Daily 2012 Polls….5/29/11 to 5/31/11….

These polls are from Realclearpolitics…..

Tuesday, May 31
Race/Topic (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
President Obama Job Approval Gallup Approve 47, Disapprove 44 Approve +3
President Obama Job Approval CNN/Opinion Research Approve 54, Disapprove 45 Approve +9
President Obama Job Approval Rasmussen Reports Approve 48, Disapprove 51 Disapprove +3
President Obama vs. Republican Candidate Rasmussen Reports Obama 43, Republican 45 Republican +2
Generic Congressional Vote Rasmussen Reports Republicans 43, Democrats 37 Republicans +6
New Jersey Senate – Crowley vs. Menendez Fairleigh Dickinson Menendez 45, Crowley 26 Menendez +19
Monday, May 30
Race/Topic (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
Repeal of Health Care Law: Favor/Oppose Rasmussen Reports Favor Repeal 51, Oppose Repeal 41 Favor Repeal +10

 

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New Hampshire and Iowa and their influence on the Presidential race….

Two small states that you could fold up and put in your pocket….

They have No big cities to speak of..

Their populations are not that diverse….

They aren’t even that big….

 

Yet those two states will get to see the countries future President every four years up close…

They will not have the candidates behind walls of secret Service agents and Police…

They enjoy meet and greets that the rest of America can only dream about….

 

The question we get every year is this….

Why these two states?

What makes them so special the lead the line of primary states…

And…

Is their HUGE influence  right for the process?

 

Their populations are growing more slowly than the rest of the country’s. Residents of Iowa and New Hampshire are more likely to have health insurance. They are older than average. They are more likely to work in manufacturing.

Above all, Iowa and New Hampshire lack a single big city, at a time when large metropolitan areas are crucial to lifting economic growth. Big metro areas are where big ideas most often take shape and great new companies are most often born. The country’s 25 largest areas are responsible for 52 percent of the country’s economic output, according to the Brookings Institution, and are home to 42 percent of the population.

Yet metro areas are also struggling with major problems. The quality of schools is spotty. Commutes last longer than ever. Roads, bridges, tunnels and transit systems are aging.

You don’t hear much about these issues in the first year of a presidential campaign, though. No wonder. Iowa, New Hampshire and the next two states to vote, Nevada and South Carolina, do not have a single city among the country’s 25 largest. Las Vegas, the 30th-largest metro area, and the Boston suburbs that stretch into New Hampshire are the closest these states come.

So the presidential calendar becomes another cause of what Edward Glaeser, a conservative-leaning Harvard economist, calls our “anti-urban policy bias.” Suburbs and rural areas receive vastly more per-person federal largess than cities. One big reason, of course, is the structure of the Senate: the 12 million residents of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina have eight United States senators among them, while the 81 million residents of California, New York and Texas have only six…..

More….

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Pre-existing condition insurance plan requirements/cost being eased in Healthcare Law….

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

There’s some very good newsfrom the Department of Health and Human Services today, on the pre-existing condition insurance plan set up by the government in the Affordable Care Act. The program was set up in the law as a precursor to the insurance reforms that are being phased in over the next three years. It has, thus far, underperformed, with few enrollees often paying excessively high premiums. That could be changing.

WASHINGTON — The government announced Tuesday that it will lower premiums and ease eligibility requirements for its fledgling health insurance program for people shut out from the private health insurance market because of pre-existing conditions. Premiums will fall by as much as 40 percent in some states.

The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, run by the Department of Health and Human Services in 23 states and by state governments in the rest, offers relatively affordable coverage for people who’ve been uninsured for at least six months because of conditions like diabetes or heart disease. The plan launched last summer as one of the first components of the health care reform signed into law by President Obama in March 2010….

To boost enrollment, Sebelius said monthly premiums, which vary by age and region, will drop in 17 of the states where HHSruns the program starting in July. In Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, and Virginia, premiums will plummet by 40 percent. Come July, people older than 55 who enroll in the Virginia PCIP’s standard plan will have to pay $297 a month, a steep drop from the current $498 monthly premium.

So far, only 18,000 people have enrolled in the PCIP, despite the millions of Americans who have been denied private insurance because of pre-existing conditions. The ACA outlaws the practice of denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, but that provision of the law won’t be enforced until 2014, when the PCIP will cease to exist. Patients then will be able to find plans in the health insurance exchanges set up by the law.

