Following the Supreme Court’s decision upholding President Barack Obama’s health care law, Mitt Romney claimed in a speech that "Obamacare … means that for up to 20 million Americans, they will lose the insurance they currently have, the insurance that they like and they want to keep." When we checked with the Romney campaign, a spokesman confirmed that the source of Romney’s claim was a March 2012 study by the Congressional Budget Office, the nonpartisan number-crunching arm of Congress. In March 2012, we checked a similar statement by Republican National Committee chairman Reince ...>> More
Mitt Romney: "Obamacare … means that for up to 20 million Americans, they will lose the insurance they currently have, the insurance that they like and they want to keep."
Moments after the Supreme Court ruled that it was largely upholding President Barack Obama’s health care law, Republicans zeroed in on the court's decision to allow the individual mandate because it is enforced through a tax. One of the Republicans to speak out was former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the party’s 2008 vice presidential nominee. After the court's decision was announced on June 28, 2012, Palin tweeted, "Obama lied to the American people. Again. He said it wasn't a tax. Obama lies; freedom dies." We aren’t able to fact-check whether "freedom" ...>> More
There is a real drug war being waged on our border with Mexico. Drug cartels are clashing, U.S. agents on this side are struggling to keep the violence out of America, often without success, and the innocent are dying.
There is also a fake drug war being waged by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Issa has been running a search-and-destroy mission not against the drug cartels, but against our own attorney general. Instead of prosecuting criminals, he now is pushing for a House vote on holding U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for not acceding to his fishing expedition. This unprecedented maneuver could lead to a constitutional crisis.
Issa's fake drug war is not investigating the war raging on our borders. Rather, his offensive is targeted at harassing the U.S. attorney general and winning political points against the president in the 2012 presidential election season.
At issue is a misguided program that began in the Bush years as "Operation Wide Receiver." Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives cooked up a plan to sell guns to presumed criminals, allow those same guns to "walk" across the border so they could be tracked when used in crimes and, ultimately, lead to the arrests of supposed of higher-ups in the Mexican drug cartels.
Not surprisingly, many of the guns disappeared, as discovered by the Holder-run Department of Justice in 2009. This ill-conceived program was continued under President Barack Obama and Holder, renamed "Fast and Furious" and remained under the radar until a few of the lost guns resurfaced near the scene of the murder of ATF Agent Brian Terry in a drug shoot-out in Arizona.
Holder immediately ended the program, dismissed or transferred the officials responsible and dispatched an inspector general to investigate how and why this "gun walking" operation was done. Although this program began under Michael Mukasey, George W. Bush's attorney general, Holder took responsibility for it and apologized to Terry's parents.
Issa is going after Holder in the hope of getting Obama. He has launched a fishing expedition to discover email related neither to Operation Wide Receiver nor Fast and Furious; rather, his focus has been on the attorney general's reaction to Terry's death.
Holder has been dragged before the committee nine times; 7,600 pages of documents have been sent to the committee. But Issa has continued to up the ante, requesting items that the Justice Department says might interfere with ongoing investigations. The president has sought to protect these investigations and the integrity of our government by invoking executive privilege -- a maneuver employed by nearly every president for 40 years. Yet, Issa has continued to ask for more.
Does he really want something else? Perhaps so. Indeed, for the first time in history, the House of Representatives will hold a vote which, if party lines are followed, will result in the U.S. attorney general being held in contempt of Congress.
Holder has been at the vanguard of the president's progressive agenda. He is a leading opponent of a right-wing drive to suppress the vote in states across the union. He is at the forefront of Obama's policy of prosecutorial discretion to protect the DREAM kids. He will lead the effort to forgo enforcement of the federal statute against same-sex marriages, ceding the turf to the states. Harassing Holder into resigning or pushing to have him prosecuted for contempt are clearly partisan strategies designed to obstruct this mission.
In this election season, Republicans have abandoned all pretense of cooperation in a crisis. This may please some in our nation, but it is a disservice to all of America.
