Presidential, Senate and House Updates…Election*Projection…4/30/12

……from The Blogging Caesar at Election Projection ……

Election Projection update 4/30/12

There’s good news for both sides in the latest numbers here at Election Projection. Republicans will be happy that Obama’s lead in the presidential race has shrunk with this update.

Virginia is now light red, and its 13 EVs moving from President Obama to Mitt Romney leaves the projected tally at 290-248 in favor of the incumbent. That’s good news for Democrats. Despite the fact that Obama’s job approval and his national poll scores remain under 50%, he continues to lead the 2012 race for the White House.

In more good news for Republicans, the Virginia senate race is now projected to go to former Senator George Allen as well. With another seat in the red column, the GOP is projected to take the majority in the Senate by a 51-47-2 count.

There is more good news to be had for Democrats, too, however. Two House seats sport a brand new blue color. One, Rhode Island CD-1, has returned to a DEM Hold; another, New Hampshire CD-2, is the latest projected takeover for the blue team. Overall, these two party-switchers bring  the projected balance of power in the House to 243-192, a net 1-seat gain for the GOP…..

More….

That Rolling Stone Interview with President Obama….

I started reading this a few days ago…..

The President IS running for re-election…

So he’s in the media….

But this IS a GOOD read….

April 25, 2012 8:00 AM ET
obama 1156
President Barack Obama on the cover of ‘Rolling Stone.’
Mark Seliger for RollingStone.com

We arrived at the White House on Easter Monday, the South Lawn overrun by children and their parents enjoying the annual Easter Egg Roll. This was the fourth time in the past four years that we had sat down for an extensive interview with Barack Obama, but the tenor and timing were markedly different than the previous conversations. This time he was focused on the campaign, his thinking dominated by the upcoming battle for a second term.

The president was more somber than in our past interviews – and less inclined to depart from the handful of themes he had been concentrating on in recent weeks. He avoided discussing Mitt Romney, even when asked a direct question, and focused primarily on the very real constraints he operates under as president, from the intransigence of Congress to the dilemma of America’s anti-drug laws. He also seemed intent on summing up the arguments he’ll soon be taking out on the campaign trail, making clear that he plans to run on his remarkable record of accomplishments: extending health insurance to 32 million Americans, staving off a major economic collapse, rescuing the auto industry, reforming student loans, ending discrimination against gay soldiers, pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq, killing Osama bin Laden, and passing one of the largest middle-class tax cuts in history.

The hourlong discussion was the longest and most substantive interview the president has granted in over a year. When executive editor Eric Bates and I joined him in the Oval Office, he began by signaling his staff to push back his schedule.

“Just call Secretary Clinton’s office and tell her we’re going to be about 10 minutes late,” he said.

“Twenty minutes,” I suggested.

“Fifteen,” he said with mock sternness.

Later, after the interview ended, we found Hillary sitting in a small chair, scrunched between the desk of Obama’s secretary and the door to the Oval Office. The two former rivals now seem completely at ease with each other. Clinton joked about the popularity of the fake Tumblr site Texts From Hillary Clinton, and Obama began to air-thumb an imaginary text. “See, I’m hip,” he said with a laugh.

The president even made light of his campaign-season caution. Having complimented me during our last interview on my brightly colored socks, he instantly guessed the gift we had brought him: two pairs of socks, one salmon with pink squares, the other with black and pink stripes. “These are nice,” the president said. Then he considered the color scheme. “These may be second-term socks.”

Let’s talk about the campaign. Given all we’ve heard about and learned during the GOP primaries, what’s your take on the state of the Republican Party, and what do you think they stand for?
First of all, I think it’s important to distinguish between Republican politicians and people around the country who consider themselves Republicans. I don’t think there’s been a huge change in the country. If you talk to a lot of Republicans, they’d like to see us balance the budget, but in a balanced way. A lot of them are concerned about jobs and economic growth and favor market-based solutions, but they don’t think we should be getting rid of every regulation on the books. There are a lot of Republican voters out there who are frustrated with Wall Street and think that they acted irresponsibly and should be held to account, so they don’t want to roll back regulations on Wall Street.