In addition to reducing the premium costs in the states where the HHS operates the program, Sebelius said that they will ease requirements for proof of denial from insurance companies. Patients will be able to provide a doctor’s note indicating their condition, and won’t have to produce denial letters from insurers. Apparently the states where the federal government doesn’t administer the program will determine whether to implement these new guidelines. “Richard Popper, director of the HHS Office of Insurance Programs, noted that the HHS would be ‘issuing a guidance letter to all the 27 state-run PCIPs encouraging them to take a look at the premiums that they charge and the benefit packages, as well as the eligibility rules, allowing them to consider making adjustments similar to what we’re doing in the federally-run pool.'”

What can’t be changed, unfortunately, is the rule that would-be enrollees have to wait six months while being uninsured before being eligible for enrollment. That was written into the law and can’t be changed by regulation. That’s a real barrier to new enrollees, and one reason why the program has such relatively low numbers…..

The Dog has said all along that there will be ajustments in the Affordable Care Healthcare Law….

It’s a big Law and changes WILL be needed….

No doubt…

 

 

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Apple Readies iCloud Service…..

Apple Inc. has reached deals with major recorded-music companies to help launch an online storage service, people familiar with the matter said, an offering called iCloud that Chief Executive Steve Jobs is expected to unveil Monday.

Associated Press

New services make it easier to listen to music on different devices.

Song Shuffle

Online music offerings

  • Apple iCloud: Software will find music stored on user’s hard drive and grant access to remotely stored copy of each song. User can then listen to copy on any compatible device.
  • Rhapsody; Spotify: After paying a monthly subscription fee, a user can stream tens of thousands of songs to any device.
  • Google; Amazon: User can upload music collection to a remote server. Songs can then be streamed to a compatible device or personal computer.

According to these people, Apple has signed deals with Warner Music GroupCorp., Sony Corp.’s Sony Music Entertainment and EMI Group Ltd. and expects to sign a fourth with Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group this week.

The agreements will let Apple offer an easy way for consumers to create and listen online to their entire music collections, without the time-consuming work of manually transferring or uploading songs.

Many in the music industry see such offerings as a key next step in the evolution of digital media, in which music, and eventually video…...More…… from the Wall Street Journal….

 

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Ford Modeling in India for a Model pick…..

From Jezebel.

THE BIG PICTUREIndia, May 30: Aspiring models watch as they are instructed on how to walk the runway while taking part in the Ford Models Supermodel of the World competition in New Delhi. [AP]

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House votes down Debt Ceiling Bill….

This is all theatre…

A bit down the road the US Congress is gonna raise the Debt Ceiling…

As someone here mentioned…

The other part of this is gonna be WHAT can the GOPer’s get in exchange for their vote…

Stay tuned…

There’s guaranteed to be more….

Rep. John Larson (Conn.), chairman of the Democratic Caucus, called the move “a sham of a vote” and voiced concern about the reaction of global markets. He cited the initial House rejection of the 2008 Wall Street rescue package, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 700 points. “I was on the floor of the House of Representatives when the stock market plunged when people tried to play chicken with critical issues,” Larson said. “Let us hope that the market won’t be affected by the obvious sham that is going on today.

“Every single economist we have spoken to has said, ‘Do not mess around with this,’” Larson added. He was the only member of the Democratic leadership team to support the clean debt-limit increase.

In contrast to House Democrats, the White House shrugged off the vote. “It’s fine. It’s fine,” press secretary Jay Carney told reporters when asked repeatedly if the vote was all about politics. Despite the president’s request for a debt-limit increase, the White House released no official statement of administration policy in the lead-up to the vote.

“We believe that, in the end, Congress will do the right thing and raise the ceiling,” Carney said.

Carney repeated, however, the administration’s longstanding warning that a failure to increase the debt limit — and a resulting default by the government — “would be calamitous to the domestic economy and to the global economy.”

The Treasury breached the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling on May 16, but the administration says it can stave off a first-ever default until Aug. 2……

More……


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Rep. Weiner goes silent….

In attempt to kill the story that has grown legs…

Weiner has tried to stop talking….

Which has led the media to get even more hungry for more….

We’ll see if his close mouthness will make the story go away…

Dem Rep. Weiner Refuses To Answer TPM’s Questions On Twitter ‘Hack’

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY)

 

An allegedly phony tweet sent from Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-NY) Twitter account featuring a lewd picture is drawing increasing interest as the lawmaker refuses to answer reporters’ questions on the incident.