The last thirty days have made it clear that Barack Obama is not going to win the 2012 election by a substantial margin. The polls still show the race near dead even with over five months, and all sorts of unforeseen events, to come. But after the Obama meltdown of April and May, I don't think he in any way resembles the mysterious Pied Piper figure of 2008, who mesmerized and then marched the American people over the cliff. Polls change daily; gaffes and wars may come aplenty. But Barack Obama has lost the American center and now he is reduced to the argument that Mitt Romney would be...
The debate over immigration was revived by President Barack Obama’s announcement of a reprieve for the children of illegal immigrants. So, too, was talk of the DREAM Act. In a speech to Hispanic elected officials in Orlando on June 22, 2012, Obama criticized Congress’ inaction on the bill. "We should have passed the DREAM Act a long time ago," he said. "It was written by members of both parties. When it came up for a vote a year and a half ago, Republicans in Congress blocked it. The bill hadn’t changed. The need ...>> More
The Massachusetts Senate race between Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Democrat Elizabeth Warren continues to be a dead heat, according to a poll released Tuesday afternoon by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling.
The number confirms other recent polls that have shown the race as effectively tied for the past several months. However, it's a slightly tighter margin than PPP's last survey of the race, taken in mid-March. At the time, the firm gave Warren a 5-point lead.
Since then, Brown has doubled his margin among independent voters, among whom he now leads Warren by 24 points, up from 12 previously. His approval rating also jumped 6 points. While the majority of Massachusetts voters (56 percent) say the Republican party is too conservative, only 34 percent said the same of Brown, giving him the opportunity to pick up crossover votes.
But PPP's president, Dean Debnam, predicted Warren could pick up voters before Election Day among "Obama independents," a crucial group that leans Democratic but hasn't decided on the Senate race.
“This race continues to be a sheer toss up,” Debnam said in a press release. “One thing to keep an eye on is the undecideds. They’re supporting Barack Obama over Mitt Romney by 50 points. That could mean Warren has more room
HuffPost Pollster's chart, which combines data from all available polls, estimates the race to be virtually tied, with Warren at 45 percent and Brown at 43 percent.
The PPP poll used automated telephone calls to survey 902 likely Massachusetts voters between June 22 and June 24. The poll has a 3.3 percent margin of error.
Authors of chain emails love to question President Barack Obama's patriotism. They've said he refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance (False), that he "turns his back to the flag and slouches" (False), and that he complained that U.S. troops were whining about going to war. (Pants on Fire). (We are not including the claim that Obama fits the biblical description of the Antichrist, since it's theoretically possible that you could be the Antichrist and still be patriotic.) We've also noticed a sub-genre of emails that ...>> More
Recently, we learned two important things about Mitt Romney.First, he would rather see the American economy fail than President Barack Obama win.Second, the extent of his hypocrisy is amazing. While he laments the toll that outsourcing has taken on our workers and economy, he amassed a fortune by investing in companies that outsourced American jobs.In word and deed, Romney roots for failure, and his insincerity reveals a disdain for the common good and disregard for people's common sense. Americans deserve better.
It's no secret that Jerry Brown is a bit of an intellectual.
Our Yale-bred governor stuffs his bookshelves with the works of academics like Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky. He spent years studying Buddhism in Japan. "Always look for opportunities to mentor and be mentored," he once told his campaign staff. (Full disclosure: The author of this post was once a member of said staff.)
But is he the "smartest guy in American politics?"
At least one person thinks so. And that person happens to be our vice president.
Joe Biden swung through Sacramento last week to attend a fundraiser for President Barack Obama's reelection campaign. Brown spoke right before Biden, and when the vice president addressed the crowd, he had nothing but kind words for his predecessor at the podium.
"Nothing has changed," Biden gushed, referencing Brown's previous stint as California governor from 1975 to 1983. "He was the smartest guy in American politics then. He's still the smartest guy in American politics."
The two veteran politicians first met in San Francisco in the 1970s.
"He speaks his mind," Biden added. "I like guys like that."
Indeed, both Democrats have a history of making colorful remarks.
Biden is, for his part...well, Biden. But that's just part of his charm.
At the very least, chalk the vice president's remarks in Sacramento up to a "heartwarming moment between two longtime Democratic pols," as Politico observed.