But what’s happened, I think, in the Republican caucus in Congress, and what clearly happened with respect to Republican candidates, was a shift to an agenda that is far out of the mainstream – and, in fact, is contrary to a lot of Republican precepts. I said recently that Ronald Reagan couldn’t get through a Republican primary today, and I genuinely think that’s true. You have every candidate onstage during one of the primary debates rejecting a deficit-reduction plan that involved $10 in cuts for every $1 of revenue increases. You have a Republican front-runner who rejects the Dream Act, which would help young people who, through no fault of their own, are undocumented, but who have, for all intents and purposes, been raised as Americans. You’ve got a Republican Congress whose centerpiece, when it comes to economic development, is getting rid of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Doesn’t all of that kind of talk and behavior during the primaries define the party and what they stand for?
I think it’s fair to say that this has become the way that the Republican political class and activists define themselves. Think about John McCain, who obviously I have profound differences with. Here’s a guy who not only believed in climate change, but co-sponsored a cap-and-trade bill that got 43 votes in the Senate just a few years ago, somebody who thought banning torture was the right thing to do, somebody who co-sponsored immigration reform with Ted Kennedy.

That’s the most recent Republican candidate, and that gives you some sense of how profoundly that party has shifted.

More….

Top 10 Highly-Desired Skills You Can Teach Yourself….

From lifehacker…..

On countless occasions, you’ve likely said to yourself “I wish I knew how to do ______.” Then, of course, life got in the way and you put it off until you could find the time. Maybe you wanted to become fluent in a language, learn a new instrument, start performing your house repairs, or a master a myriad of other skills. With the vast amount of knowledge online, you’re now your only excuse. Here are the top ten most highly desired skills that you can teach yourself—and should.

10. Repair Just About Anything

Sure, you don’t need to repair anything anymore. You can just pay someone else to do it. But where’s the ingenuity in that? Plus, who wants to waste a bunch of money on simple tasks you can handle on your own? If you’ve adopted the DIY spirit, learning to repair your own stuff is one of the easiest and more rewarding skills you can acquire. It’s especially fruitful because as you learn new things, you can put them to use right away. So how do you teach yourself? We’ve outlined tons of repairs you can learn on your own to get you started, but if you’re looking for something specific there is no shortage of how-to videos available on YouTube and VideoJug. There will be occasions when you do need to call a professional, as you’re not going to be a master repairman (or woman) instantly, but do remember that there is an opportunity when things break: you can learn how to fix them.

 More…..

Planned Parenthood gets Breathing room in Texas from a Federal Judge…

Why is Rick Perry trying to screw his state out of Federal money and care for what could be over 100,000 women?

The Dog…..

Rick Perry

Bad for Rick Perry, good for Texas women

This is potentially good news out of Texas:

A federal judge in Austin ruled today that state officials cannot exclude Planned Parenthood from a health care and contraception program for low-income women, a state health official says. […][Judge] Yeakel granted Planned Parenthood’s request for a temporary injunction to allow it to continue serving women, and being reimbursed, under the program, according to Stephanie Goodman, a spokeswoman for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Yeakel will have to hold a hearing before the injunction could become permanent.

Under state rules adopted in February, Planned Parenthood would have been excluded from participating in the program tomorrow.

That would be the Women’s Health Program, which provides health care to 130,000 low-income women in Texas, whom Gov. Rick Perry thinks should take a backseat to his agenda to screw over Planned Parenthood to prove how super pro-lifey he is. Planned Parenthood filed suit earlier this month after a court ruled that Gov. Perry’s arbitrary new rule prohibiting Medicaid recipients from going to Planned Parenthood for basic health care is totally okay because, um, well, because that’s why so shut up and freedom.The new policy blatantly violates federal law and jeopardized all federal funding for the state’s Medicaid program, as Perry and his fellow anti-woman Republicans knew full well because Health and Human Services spelled it out for them in really small words:

Medicaid law is very clear; a state may not restrict patients’ choice of providers of services like mammograms and other cancer screenings, if those providers are qualified to deliver care covered by Medicaid.

