Friday, October 9, 2009

Obama's Nobel Peace Prize Exposes More GOP Hypocrisy

President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize has brought the GOP to a boiling point. They've masqueraded their brand as patriotic, wrapping themselves in American flags and holding tea party rallies, but what we see today is more of the real GOP - the party that cheered when the US lost the Olympics and same party who's seething with hate at this very moment because our president was acknowledged for promoting peace and not war.

Today, we can add to the long list of Republican hypocrisies. Besides their claim to having a monopoly on family values - and besides their claim to being fiscally responsible - or besides their claim to keeping the country safe (9/11 occurred on W’s watch and he launched two full-scale wars) - and besides claiming to be the party of "small government" (this coming from the same guys who brought us warrantless wiretapping) -- NOW we can safely say they are not as patriotic as they claim to be. The results speak for themselves.”

CALIFORNIA SENATE 2010: Boxer Cruising Past Republican Challengers

A Field Poll today reveals that Republican challengers, Carly Fiorina and Chuck DeVore, are wasting their money in California. One year out, and both Republicans are virtually unknown to voters. The only blip may be Senator Boxer's approval rating, just 48%.
When Boxer is paired against the two GOP U.S. Senate hopefuls, the incumbent holds early double- digit leads over her two lesser-known opponents in general election match-ups. Against Fiorina Boxer’s lead is 49% to 35%. When she is paired against DeVore her lead is 50% to 33%.

Monday, October 5, 2009

FLORIDA SENATE 2010: Rove Disses Crist

Marco Rubio just picked up a big push with Karl Rove's $1000 donation. Read the report from Chuck Todd.
This comes on the heels of Jeb Bush's public signal that he plans to stay neutral in the Crist-Rubio primary; Many believe this is Jeb's way of quietly telling influential Florida Republicans that he'd prefer Rubio but doesn't want to alienate Crist since he's still the heavy favorite in the primary. For Rubio, he needs to show some viability and that begins with his next fundraising report. But the most important fundraising report might actually be by the end of the year when you'll truly be able to see how Rubio's been able to use the Jeb neutrality (support?) to his advantage. Remember, Jeb is to Florida Republicans what Reagan is to the party nationally, he's held in THAT high of regard.
Headlines like this create visibility for Rubio. His chances are slim still but not as slim as they were before Rove's donation. If Rubio can create momentum and show that he's a viable candidate, Jeb Bush may just break his silence.

ARIZONA SENATE 2010: Another Primary Challenger For McCain?

Let the polls roll with this new tidbit from the rumor mill. Former Representative J.D. Hayworth is considering a run in next year's primary against John McCain. With Simcox already in the primary race, this could get dicey.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Bill Frist On Board With Healthcare Reform

Bill Frist may be from the south and he may be a Republican, but he's not crazy. With nothing to lose, I've been wondering why he hasn't taken a stand against the Republican nonsense.

"I would end up voting for it. As leader, I would take heat for it. That's what leadership is all about."

But not only does he openly discuss his support for real reform, he also supports a mandate. Surprise!

Frist does point out one very, very rational point that many of us have overlooked. What happens next?
While Frist believes that the bill will pass, he worries that the Obama Administration and Congress have not given enough attention to what happens next: the implementation. The first few years are likely to be rough, he predicts. States will be struggling to set up new marketplaces for insurance coverage, their medicaid rolls will grow, taxes will go up, and consumers will not yet see the benefits. "The Republicans will go wild," using the start-up difficulties as a tool for fundraising and for making their case in the next election, Frist says. "In the Congress, nobody's thinking about that." His advice for the Obama Administration: "Stay nimble," and be prepared to make adjustments as difficulties arise.
Let the ridicule and labeling begin! Far-right Republicans will shred Frist for his comments and label him a RINO - claim he's not a real conservative. All of this makes me wonder where healthcare would be today if Mr. Frist had used the nuclear option back in 2005.