Do you think Brown is the smartest man in American politics? Let us know below, and feel free to explain your answer in the comments:
As Barack Obama's lead over Mitt Romney in the polls narrows, and his presumed fundraising advantage seems about to become a disadvantage, it's alibi time for some of his backers.His problem, they say, is that some voters don't like him because he's black. Or they don't like his policies because they don't like having a black president.So, you see, if you don't like Obamacare, it's not because it threatens to take away your health insurance, or to deny coverage for some treatments. It's because you don't like black people.This sort of thing...
WASHINGTON -- They shrug at President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney. They're in no hurry to decide which one to support in the White House race. And they'll have a big say in determining who wins the White House.
One-quarter of U.S. voters are persuadable, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll, and both Obama and Romney will spend the next four months trying to convince these fickle, hard-to-reach individuals that only he has what it takes to fix an ailing nation.
It's a delicate task. These voters also hate pandering.
"I don't believe in nothing they say," says Carol Barber of Iceland, Ky., among the 27 percent of the electorate that hasn't determined whom to back or that doesn't have a strong preference about a candidate.
Like many uncommitted voters, the 66-year-old Barber isn't really paying attention to politics these days. She's largely focused on her husband, who just had a liver transplant, and the fact that she had to refinance her home to pay much of his health bill. "I just can't concentrate on it now," she says before adding, "If there were somebody running who knows what it's like to struggle, that would be different."
John Robinson, a 49-year-old general contractor from Santa Cruz, Calif., is paying a bit more attention, but is just as turned off by both candidates.
"I'm just bitter about everybody. They just keep talking and wavering," said Robinson, a conservative who backed the GOP nominee in 2008, Arizona Sen. John McCain, but is undecided between Obama and Romney. "There's nothing I can really say that's appealing about either one of them."
To be sure, many of the 1-in-4 voters who today say they are uncommitted will settle on a candidate by Election Day, Nov. 6.
Until then, Obama and Romney will spend huge amounts of time and money trying to win their votes, especially in the most competitive states that tend to swing between Republicans and Democrats each presidential election. Obama and Romney face the same hurdle, winning over wavering voters without alienating core supporters they need to canvass neighborhoods and staff telephone banks this fall to help make sure their backers actually vote.
"It presents an interesting challenge to the campaigns," said Steve McMahon, a founding partner in Purple Strategies, a bipartisan crisis management firm. "Moving to the middle means winning these voters, but it also means creating problems with your base."
Obama has sought to straddle both the left and the middle by announcing policies that expand access to contraception and allow immigrants brought illegally to the United States as children to be exempted from deportation and granted work permits if they applied.
Both issues are popular with his core supporters and centrist voters. The president also is promoting a list of what he says are bipartisan measures that would help homeowners, veterans, teachers and police officers, and he accuses Republicans of causing gridlock by refusing to act on them. It's a pitch intended for independent-minded voters frustrated by inaction in Washington.
Romney has broadened his tea party-infused message from the GOP primary and softened his tone as he looks to attract voters from across the political spectrum.
He abandoned the harsh immigration rhetoric on Thursday when he pledged to address illegal immigration "in a civil but resolute manner" while outlining plans to overhaul the green card system for immigrants with families and end immigration caps for their spouses and minor children. In doing so, he risked inflaming conservatives who make up the base of the Republican Party.
Overall, the poll found that among registered voters, 47 percent say they will vote for the president and 44 percent for Romney, a difference that is not statistically significant.
Those totals include soft support, though, meaning people who lean toward a candidate as well as those who said they could change their minds before November. The poll showed that these persuadable voters are equally apt to lean toward Obama, Romney, or neither, with about one-third of them in each camp.
The survey also showed that these voters are more likely than others to say they distrust both Romney and Obama on the major issues. They are far more likely to think the outcome of the election won't make a big difference on the economy, unemployment, the federal budget deficit or health care.
Party politics and wedge issues have dubious weight with this group. The poll found more independents fall into this category than partisans. The partisans who are persuadable are more likely to be in the ideological middle than either liberal Democrats or conservative Republicans. Seventeen percent of persuadables say they consider themselves supporters of the tea party.