But since screwing over Planned Parenthood is far more important than ensuring funding of the state’s health care programs for low-income women, Perry and state health officials blew off the warning from the federal government and said they’ll use Republican magic fairy dust to somehow make up the $35 million difference.But apparently, they’re fresh out of fairy dust, because now state officials are singing a different tune:

According to Tom Suehs, executive director of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, state law bans abortion providers and their affiliates – specifically Planned Parenthood – from participating in the program.
“If plaintiffs obtain an injunction forbidding state officials to exclude Planned Parenthood from the Medicaid Women’s Health Program or any similar successor programs, state law will require the commission to cease operating the program upon termination of federal funding,” Suehs told Yeakel in an affidavit.

So those earlier assurances that the state will find a way to keep the program going turned out to be, shockingly, bullshit. Rick Perry will stick it to Planned Parenthood no matter what, even if it means losing federal funding and screwing over 130,000 poor women in Texas.So why is the court’s decision today to bar the state from barring Planned Parenthood only potentially good news? Because the state is almost certain to appeal this decision, and Texas courts have a funny way of deciding that screwing over women is totally constitutional. But for today, at least, there are 130,000 women in Texas who just might get to have health care after all.

Daily 2012 Polling for April 30, 2012……

This polling list is from Realclearpolitics…..

Monday, April 30
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
General Election: Romney vs. Obama Gallup Tracking Obama 46, Romney 47 Romney +1
General Election: Romney vs. Obama Rasmussen Tracking Obama 45, Romney 47 Romney +2
General Election: Paul vs. Obama Rasmussen Reports Obama 42, Paul 40 Obama +2
North Carolina Governor – Democratic Primary PPP (D) Dalton 36, Etheridge 26 Dalton +10
Generic Congressional Vote Rasmussen Reports Republicans 43, Democrats 40 Republicans +3
President Obama Job Approval Gallup Approve 47, Disapprove 48 Disapprove +1
President Obama Job Approval Rasmussen Reports Approve 47, Disapprove 52 Disapprove +5
Repeal of Health Care Law: Favor/Oppose Rasmussen Reports Favor Repeal 55, Oppose Repeal 36 Favor Repeal +19
Saturday, April 28

Senator John Kerry for Secretary of State Again?

He’s run for President….

And fallen short….

He heads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee….

But his REAL aspiration has been the United State Secretary of State job….

And is undoubtlibly qualified to become the principal representative of the United States beside its President…

No match against a ex-First lady and former Junior Senator…..

The watch now is to see if his name is penciled in for his dream spot…..

UN Ambassador Susan Rice’s name was floated last week….

But lets see if the White House wants a serious contender ….

Of course that WOULD open a Senate seat in Massachusetts wouldn’t it?

Assuring Eliazeth Warren a seat in the Senate one way or another….

And Mitt Romney DID spend some time in that state right?

In an interview, Kerry dismissed the idea that he was campaigning for a job in Foggy Bottom. But he didn’t shut the door on the possibility and suggested he’d remain an outspoken voice in 2012.

“People waste a lot of time playing games with speculation around here. I’m not going to engage in it,” Kerry told POLITICO. “I have had some pretty tough hearings, and I’ll continue to and I’ll continue to speak out on everything I speak out on. Period.”

Asked if that means he isn’t interested in the top Cabinet post, Kerry would say only “I’m not thinking about it, I’m going to run for reelection [in 2014] and I’m very happy doing what I’m doing.”

Most important to party strategists is that regardless of Kerry’s ultimate motivation, he’s a guy who can score points against Romney. The two Massachusetts pols have plenty in common: Romney has been compared to Kerry repeatedly this year for his vast wealth, wooden style and reputation for ideological flexibility.

The hope is Kerry can take apart Romney’s Bay State record as few others can.

With Obama’s defense record one of his selling points — and Romney’s Massachusetts governorship a ripe target — Democrats believe Kerry is uniquely positioned to take the fight to Romney on issues from Baghdad to Braintree.