TPM caught up with Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) after his vote on a debt limit increase to see if he would clear up some of the remaining issues that media outlets have raised since a photo of an unidentified man’s crotch was publicly sent to a college student and then quickly deleted on his Twitter account. On Tuesday, he testily evaded questions from news outlets like CNN on the topic and conservative news site The Daily Caller has repeatedly pressed the congressman for a yes or no answer on whether the picture in question is of Weiner.

“Look here’s the decision I made and you can disagree with it,” he told TPM when asked for a clear answer on whether it was him in the photo, “that after two and a half days of statements that answer these questions that I’m not going to keep drilling into further details and further details, even one … even the easy questions, even the obvious questions, even the ones I’ve answered before.”

 

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The NBA Finals finally start tonight….How do the teams size up?

How long have the eliminations been running?

2 or 3 months…maybe?

Will Lebron James bring the trophy to his new home team….

The Heat?

LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki are the floor leaders leading the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks, respectively, into Game 1 of the NBA Finals Tuesday night in Miami.

LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki are the floor leaders leading the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks, respectively, into Game 1 of the NBA Finals Tuesday night in Miami.

Almost a year since he made “The Decision” to leave ClevelandLeBron James can win his first NBA title and bring Miami its second championship against Dallas in the Finals that start Tuesday night. Unlike James, Dirk Nowitzki re-signed as a free agent last summer to stay with his original team, and he hopes to bring the Mavs their first NBA crown. How we see the matchups:

POINT GUARD: Mike Bibby vs. Jason Kidd
It’s been an expensive playoff run for Bibby, who surrendered $6 million to join the Heat after getting bought out from Washington when he was traded at the February deadline from Atlanta. Shooting only 25% from three in the playoffs and 26% overall in 22 minutes per game. After a poor regular season, Kidd, who went 0-2 in the Finals with the Nets, is averaging 10 ppg and eight assists per game while making 36% of his three-pointers. At 38, he’d be the oldest starting point guard to win a title.
EDGE: MAVERICKS

More……

(Charles Rex Arbogast, Mark J. Terrill/AP)

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How retired will Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) really be, come 2013?…What about the Milk House?

A DSD Highlight….

From Nancy Stohs’ column on the food and cooking pages of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Herb Kohl won’t shutter fair’s popular Milk House

[Sen. Kohl pictured with a customer in 1990……]

Sen. Herb Kohl’s announcement that he’s retiring after this term has sent political pundits into a happy frenzy of analysis and speculation.

But the real question on the minds of Wisconsinites:

What about the flavored milks at State Fair?! Will they disappear, too?

Relax, Dairylanders. Herb’s Superb Milk House will go on, even after the four-term senator turns in his congressional badge.

“It has no expiration date,” he told a staffer last week in response to our inquiry.

Kohl, who before politics ran Kohl’s Food Stores, the grocery business started by his immigrant parents, started the milk house in 1990, a year and a half after his first Senate election. He got the idea from former Minnesota Sen. Rudy Boschwitz, who had a popular flavored milk stand at the Minnesota State Fair.

Each year, Kohl has made a point of appearing at the milk house as often as possible to greet constituents – of all ages.

And he’s held the line on price. The milks, sold in 10-ounce recyclable cups, have sold for 25 cents since the beginning. Until a couple of years ago, fair program booklets featured a widely used two-for-25-cent coupon.

Current flavors are chocolate, strawberry, root beer, banana and cherry-vanilla. “Retired” flavors include raspberry and the short-lived mocha, called “moocha.” Root beer and chocolate are the most popular – the latter being the senator’s favorite flavor.

“He’s always told the kids he likes chocolate cows and strawberry cows the best,” said JoAnne Anton, the senator’s state director.

(I’m partial to cherry-vanilla myself.)

The milks are made by Kemp’s Dairy, using all Wisconsin milk. Anything else would be just plain wrong….

continued at: http://www.jsonline.com/features/food/122843184.html


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John Bryson up for Commerce….

 

Obama To Nominate John Bryson As Commerce Secretary

John Bryson

 

President Barack Obama plans to nominate businessman John Bryson to head the Commerce Department, according to a White House official.