The poll also found that demographically, they are more likely to be members of Generation X (between the ages of 30 and 49) than other registered voters. Many, 71 percent, have not graduated college. They are a bit more likely to have lower incomes than all registered voters. Fifty-two percent of persuadables have incomes below $50,000, compared with 44 percent of all voters.
On other characteristics – gender, religious preference and race – they're split similarly to other registered voters.
The Associated Press-GfK Poll was conducted June 14-18, 2012 by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications. It involved landline and cellphone interviews with 1,007 adults nationwide, including 878 registered voters and 228 persuadable voters. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.0 percentage points. For registered voters it is 4.2 points and for persuadable voters it's plus or minus 8.3 points.
Associated Press writer Philip Elliott and AP News Survey Specialist Dennis Junius contributed to this report.
WASHINGTON -- Mary Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, has married her longtime partner, Heather Poe.
In a statement, Cheney and his wife, Lynne, said the couple got married in Washington on Friday. The Cheneys said the two had been in a committed relationship for many years and they were delighted that they could take advantage of the "opportunity to have the relationship recognized." The District of Columbia and six states – Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont – have legalized gay marriage.
Mary Cheney and Poe have two children.
In the 2004 election, Republicans backing the ticket of President George W. Bush and Cheney pushed for state ballot initiatives rejecting gay marriage. More recently, President Barack Obama expressed his support for same-sex marriage.
Courtesy of David Maraniss' new book, we now know that yet another key prop of Barack Obama's identity is false: His Kenyan grandfather was not brutally tortured or even non-brutally detained by his British colonial masters. The composite gram'pa joins an ever-swelling cast of characters from Barack's "memoir" who, to put it discreetly, differ somewhat in reality from their bit parts in the grand Obama narrative. The best friend at school portrayed in Obama's autobiography as "a symbol of young blackness" was, in fact, half Japanese, and not a...
For political wonks, this has been a week of waiting. Starting last weekend, we've all been waiting for Mitt Romney to address the issue of Barack Obama's new immigration policy. This waiting has been fruitless, and will continue for some time to come, apparently. Picture a phone ringing endlessly with nobody there to answer it... but we're getting ahead of ourselves.
The bigger waiting game this week has been at the Supreme Court, where two very important decisions are about to be handed down, on the Affordable Obamacare Act (so to speak), and on the Arizona immigration case. Both cases will impact the elections this year, but it is impossible to say how at this point. Either next Monday or next Thursday, however, we'll have at least a partial answer to this question.
In Congress, the Republicans are in the midst of the unprecedented move of holding the attorney general in contempt of Congress... or the House, at least. They say they're tired of waiting for him to produce every single document they are demanding, and President Obama finally just threw in the towel and used the trump card of executive privilege to derail the fishing expedition.
The Senate actually voted on two bipartisan bills this week, one of which was noticed and one of which was not. The big one was a farm bill which will continue to ensure that Americans pay the highest price on the planet for a food item that they regularly crave -- sugar. The cynic in me hastens to point out that massive and expanding sugar subsidies from the federal government are very important in one particular state: Florida. What a surprise! One of the key states in the presidential election gets special treatment! Anyone wondering why both sugar and corn subsidies will never be realistically reined in need look no further than Florida and Iowa -- two states of monumental importance in the method we use to select our presidents.
Sigh. Maybe that was too cynical. Maybe I should be celebrating that anything got done in the Senate. There was one bill which made it through (with a 95-4 vote!) which did cheer me up, however -- a bill which would end the practice of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars being used to finance the national nominating conventions of the two major political parties in America. This year, roughly $35 million was slated to be spent on the Republican and Democratic national conventions, which is ridiculous when you consider that neither candidate is going to use the public financing system that such money is supposed to be a part of (both candidates are confident they'll raise way more money without the constraints public financing would place on them). Since, if the Senate bill passes the House, neither party can expect this convention money any more, my suggestion would be to spend the fund on smaller parties who could really use the help. Just an idea.