“John Kerry is one of the president’s closest allies on foreign policy and is the leading voice on those issues in the Senate,” said Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter. “So he’s uniquely qualified to talk about the president’s record in keeping the country safe and restoring our strength in the world and what the stakes are if we reverse course and go back to the same policies of the last administration.”

More…

Photo…postandcourier.com

Democrats worried over Who to run against Wisconsin Governor Walker….

With polling back to showing the Wisconsin Governor ahead in the upcoming recall vote….

Democrats are in trouble….

More than a million signatures and labor having their back isn’t gonna overcome the rural and right leaners at the ballot machines….

The Democrats need a Good candidate to run against Walker….

The problem is this….

The Democratic primary in Wiscinsin…

The establishment Democrats want the guy who lost to Walker in 2010 by 6% points,  Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett…

Labor wants  Dane County executive Kathleen Falk…..

Barrett is perceived to be Walker in Democratic Pajamas…

Falk is viewed as more pro Labor and more of a true Democrat…

fox11online.com

The problem for Democrats is that before they get their shot against Walker, they have to get through a divisive primary between an establishment pick and a union favorite that is threatening to undercut their unified front against the governor.

“We’re nervous,” said Julie Wells, who works with the grass-roots group United Wisconsin. Wells, a forklift operator from Fort Akinson, filed the papers to recall Walker, and she was there when they were submitted. But now volunteers who promised to help aren’t showing up. “We know that we can win this, but we’re not seeing the level of participation we saw during the signature-gathering phase,” she said.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who lost to Walker by six percentage points in 2010, is the establishment pick for the May 8 Democratic primary. He leads three other primary candidates by double-digits, according to the latest polls. He has the support of most prominent elected officials in the state and, in a sign of his standing, Republicans have focused their attacks on him.

“The Republicans do not want me to emerge from this primary,” Barrett told a crowd of a hundred or so at a Waukesha coffee shop last week. “They’ve made commercials about several candidates, they’re only running them against me,” he said, because “they view me as the strongest candidate.”

But most of the unions that first revolted against Walker’s legislation have endorsed another candidate: former Dane County executive Kathleen Falk.

For many union leaders, Barrett is, if not as bad as Walker, not good enough either. As mayor, he used the rule changes championed by Walker to take away benefits from city employees. While Falk committed to vetoing any budget that does not include collective bargaining, Barrett favors a more conciliatory special session of the legislature….

More….

The New Obama Campaign Cry….’Forward’…..

The Obama campaign moves from ‘Change’ to ‘Forward’ pivoting on the Republican and Right’s aim to hold up EVERYTHING and ANYTHING the 44th President does….

It is only fitting that the Democrats nail the Republicans to their brilliant straterfgy of doing NOTHING but holding out to enrich…..

The RICH.….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WbQe-wVK9E[/youtube]

A new Obama campaign video suggests a new slogan for the 2012 election: ‘Forward.’(YouTube / April 30, 2012)

It looks like the Obama campaign may have settled on its slogan for the 2012 election: “Forward.”

Four years ago Barack Obama ran on another one-word slogan, “Change.” Now, as President Obama prepares to hold the first public campaign rallies for his reelection, his team is giving a sense of what his pitch to votes will look like.

A seven-minute web video (watch below) lays out the precarious state of the nation when Obama took office in 2009 and the steps he took to begin addressing the critical challenges. Republicans have attempted to argue recently that Obama is not running on his record, but the video shows otherwise — the stimulus, the auto industry rescue, credit card and Wall Street reforms, healthcare reform, student loan reform, green energy investments, lower taxes for the middle class, equal pay for women and a repeal of the law banning gays from serving openly in the military make up the first half of the online advertisement.

“Hard work, determination, real results,” a narrator says.

But there’s then a pivot that signals how the president will use Republican obstructionism as a foil. Images of Glenn Beck,Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity flash by, and then one ofMitt Romney.

“Instead of working together to lift America up, Republicans were waging a campaign to tear the president down”…..

More…..

Consumer Spending in U.S. Increases as Incomes Rise….The GOP could be betting on the wrong issue…

More Good News on the Us Economy front…..