Bryson’s name has been mentioned as a potential cabinet post since Obama won election in 2008. As a former chairman and CEO of Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison, and a co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council, he has straddled business and environmental activist circles. He also has served as a member of the United Nation’s advisory group on energy and climate change.

 

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Political Roundup for May 31st, 2011…Red Racing Horses….

By: Imperial….

The last roundup for the Month of May. 

President

Palin: Finally taking questions from media today during her bus tour, Sarah Palin answered the standard will you/won’t you run with an “I don’t know. I honestly don’t know.”

Giuliani: He will return to New Hampshire Thursday to headline a fundaiser for the state GOP. A run from the former NYC Mayor seems increasingly likely.

Summer: Chris Cillizza has an interesting guide on what to watch for in most of the prominent candidates in the presidential race this summer.

Operatives: Roll Call has gathered a list of some prominent free agents still available to campaigns in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida.

Florida: President Obama and Senator Bill Nelson will likely both attack Governor Rick Scott during their re-election bids, A lot…..

More…

 

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ex-Governor Bill Clements of Texas is gone…

Bill Clements has been called blunt, cantankerous and a visionary hero. But one thing is certain about his legacy — he is the father of the modern Republican Party in Texas.

Clements died Sunday at age 94.

Of all the things he did — including making his own fortune in oil — he said being governor of Texas was the most memorable and exhausting job.

“I assure you, that for me, being governor was the hardest work I’ve ever done,” he told WFAA in 2008.

Clements was governor twice — with four years off in the middle.

In 1978, the millionaire stumped the state in style — with a large staff, charter planes, fine hotels and a huge ad budget.

It was no small accomplishment. Texas voters hadn’t elected a Republican to the Governor’s Mansion in more than 100 years.

“He won against all odds. No one in the Western world thought a Republican could be elected Governor of Texas,” said Reggie Bashur, Clements’ press secretary…

More….

( Photo source…dfw.cbslocal.com )

 

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Home Prices continue to drop…..

U.S. single-family home prices dropped into double-dip territory in March as the housing market remained bogged down by inventory and weak demand, a closely watched survey released Tuesday showed.

The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas declined 0.2 percent in March from February on a seasonally adjusted basis, in line with economists’ expectations. The latest data show home prices have reached their lowest points since the housing bubble burst in 2006.

“This month’s report is marked by the confirmation of a double-dip in home prices across much of the nation,” David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Indices, said in a statement. “Home prices continue on their downward spiral with no relief in sight”…….

More….

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Wisconsin Supreme Court Recount… She’ll concede…and State Senate Recall’s…..Update…

First the State Supreme Court race ….

JoAnne Kloppenburg is expected to announce today whether she plans to challenge the recount results in her state Supreme Court race against Justice David Prosser.

Kloppenburg has scheduled an 11 a.m. news conference in Madison.

Prosser originally won the election by 7,316 votes, out of 1.5 million cast. Kloppenburg requested a statewide recount through which she picked up 312 votes. She had until Tuesday to decide whether to challenge the results in court…..More….

Just about all the Wisconsin State Senator’s are going up for recall….

WI Elections Board To Certify Recalls Against Three More Republicans

 

A volunteer waits to gather signatures for a recall petition against Sen. Alberta Darling (R) outside of a polling station at Village Center in Shorewood, Wisconsin, Tuesday, April 5, 2011.

 

Wisconsin’s Governmental Accountability Board (GAB), which oversees elections in the state, is today poised to certify recalls against three Republican state senators, as the battle continues over Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-public employee union legislation.

The board today will approve recalls against state Sens. Robert Cowles, Alberta Darling and Sheila Harsdorf. Last week, the GAB approved recalls against Republicans Randy Hopper, Dan Kapanke and Luther Olsen. But still pending are three recalls targeting Democrats Dave Hansen, Jim Holperin and Robert Wirch.

As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, the board is postponing its decisions on the recalls targeting three Democrats, which were originally scheduled for today, citing strain on the board’s bureaucratic resources posed by the sheer number of signatures and challenges that have been made. But Republicans are also protesting that decision:

 

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Wisconsin Democrat finally to concede

A Democratic source emails that the long aftermath of a charged judicial race in Wisconsin is finally ending today.

JoAnne Kloppenburg will announce at 11 a.m. Central that that she’s not going to contest the results of the recount in court, the source says…..