And finally, an item I didn't know where else to mention, Jon Soltz has a fantastic article everyone should read which does a masterful job of fighting back on the growing trend of states tightening up their voter laws. Soltz points out that one effect of these laws is going to be disenfranchising active-duty soldiers. You know, the ones out there fighting for their country? Why do Republicans want to deny these brave Americans their basic right to vote? As I said, it is a brilliant article, and an excellent point that needed to be raised, which is why I highly recommend it.
We have two Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week awards to hand out this week, both to Michigan state legislators.
Michigan Republicans were pushing -- once again -- to shove the government between a woman and her doctor. This massive wave of Republican legislators (men, for the most part) attempting to practice medicine without a license continues apace. So much for "small government leaving people alone," eh? Government in the examination room is just fine, as long as the patient is a woman -- this seems to be the new stance the Republicans are taking in state after state.
Two female legislators in Michigan tried to fight back. For their efforts, they were silenced.
Representative Barb Byrum was silenced for speaking about vasectomies. Representative Lisa Brown was silenced for using the following language: "I'm flattered you're all so concerned about my vagina. But no means no."
After being barred from speaking in the statehouse after their statements, these two women brilliantly decided to use political theater to make their point instead. In a very literal meeting of politics and theater, they joined others (including the play's author) in performing The Vagina Monologues on the steps of the statehouse this past Monday.
Best protest sign quoted at the rally: "Vagina. Can't say it? Don't legislate it."
Democrats used to be the champions of this sort of street/political theater. A few years back, the Tea Party got way out in front of any Democratic demonstrating. Occupy Wall Street helped turn things back around, but we have to say the Michigan statehouse-steps production of The Vagina Monologues really takes things to another level.
For staging this event with class and aplomb, both Lisa Brown and Barb Byrum are awarded a Most Impressive Democrat of the Week award. Well done, ladies!
While we're not exactly fans of Eric Holder here, we also realize when there is simply not enough information about the tug-of-war between Holder and congressional Republicans to start handing out MDDOTW awards.
We will say that the White House hasn't really done a great job of making their own case, and telling their own side of this story.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms has a long history of being accused of incompetence. It's certainly hard to see any sort of competence in the Fast and Furious program.
But the golden rule of political scandals is: "It's not the crime, it's the coverup." Republicans are mightily trying to prove some sort of coverup in this case, which they certainly escalated this week (and will escalate even further next week). The White House seems to be making the "it's all a political witch-hunt in an election year" argument, but so far this hasn't been noticeably effective. So while we do feel a blanket sense of disappointment in the White House's inability to effectively defend itself, we simply don't see that it has so far risen to the point where MDDOTW awards are appropriate. The jury's still out on this one, folks.
Instead, we're going to award the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week to Michele Leonhart, the chief administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency, for her extremely disappointing testimony before Congress this week. Pressed on the issue of the harmfulness of marijuana and medical marijuana by Democratic Representatives Jared Polis and Steve Cohen, Leonhart stumbled through her answers attempting to defend what are, basically, indefensible policies.
For this performance, Michele Leonhart is our MDDOTW award winner. Now, to be fair, drug policy is set from the very top -- it wasn't Leonhart's fault that she was forced to defend policies which make no sense. So we're going to provide contact information for the White House today, so you can send your thoughts to the folks who really do decide these things.
[Contact President Obama on the White House contact page, to let him know what you think of his drug policies and Michele Leonhart's testimony.]
Volume 215 (6/22/12)
This week, rather than breaking things down into seven (sound)bite-sized chunks, we're going to indulge in a favorite exercise here: attempting to write our own political ad.
Mitt Romney is, as usual, trying to have everything both ways on the immigration issue. He even gave a speech to a group of Latino leaders, and pretty much refused to say what he'd do on his first day as president, on Obama's new policy for the DREAM Act kids.
Now, hitting Romney for his rightward swing on immigration during the Republican primaries is lots of fun to do, and will indeed reap benefits among certain demographics, but there's a much more core issue here that needs exploiting: Romney's leadership failure.
While Marco Rubio sulks about Obama co-opting his policy idea, Mitt Romney doesn't really have the luxury to do so. Romney's actually been more accessible this week to the press than most weeks, so he was given the chance to respond to Obama's new policy on multiple occasions, and he has so far steadfastly refused to say a word about what he'd do should he be elected to Obama's job.