Read the full interview with Karen Tumulty Time's Swampland blog.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Shining Moment For Nashville

My hometown grew up a lot last night, and I couldn't be more proud.

After weeks of intense debate, Nashville's City Council voted to pass not just one, but two non-discrimination ordinances that grant equal protection for Metro employees regardless of "sexual orientation" or "gender identity." The original bill, first sponsored by Council Lady Megan Barry, passed a required third and final reading last night, 24-15, effectively making the bill law. More than 50 area organizations, including churches, neighborhoods and labor unions, publicly supported the ordinance.

Other Council members, led by Sam Coleman, offered an alternative bill, claiming that broader protections for "non-merit" factors such as political party affiliation were also needed. Ironically, the bill's language, which was supposed to extend broader protections, omitted "gender identity." That bill too ultimately passed, but not before Councilman Erik Cole's amendment to include gender identity was added.

Much to the chagrin of Coleman and his supporters, the alternative bill - bearing their names - now includes the very words they explicitly (and passionately) opposed to begin with. The fate of Coleman's bill is now in the hands of the City Council as it moves to the final legislative stage. One foreseeable scenario is the argument that Coleman's bill is now unnecessary, given that the Barry bill has already accomplished the ultimate objective.

More from Nashville news sources

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Set Your TiVos!

It's only Tuesday and everyone is already talking about this Sunday's morning talk shows. That's because the president is set to give back-to-back to back-to-back interviews. In what is being called a first, President Obama will appear on five talk shows. New York Times blogger, Adam Nagourney, writes:
It’s a reminder of just how much Mr. Obama is out there. As of his seven-month in office mark in August, he had done 114 interviews, compared to 37 by former President George W. Bush and 41 by former president Bill Clinton at a similar point in their administrations, according to Martha Joynt Kumar, a political science professor at Towson University in Maryland.
Of the five networks that were chosen (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN & Univision), Fox News isn't one of them. The Washington Post's story, which refers to Obama's marathon as a "modified verion of the 'Full Ginsburg,' also notes the Fox diss.
In making the rounds -- appearing on NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN and Univision back-to-back -- Obama will do a modified version of "the Full Ginsburg," as such a sweep was dubbed after Monica Lewinsky's lawyer, William H. Ginsburg, became the first person to do five broadcast shows it in 1998.

It is rare for a president to appear on a single Sunday show, let alone multiple ones. (The original "Full Ginsburg" included Fox News, which was cut out of the loop this time and replaced with the Spanish language Univision).

Arkansas Senate 2010: Poll Shows Mixed Numbers For Lincoln

Widely considered to be a vulnerable incumbent going into next year's mid-term election, Blanche Lincoln is facing a serious scenario with regard to her favorability rating. According to a new Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll, nearly half of the 600 likely voters polled said they had an unfavorable impression of Lincoln.

The poll shows Lincoln beating the two strongest Republicans by 7-8%. While that may seem like good news, it's important to note that at least 75% percent of the respondents had "no opinion" of the named Republican challengers, suggesting that Lincoln's lead is soft and likely a product of name recognition.

It's not going to be easy for southern Democrats in 2010. Nobody knows this better than Lincoln, which may explain her recent change of heart about the public option, calling it "another entitlement program [that] we can’t afford as a nation right now."

While some of her Democratic colleagues may frown over these remarks, her newly found opposition to the public option (alongside Republicans) may be the best medicine for her ailing poll numbers. One could argue that her recent comments have already helped. A PPP poll that was released prior to Lincoln's statement showed her statistically even with Republicans. That poll too, however, revealed strong displeasure by voters, with just 36% showing approval for her job as a senator.

Notably, another Research 2000 poll from yesterday, found that 55% of voters in Arkansas support a public option, while just 38% oppose.

With more than a year to go before Election Day 2010, Republicans have plenty of time to make their candidate(s) known. For now, it appears that Lincoln's name recognition alone is enough to give her an edge. But that cannot last. Looking ahead, we will be listening to Lincoln's message to voters - not only about healthcare during this legislative session but also on other issues like energy (cap and trade) which is bound to come up next year.