 

 

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The GOP is the “cut taxes, borrow money and spend it all” party and don’t let them pretend otherwise. Oh, and Democrats create the jobs…Whatever Works

 

Job growth by President – trust the trend

Expect excessive linkie-linkie to my local daily for a while. I just re-subscribed (after a year of thinking there was life after a daily newspaper and being wrong) to the Herald-Tribune, a fine paper that is about half of what it was just a few years ago. But even in this world of smaller and smaller papers, the Trib managed to grab anotherPulitzer Prize this year for an exhaustive investigative report on Florida’s property insurance system – which legislators have refused to address (multi-part story here). Like I said, a fine paper.

I want to share a Letter to the Editor from today’s paper. The writer says it well.

Bad economic ‘solutions’

In the 1920s, the Republicans ran the country and we had the Great Depression. In the 1990s, President Clinton raised taxes to reduce the deficit and not one Republican voted for this program, but lots of them predicted an economic catastrophe. Instead we got unparalleled growth.

Then came Bush and, without any concern for long-term solvency of Medicare, Social Security, etc., those in power cut taxes, especially on upper incomes. And even after incurring huge wartime expenses, they never made any effort to roll back the tax cuts. The Republicans in Congress went along with every bit of this deficit spending, and we got the great recession.

These same “experts” now want to hold the country hostage to a refusal to raise any taxes. They tell us that raising taxes on the rich will slow job growth, but never acknowledge that job growth was far better when that tax rate was higher. Nor do they accept study after study showing that these tax cuts have the least stimulative effect on the economy. Cutting spending only to balance the budget will be a disaster, leaving us less educated and less healthy. Yet this is what these economic illiterates propose. The question isn’t only why their solutions are harmful, not helpful, but, why, given their record, anyone listens to them.

That’s about right. I will add that the bald-faced lie that extending the Bush tax cuts will lead to  jobs creation, is just that. A bald-faced, evidence supported, lie. After the were signed into law, all we did was lose jobs.  But let’s not let facts get in the way……

Whatever Works…..

 

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Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest…5/31/11…

Reposted from Daily Kos Elections by David Nir
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Senate:

• MA-Sen: Poor Setti Warren. He just can’t catch a break. From DSCC Chair Patty Murray, at a briefing for reporters last week:

“We believe that Massachusetts is one that we will win,” Murray said, adding that they expect to announce “a good, strong candidate” within the next few weeks.

I’m all for more candidates getting into the race. I’m all for better candidates getting into the race. But it’s also possible that no one else will. As Al Swearengen says, announcing your plans is a good way to hear god laugh. Well, I’d rather not hear the almighty chortling (remember what Murray said about Herb Kohl?), and Setti Warren may well wind up being our best hope. Unsurprisingly, local Dems aren’t happy about Murray’s remarks, and Scott Brown’s camp is predictably crowing. I know as well as anyone that politics ain’t beanbag, but let’s not say the quiet parts loud, okay?

• RI-Sen: Republican rich guy Barry Hinckley sure seems to want to make life easy for Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. Hinckley says he’d have voted in favor of the Ryan budget, and is trying to attack Whitehouse for voting against it. Gooood luck.

• TX-Sen: I don’t know how much impact he can possibly have in a crowded, well-funded field that already features some big names, but state Sen. Dan Patrick (not to be confused with the former ESPN anchor) says he’s exploring a bid for the GOP Senate nomination. Apparently, his raison d’être is “a bill that would criminalize groping by airport-security personnel,” which state Senate President David Dewhurst — another possible candidate — refused to bring to the chamber’s floor. Patrick is now on the warpath against Dewhurst, who also serves as the state’s Lt. Gov.

• VA-Sen: The Washington Post has a profile of rich guy Tim Donner, who runs an outfit that produces conservative “educational” videos, though it seems that most of his wealth is due to family money. Donner is hoping to knock off George Allen in the GOP primary, but says he won’t spend more than a million of his own funds, which I really don’t think will get the job done.

Speaking of Allen, he refused to take a position on the Ryan budget (Donner unsurprisingly is in favor), so I wonder if that might offer an opening. Even if Donner can’t get sufficient traction, he might still be able to force Allen to go on the record, which would of course be a boon to Tim Kaine.

• WI-Sen: PPP released polling on both the Dem and GOP primary fields, whilePresident Obama looks good in the Badger State. (Full posts at Daily Kos Elections.)

Continue reading Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest…5/31/11…

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