So separate the policy issue from the leadership question. Because attacking Romney on leadership will bear a lot more fruit than just attacking him on the policy alone (or lack thereof, to be precise). Because leadership is a quality that all voters consider when making up their minds -- not just one or two demographics.
Romney has played the weasel on any number of important policy questions. He is running, to be blunt, as a pig in a poke. Elect him, and soon secret plans to make everything better will sprout in the Oval Office -- you've got to just trust him on that, because he's not saying what any of these magic plans actually are.
It's time to attack the weaseling, instead of each individual policy. Because it is a theme that could run throughout the entire campaign, if the Obama folks are as smart as they're made out to be.
Here is my concept of an ad to start this barrage. Maybe it's not the best, but it certainly makes a point worth making, I think. If you've got your own ad ideas, let me know (as always) in the comments.
It's morning in America... and the phone's ringing, Mitt
[VIDEO: Background black-and-white image of telephone next to a bed. Pan in slowly on phone.]
Last election, a famous ad asked about a phone call at 3:00 A.M.
To be president, you sometimes have to act decisively, even in the middle of the night.
[VIDEO: Cut to footage of Obama at podium, from last Friday's announcement. Or, perhaps, image of Obama speaking in front of students from later in the week.]
President Barack Obama announced a new policy on immigration last week.
[VIDEO: Cut to still image of Romney, with his mouth firmly closed and a grim look on his face, perhaps from one of the debates.]
Mitt Romney has had a full week to respond.
He still hasn't.
[VIDEO: Superimpose a giant question mark over Romney's face.]
Mitt won't say what he'd do should he be elected president. Will he continue Obama's policy? Will he overturn it?
He won't say.
Either Mitt Romney can't make up his mind -- in a full week -- or he does know what he'd do, and he just refuses to tell the American public what that is. Neither choice inspires much confidence.
[VIDEO: Cut to headline images of phrases such as "Romney Promises To Veto DREAM Act" and "Romney: Self-Deportation The Answer." Then cut to video of Romney speaking this week to Latino leaders, and use Mitt's own quote.]
Romney has said before that he would veto the DREAM Act, and that his immigrant policy would be "self-deportation" -- but he won't say now what he'd do about Obama's new policy. Speaking to Latino leaders, Mitt said "when I make a promise to you, I'll keep it"... but then he refused to make any promises.
[VIDEO: Slow montage of President Obama with children, with soldiers, and with graduates.]
President Obama showed leadership. Mitt Romney can't decide whether to follow that leadership. Romney certainly isn't showing any leadership of his own, that's for sure. He's been running for president for five or six years, and he still can't figure out his own position on immigrant children. Or he's hiding it.
[VIDEO: Tight focus on oddly-drawn black-and-white image of Mitt Romney. Camera slowly pans back to show red edge, as image starts to dissolve and fade. By the last line, image is completely gone and camera has panned back to reveal the image was on an Etch A Sketch. Fade to black.]
How long are we supposed to wait, Mitt? How much time do you need to make a policy decision? Is this what Mitt Romney would be like as president, if the phone rang early some morning?
It's 3:00 A.M., Mitt -- do you know what your immigration policy is?
Because we don't.
["I'm a Super PAC with a bazillion dollars to spend, and I approved this ad."]
Since President Barack Obama announced a new policy to suspend deportations for some young illegal immigrants, his campaign has been touting that policy and putting down his Republican rival, Mitt Romney. Obama adviser David Plouffe answered a question on Fox News Sunday on June 17, 2012, about why Hispanics should vote for Obama. "So, this is someone who believed that we are a nation of laws, but also a nation of immigrants, and that people who want to staff our labs and start businesses and serve their country ought to be able ...>> More
Eighteen percent of Republicans, and 11 percent of Americans overall, think that President Barack Obama is a Muslim despite the fact that he is a Christian, according to a Gallup poll released Friday.