As the Economy improves a lot of the budget shortfalls will decrease…..

Erasing the need for drastic Budget cuts…..

And increasing tax revenue at ALL levels of Government…

And the Republicans want to make THIS the issue?

Consumer spending in the U.S. climbed in March after the biggest gain since August 2009, and incomes picked up, indicating the biggest part of the economy will help sustain the expansion.

Household purchases, which account for about 70 percent of the economy, increased 0.3 percent, after a revised 0.9 percent gain the prior month that was stronger than first reported, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 72 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 0.4 percent rise. Incomes advanced 0.4 percent, the most in three months, and the savings rate rose.

A job market that’s on the mend and warmer weather underpinned household purchases, which grew in the first quarter by the most in more than a year as sales climbed at car dealerships and retailers like Target Corp. (TGT) A pickup in hiring and wages is needed to maintain this quarter’s pace of spending.

“This report sets up fairly well for the second quarter,” saidPeter Newland, a U.S. economist at Barclays Capital Inc. in New York. “What was encouraging was that the income numbers improved. Our expectation is that job growth does increase gradually” this quarter, he said.

Obama and Bill Clinton together for fundraiser….

It’s re-election time….

This is REAL….

The ego stuff gets packed away….

Obama could use Clinton’s help…

And Bill Clinton?

Well he’s back in the spotlight…..

And for him…

That’s enough….

“This is crazy, he’s got an opponent who basically wants to do what they did before, on steroids, which will get you the same consequences you got before, on steroids,” said Clinton.
The two presidents once had a frosty relationship, as Clinton was a strong advocate for his wife then Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) as she battled Obama for the 2008 Democratic nomination.

At Sunday’s event, however, President Clinton was full of praise for Obama, defending his record and saying that the current president needed more time to address the problems left behind by the Bush administration.

“He’s beating the clock, not behind it. Don’t listen to those Republicans. We are beating the clock,” Clinton said.

“I think he is beating the historical standard for coming out of a financial collapse and a mortgage collapse. I think the last thing you want to do is to turn around and embrace the policies that got us into trouble in the first place,” he added.

In his remarks at the fundraiser, Obama linked Romney’s foreign policy to the Bush administration.

“Hillary and I, we’ve spent the last three and a half years cleaning up after other folks’ messes, and by the way, we’ve got them, we’re starting to get them pretty cleaned up. The war in Iraq is over. We’re transitioning in Afghanistan. We’ve got the strongest allies we’ve ever seen and al Qaeda is on the ropes. So we’ve done what we said we’d do,” said Obama.

 More….

The fundraiser was at the home of former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe….

Photo…washingtonpost.com

Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: Second poll gives Democrat Heidi Heitkamp a five-point lead

by David Nir

Reposted from Daily Kos Elections by David Nir

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Leading Off:• ND-Sen: North Dakota Democrats have just put out a new poll from DFM Research that finds former AG Heidi Heitkamp leading GOP Rep. Rick Berg 49-44 in the open-seat Senate contest (up from 42-41 in December, numbers which were not publicized at the time). Barack Obama trails Mitt Romney by a very wide 51-32 margin, so you can’t accuse this poll of being too rosy—especially since the spread was a narrower 40-28 in December. (Though 28% for an incumbent president in any state… ouch.)

This is only the second public survey of the race, and the first (from back in November)also showed Heitkamp on top by five points, 47-42. Republicans didn’t have an answer to that poll, and if they don’t have an answer to this one, either, then we may have to reconsider our “Lean R” rating here. Indeed, Berg paid $24,000 to Republican pollster Public Opinion Strategies for “survey research” in early January, and we never saw those numbers, so the absence of any contrary Republican data is starting to look a bit glaring.

Meanwhile, according to reports, they DSCC is about to go up on TV with an ad buyworth some $76K. (A sum like that goes pretty far in a tiny state like North Dakota.) As Politico’s Maggie Haberman notes, that would make this the first independent expenditure by either national Senate campaign committee this cycle. We’ll keep a look out for the DSCC’s ad and bring it to you as soon as we see it…..

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