Video: Your Last Chance

Robert Reich makes the case for a public option. Make your voices heard today!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Massachusetts Senate 2010: Card Not Running

It was only a few days ago that Andy Card, former Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush, said that his chances of running for Senate were "better than 50 percent." What a difference a day can make.

In a CNN phone interview last night, Card revealed his final decision, saying, "I had done my due diligence and decided it was probably not in my best interest to run. I'm disappointed but not unhappy."

Friday, September 11, 2009

2005 Flashback: Glen Beck Hates 9/11 Victims

Before tomorrow's BIG party for the certifiably insane, we must remind everyone of one attendee and his comments about 9/11 victims back in 2005. He doesn't hate all of them, just 10 of them.
"You know, it took me about a year to start hating the 9/11 victims’ families. It took me about a year. Um, and I had such compassion for them and I really, you know, I wanted to help them, and I was behind — let’s give them money, let’s get them started, and all of this stuff. And I really didn’t — all the 3,000 victims’ families, I don’t hate all of them, I hate about, probably about ten of them. But when I see 9/11 victim family, you know, on television, or whatever, I’m just like, ‘Oh, shut up.’ I’m so sick of them. Because they’re always complaining. And we did our best for them. And again, it’s only about ten." -- Glen Beck, September 9, 2005
And they say liberals sound angry.

Video: Calling Out Another Fox Lie

Here's Hannity accusing the president of saying that insurance executives are bad people. Of course, anyone who watched the speech knows that President Obama actually said, "Insurance executives don't do this because they're bad people. They do it because it's profitable."


North Carolina Senate 2010: Burr Approval at 38%

Here's a race that we'll be following closely in the coming months. North Carolina hasn't been so warm and friendly to Republicans lately, tossing out Elizabeth Dole last year and replacing her with Democrat, Kay Hagan. North Carolina also went blue in last year's election for the first time since 1976 and elected the state's first ever female governor, Beverly Perdue

Now, it's Richard Burr's turn. For many months, Burr's approval numbers have been in the basement. A new poll by PPP shows Burr's approval rate at just 38%, ten points lower than Dole's prior to election day in 2008. Despite his poor ratings though, he still bests any Democratic challenger so far by at least seven points. That could easily change however with the emergence of a strong candidate.

Democrats in North Carolina also have time on their side and the real possibility that Democrats, on a national level, will get their groove back. We're very optimistic about the prospect of healthcare passing this year and anxious to see the first polls in places like North Carolina to see whether the new reform helps or hurts Democratic Senate candidates.

CONNECTICUT SENATE 2010: Poll shows Dodd Down 10

Chris Dodd's numbers seem to be getting worse, not better. That's according to a new Rasmussen Poll out today that which shows potential Republican challenger, Rob Simmons up 10 points on Dodd (49-39). The poll also found that 59% of North Carolina voters have an unfavorable impression of the Senator.

The only good news in this poll for Dodd is that he's essentially tied with the other Republican candidates who might be running.

As a result of this poll and others, we're moving this race from tossup to leans Republican.

HR 3200 and Undocumented Residents

First, for the record, these words are found on page 143, lines 3-7 of HR 3200.
Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments
for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are
not lawfully present in the United States.
Second, someone should remind Republicans that non-residents have been receiving emergency treatment, as required by law, for many years. The Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act, signed into law in 1986 by President Reagan, requires, as it should, Medicare-participating hospitals to provide emergency medical services for all patients who seek care, regardless of their ability to pay or immigration status." (42 U.S.C 1395dd)

Undocumented residents will continue to receive emergency care, whether HR 3200 passes or not. There doesn't need to be a provision for emergency services for nonresidents because there are provisions in other laws, such as EMTALA.

All of this makes me wonder. What are GOP leaders thinking when it comes to Hispanic Americans? Do they really think they're not paying attention? Have they forgotten the electoral significance of the Hispanic American voting block?