Thirty-four percent of those polled said Obama was a Christian or Protestant, 20 percent said Christian, 7 percent said Protestant, 4 percent said Baptist, 2 percent said the United Church of Christ and 1 percent said Methodist. Eight percent said he had no religion.
Forty-four percent could not answer what Obama's faith is.
Significantly more Democrats, 52 percent, said he was a Protestant or Christian, than independents or Republicans.
Obama has repeatedly identified himself as a Christian, recently in citing his support for same-sex marriage. He has http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/08/easter-2012-president-obama_n_1411099.html in Washington since he was elected president. He started worshipping at the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago while working as a community organizer when Jeremiah Wright was a pastor. He broke with Wright during the 2008 presidential campaign when videos of the pastor's incendiary sermons surfaced.
Far more Americans know presumptive GOP Mitt Romney's faith -- 57 percent said that he was a Mormon, while 33 percent didn't know, according to a Gallup poll released Thursday. However, 10 percent of Republicans, 18 percent of independents and 24 percent of Democrats said they wouldn't vote for a Mormon.
Handelsblatt Editor-in-Chief Gabor Steingart responds to President Obama's criticism of an Glenn Hubbard op-ed that appeared in the paper."Hello everybody. My name is Gabor Steingart, and I am the editor in chief of the Handelsblatt, Germany's leading business daily. During a news conference at the G-20 summit, the American president, Barack Obama, beat up one of our op-ed writers. Obama blasted Glenn Hubbard, a distinguished professor of Columbia Business School in New York, who also happens to be the chief economic adviser of Mitt Romney. 'Don't Follow the...
President Barack Obama asserted executive privilege for the first time Wednesday. He applied the presidential power to withhold documents a House committee is seeking in an investigation of a flawed gun-smuggling probe called Operation Fast and Furious.
Presidents have the right to invoke executive privilege to preserve the confidentiality of information and documents in the face of legislative inquiries. The White House says presidents have asserted that privilege 25 times since 1980.
Here's a look at how many times each president since Ronald Reagan has asserted executive privilege:
Mitt Romney was in Michigan this week trying to make it competitive in the presidential election. It's a steep climb for the native Michigander because President Barack Obama's auto bailout, which Romney opposed, has helped bring the state's unemployment rate down by 5.7 points since 2009.But Romney has a strong ally there: legislation being pushed this month by his fellow Republicans aimed at preventing the nonpartisan League of Women Voters from undertaking the voter-registration drives it has sponsored for nearly a century.
President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign released a new ad aimed at women on June 21, 2012. Here’s the narration: "The son of a single mom, proud father of two daughters, President Obama knows that women being paid 77 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men isn't just unfair, it hurts families. So the first law he signed was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to help ensure that women are paid the same as men for doing the exact same work. Because President Obama knows that fairness for women means a ...>> More
Because nothing says “I have nothing to hide” like an executive power grab to block investigators from looking at government documents:President Barack Obama has asserted executive privilege over documents sought by a House committee investigating the botched Fast and Furious gun-running sting, according to a letter to the panel Wednesday from Deputy Attorney Gen. James Cole.
After President Barack Obama unveiled a new immigration plan for young people who came to the U.S. illegally, it didn't take long for opponents to criticize the plan with a familiar word: amnesty. Sen. Jim DeMint, a Republican from South Carolina, responded with a press release that said Obama's action on undocumented youth "is amnesty." That was echoed by other Republicans such as U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, who said "President Obama's decision to grant amnesty to potentially millions of illegal immigrants is a breach of faith with the American people." ...>> More
Meghan McCain spoke out on the debate over the use of the word "vagina" in the Michigan House, telling MSNBC's Ed Schultz that the Republican response to the word shows that "we're regressing as a culture."
"I'm a proud pro-life woman," McCain said during on an appearance on MSNBC's "The Ed Show" on Tuesday. "But when you hear that the word 'vagina' isn't allowed to be said by a congresswoman while debating women's reproductive rights, you can't help but thinking we're regressing as a culture when it comes to women's issues."
The controversy began last week, when Michigan state Rep. Lisa Brown (D) was barred from speaking in the state House after Republicans disagreed with her saying the word "vagina" during a debate over major abortion legislation.
