Kevin Mazur/Wire Image)

Mariah Carey is a brand-new mommy! (Times 2!)

The singer, 42, and her husband Nick Cannonwelcomed their twin son and daughter on Saturday — their fourth wedding anniversary! — at an L.A. hospital at 12:07 p.m., her rep confirms toUs Weekly.

According to Berger, the baby girl was born first, weighing 5 pounds, 3 ounces, measuring 8 inches long; her brother followed, weighing 5 pounds 6 ounces, and was 19 inches.

Carey and Cannon, 30, have not yet named their kids. Cannon rushed his wife to the hospital in their Rolls-Royce Phantom; the Grammy-winning singer was calm, assuming it was another false labor incident. When they arrived, Berger told the Associated Press, the first-time Dad was so nervous that he went to the wrong unit in the hospital, and had to be guided to the maternity ward by a nurse……


Examining the President’s veto threats…..

With Congress out of session for a two-week recess, here’s something to contemplate: what’s up with President Obama’s veto messages?

Is there any thing up with them? Maybe. Maybe not.

What do I mean? Take a look at two of the most recent Statements of Administration Policy—the vehicles used by the White House to issue veto threats (or statements of support for a bill, where applicable).

The first and most recent veto threat relates to H.R. 1217, the repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund:

If the President is presented with legislation that would eliminate funding or repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto it.

The second most recent veto threat relates to H.R. 1363, the first pass at the Department of Defense and Further Additional Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011:

If presented with this bill, the President will veto it.

See the difference?

So, is there something to it? Is there a reason why the veto threat for that earlier version of the full-year appropriations bill (which included all the terrible riders defunding Planned Parenthood and the ACA, etc.) would be expressed so straightforwardly and unequivocally, but the threat to the Prevention and Public Health Fund repeal bill would get this… different treatment?

Statements of Administration Policy are given to boilerplate language, for the most part. The decision to change the verbiage with respect to veto messages, you’d think, would have to mean something. The question is, does it mean the threat is any less concrete? Or does it just mean that the White House wants to seem somehow less confrontational in delivering the message.

The Obama administration isn’t the first to switch back and forth between different formulations. George W. Bush’s White House certainly did. But I don’t know that there’d be a whole lot of value in comparing the two. I think it’s pretty reasonable to assume that they might well take different enough approaches to confrontations with Congress that their reasoning might be different even if the actions are the same. And of course, with Bush we have the benefit of hindsight, and we’re able to compare the language chose for the veto threat and the actual outcome. That is, we know whether or not Bush eventually vetoed the bill. We don’t know that about Obama, since none of the bills threatened have actually been presented to him yet.

But it must mean something, right? So what is it?

Let’s take a look at this year’s Statements of Administration Policy, sorted by which kind of veto threat language was used, and see if anything emerges.

First, the bills that have gotten the thumbs-down from the President’s senior advisers:

  • H.R. 910, Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011
  • H.R. 658, FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011
  • H.R. 839, HAMP Termination Act
  • H.R. 861, NSP Termination Act
  • H.R. 836, Emergency Mortgage Relief Program Termination Act
  • H.R. 830, FHA Refinance Program Termination Act

Then, the bills that got the direct veto statement:

  • H.R. 1, Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011
  • H.R. 2, Repealing the Affordable Care Act

And just for the sake of comparison, bills that drew administration opposition, but no veto statement:

  • H.R. 1076, Prohibition of Federal Funding of National Public Radio
  • H.R. 4, Comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 2011
  • H.R. 359, Termination of Public Financing of Presidential Campaigns and Party Conventions

So, that’s direct veto threats for H.R. 1, H.R. 2, and H.R. 1363, two iterations of the full-year appropriations bill with all the worst policy riders attached, and the first (of many) ACA repeal bills. And then this… different kind of threat for things like the Prevention and Public Health Fund repeal bill, HAMP repeal, NSP termination, the Energy Tax Prevention Act, etc.