“I’m flattered that you’re all so concerned about my vagina,” Brown said during the debate. “But no means no.”
McCain said that while she is pro-life, she disagrees with "humiliating" procedures that Republicans in other states have proposed, such as Virginia's maligned transvaginal ultrasound proposal.
"There's a difference between humiliating a woman and belittling her -- I dont believe there's any woman out there that's pro-abortion," McCain said. "It's an incredibly personal and complicated decision for any woman."
McCain, whose father Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) lost his 2008 presidential bid to Barack Obama, stressed that Mitt Romney should steer clear of abortion and similar issues on the campaign trail.
"As long as Mitt Romney keeps concentrating on the economy, he doesn't need to talk about anything else," she said. "At the end of the day, that's the only thing Americans are going to be concentrating on."
As GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney visited Michigan on Tuesday, his host, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, walked a delicate line, trying to take credit for the state's improved unemployment rate over the past several years while blaming President Barack Obama for preventing the state from doing better.
GOP governors in swing states elsewhere have face the same problem when Romney comes knocking. For Snyder, however, the situation was doubly tricky, as both he and Obama backed the automakers' bailout. Romney's position, while not always clear, was less supportive.
Snyder's solution: "Our comeback is being slowed down by the mess in Washington,” he said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The state GOP has taken the same tack. Party spokesman Matt Frendewey told HuffPost that "no matter how well we're starting to do, no matter the momentum we have under Governor Snyder, we're still tied into the national economy."
Exactly, economists told The Huffington Post. And that's why Snyder should not try to take too much credit for his state's unemployment rate. Governors and presidents "can have some impact," said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. "It's certainly exaggerated, and in general, it's certainly not going to be immediate."
Michigan's unemployment rate has fallen from 14.2 percent in August 2009 to 8.5 percent in May, close to the 8.2 percent national average. Snyder took office in the middle of that period, in January 2011.
Gary Burtless, an economist at the Brookings Institution, said that by the time Snyder started creating his state's policies, "the recovery was already underway." The state had already added 42,000 jobs, seasonally adjusted, from its low point in December 2009.
In a January press release issued months before the state's unemployment rate bounced in May, Snyder's office claimed the elimination of a state business tax and balancing the state budget -- initiatives that mirror Romney's proposals for the country -- laid "the foundation for economic success." Burtless has a simpler explanation: it was "the rescue of the auto industry that saved Michigan’s bacon."
"When it became clear the auto industry was not going to disappear -- a fact that was apparent well before Gov. Snyder took the oath of office -- I’m sure a number of non-manufacturing employers in Michigan saw better prospects for their businesses, and either stopped laying off workers or began to add to their payrolls," Burtless said in an email.
On that count, partisans of all stripes might be disappointed to learn who he partially credits for the bailout: Presidents Obama and George W. Bush, who backed the automakers' rescue.
Trendway noted that Obama may not get such a big boost out of portraying himself as the better friend to the automakers. A recent WILX/EPIC-MRA poll found that when asked to consider the automaker rescue, voters shifted only two points in their support for the president over Romney.
"That's sort of a huge disconnect between the bailout and people's choice for president," Trendway said.
The blame-shifting in swing states over jobs, when they're lost, mirrors to some extent the dispute between the Obama administration and the Romney camp over whether to count job losses in January 2009 -- when Bush was president for two-thirds of the month -- as Obama's fault.
Laura D’Andrea Tyson, former chair of the the President's Council of Economic Advisers under Bill Clinton, also stressed the lags involved in translating policy into jobs progress. One thing Michigan's governor shouldn't be crowing about, she said: his decision to cut state unemployment benefits, which took effect in January.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office found in November that those benefits are one of the best ways to quickly create jobs, because the jobless almost immediately spend the money they receive, Tyson said.
"What business people say at the national level -- they say repeatedly -- the main problem is demand," Tyson said. "The main problem is, 'I don't have enough customers.'"
Despite the governor's claims about Michigan's fiscal rectitude, "It's really hard to see how balancing the budget in the short term does anything to stimulate the economy," Tyson said. "The effect is indirect, through interest rates."