What do you think? Is the threat any less serious for this other class of bills than it is for the ones that got direct veto threats? Was the White House looking to give the President more bargaining room on some of these threats? Did the difference have anything to do with which bills they think might actually stand a chance of passing the Senate? Or can the whole thing just be chalked up to a throwaway stylistic difference?

We’ll have to stay tuned to find out. But tracking the outcomes as they relate to the language used, should any of these bills actually make it to the President’s desk, might be worthwhile……..


Daily 2012 Polling for 4/29/11….

This 2012 poll list is from RealClearPolitics……

Friday, April 29
Race/Topic (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
2012 Republican Presidential Nomination FOX News Huckabee 17, Trump 8, Romney 19, Palin 9, Gingrich 7, Paul 7, Bachmann 3, Pawlenty 3, Daniels 2, Santorum 3 Romney +2
President Obama Job Approval Gallup Approve 43, Disapprove 49 Disapprove +6
President Obama Job Approval Rasmussen Reports Approve 48, Disapprove 51 Disapprove +3


The President’s re-election organization is starting up….And it’s serious….


Supporters of Obama's 2010 budget prepare to deliver pledges in Washington. | Reuters


Obama’s reelection campaign may lack the novelty, and the purity, of his first campaign. Aides hope, though, that any enthusiasm gap — which they believe will close as the race begins to take shape — will be made up for by the sheer scale and capacity of the newly re-tuned organization.

Obama’s campaign will “give a little on the enthusiasm, but they gain a lot on the fact that they’re starting with this huge set of resources they didn’t have in 2008 ,” said a Democrat closely watching the ramp-up.
That Organizing for America remains very much a political powerhouse to be feared may come as a surprise to some who have bought into the popular narrative that group has floundered since the 2008 campaign. And early in Obama’s presidency, OFA did suffer from being wildly over-hyped: it was to be a juggernaut that would transform legislative politics, sending members of Congress of both parties running headlong in fear.

The group, to the dismay of some of Obama’s key supporters, never attempted to bring the “movement” feel of the campaign to a truly independent new organization. Its website remained BarackObama.com, and – after an early foray drew complaints from Capitol Hill – it shied away from doing anything that could get the president in trouble with his less trail-blazing allies in Congress.

But despite the fact that OFA did not live up to admittedly unrealistic expectations, it did play a role in keeping Democrats on board during the protracted health care fight, mobilizing on a large scale despite a sour national mood and skepticism of the bill, even among Democrats. The group’s 2008 breakthrough had been linking the online organization with offline action, and the organization’s leaders last month detailed some of their results in a Huffington Post article, writing that in August of 2009, more than 34,000 OFA members attended 410 town hall events to back the bill, and that 65,000 supporters paid in-person visits to members of Congress…..



GOP presidential hopefuls go after Obama, not each other…..

Let the games begin…..

The potential candidates didn’t engage one another Friday, with each taking turns at the dais for eight-minute speeches, followed by brief Q&As with Tim Phillips, the president of the conservative host group Americans for Prosperity.



For Pawlenty and Bachmann, it was the first time the two Minnesotans appeared at the same event in an early presidential state. For Romney, it marked his first major appearance since officially forming a presidential exploratory committee earlier this month.Five rumored Republican presidential hopefuls made an early case for their eventual candidacies before a crowd of conservative activists Friday in New Hampshire. Each one slammed President Obama’s economic policies and pledged to repeal of the healthcare law.


On hand for the first 2012 candidate “cattle call” to take place in the first-in-the-nation primary state were former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) and conservative talk-show host Herman Cain…..



Bank of America – who’s your Daddy?….Whatever Works…

I wonder what happened to the Wikileaks expose of Bank of America.

You may recall that shortly after the Wikileaks’ dump of US Military files (Bradley Manning),  Julian Assange promised that documents were coming showing illegal practices at Bank of America. One day later it was breathlessly reported that Assange is a pervert and rapist. Now those documents are yesterday’s news. Nothing’s been released.

You may also remember what  happened to Elliot Spitzer after he became governor? As Attorney General, he was known as The Sheriff of Wall Street where he was feared and loathed. As Governor he had power to hurt them with exposure and regulation. Voila! Another sexual perversion surfaces.

In February, after Assange’s announcement of Wikileak’s planned release – and the subsequent personal smears – this story appeared at their site:

Bank of America using Private Intel Firms to Attack Wikileaks

In a document titled “The WikiLeaks Threat” three data intelligence companies, Plantir Technologies, HBGary Federal and Berico Technologies, outline a plan to attack Wikileaks. They are acting upon request from Hunton and Williams, a law firm working for Bank of America. The Department of Justice recommended the law firm to Bank of America according toan article in The Tech Herald. The prosed attacks on WikiLeaks according to the slides include these actions:

  • Feed the fuel between the feuding groups. Disinformation. Create messages around actions of sabotage or discredit the opposing organizations. Submit fake documents and then call out the error.
  • Create concern over the security of the infrastructure. Create exposure stories. If the process is believed not to be secure they are done.
  • Cyber attacks against the infrastructure to get data on document submitters. This would kill the project. Since the servers are now in Sweden and France putting a team together to get access is more straightforward.
  • Media campaign to push the radial and reckless nature of WikiLeaks activities. Sustain pressure. Does nothing for the fanatics, but creates concern and doubt among moderates.
  • Search for leaks. Use social media to profile and identify risky behavior of employees.

And TPM has observed that:

. . . the Gitmo files could be Assange’s last hurrah. Wikileaks’ encrypted submission has been broken for more than a year now, which means no new juicy tidbits have been coming in.

It’s too easy.

Whatever Works….


Space Shuttle Launch delayed 72 Hours…..

NASA has postponed Friday’s scheduled launch of the space shuttle Endeavour for at least two days because of a technical problem.

The space agency says two heaters on one of the shuttle’s three onboard power units had failed and the launch is delayed at least until Sunday.

Endeavour had been due to blast off at 3:47 p.m. EDT (1947 GMT) on a mission to deliver a pioneering physics experiment to the International Space Station.

President Barack Obama and his family had been scheduled to attend the launch, which was to be the 134th and next to last for the U.S. space shuttle program. NASA is retiring its shuttles after a cargo run by the shuttle Atlantis this summer.

U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who is married to Endeavour commander Mark Kelly, was at the space center for the launch attempt……


(NASA Photo)


ex-Supreme John Paul Stevens is writing a book……


………in a forthcoming book, Stevens will tell what he’s heard, seen, and thought working with five – count them, five – chief justices: Fred Vinson, Earl Warren, Warren Burger, William Rehnquist and John Roberts, the current chief: “I’m writing a book about the five chief justices that I’ve known, and I’ve got it almost done,” Stevens said, with the pride of an author whose just pulled off a hefty accomplishment. A book contract is in the works. “I think I’m going to call it The Five Chiefs. It’s primarily personal recollections of each of the chiefs, and I also have some comments about some of their jurisprudence.”
Stevens knew these men as a law clerk, a corporate lawyer, a federal appeals court judge and an associate justice. Contrary to the practice of other Court retirees, he’s included a current member of the Court – Chief Justice Roberts – in his review. I wondered about his impressions of Roberts’ reign thus far. After all, when President George W. Bush named Roberts Chief in 2005, Roberts spoke warmly at first about the value of collegiality among the nine justices. But he has not been entirely successful in achieving that goal. Indeed, New York Times Supreme Court reporter Adam Liptak has compared the scene during several oral arguments this year to a “verbal roller derby” and a “catastrophically overbooked cable television show.” Stevens said that the trend has become more noticeable in recent years……