Steve Benen: Republican support in ‘jaw-dropping’ free fall
Professional pollsters for major news organizations are notoriously cautious people who avoid hyperbole. So when Democratic pollster Peter Hart and Republican Bill McInturff conducted the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll and described the results as “jaw-dropping,” it’s worth appreciating why.
Let’s put it this way: if this poll were a campfire story, it’d leave Republicans shaking uncontrollably in their sleeping bags. The GOP wasn’t in especially good shape before, but the shutdown crisis and the threats to crash the economy on purpose have been an unmitigated disaster for the party, causing the sort of collapse in public support pollsters simply don’t see very often.
What’s the good news for Republicans in the poll? There is no good news.
…. Skeptics warned from the start that it was a suicide mission for Republicans to shut down the federal government in a long-shot attempt to defund Obamacare. Now that such dire predictions have come to pass, the lawmakers who engineered the shutdown are getting the conflagration — and the martyrdom — they sought.
….. Cruz has seen his reputation take a 16-point negative turn in the national Gallup poll since June. Cruz’s partner in the rebellion, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, has seen a 20-point negative swing in his home state over the same time period.
…. Even the infamous Koch brothers, financiers of the tea party, are distancing themselves from the shutdown contretemps….
The Boston Globe recently reported that David Koch gave MIT $20 million for a child-care facility, because “I got a tear in my eye” hearing about researchers’ need for child care. Maybe the lachrymose Koch will weep for his country when he realizes the economic destruction caused by the groups he bankrolled.
As the Republican plan to deprive Americans of health care by holding the government’s operations hostage and threatening default has fallen apart in the face of withering public backlash and the strength of a president who has refused to pay ransom for Congress doing its job, some Republicans are still holding out hope that the same president who they hoped to destroy will bail them out from their own quagmire and save their face. Well, I wouldn’t hold my breath.
… In the mean time, Jay Carney has re-iterated that the president will not pay a ransom simply to reopen government and pay America’s bills.
What does all this mean? The best I can tell, the president is exactly in the same position he has always been in: Republicans need to end the shutdown, stop threatening default, and then the normal process of budget negotiations can resume. Once it does resume after the GOP ends the crisis they inflicted on America, the framework, as far as the president is concerned, needs to include both long term budget savings and increased taxes from those who can afford it.
ThinkProgress: Congressman: Workers Furloughed In Shutdown Should Not Get Backpay
While the House unanimously passed a bill last week to pay the 800,000 workers who have been deemed non-essential in the shutdown their lost wages once the government opens again, Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) thinks they shouldn’t get paid.
At a teletown hall on Thursday, a constituent called in to say, “The people that had to work should be paid. But the people that are home watching Netflix and whatever, I’m not sure that we should be sending them checks.”
UPI: US postal worker fired for throwing away Obamacare mail
The United States Postal Service has fired a Fresno, Calif., mailman who admitted he threw away letters about “Obamacare.”
Residents of a Central Fresno apartment complex took photos of a nearby dumpster filled with mail about “Obamacare.” Witnesses saw the postal carrier discarding the mail.
“He just kept glancing over his shoulder over and over again. It was like he knew what he was doing was wrong,” said witness Jerry Dills. “It was just amazing, I looked down in there and there was a bunch of people’s addresses and right away… I knew this was absolutely wrong.”
UPI: First lady Michelle Obama welcomes Pakistani teen shot by Taliban
Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan last year, was greeted at the White House Friday by first lady Michelle Obama.
“President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama today welcomed Malala Yousafzai to the Oval Office to thank her for her inspiring and passionate work on behalf of girls education in Pakistan,” the White House said in a statement. “The United States joins with the Pakistani people and so many around the world to celebrate Malala’s courage and her determination to promote the right of all girls to attend school and realize their dreams. As the first lady has said, ‘Investing in girls’ education is the very best thing we can do, not just for our daughters and granddaughters, but for their families, their communities, and their countries.'”
“Across the globe there are girls who will one day lead nations, if only we afford them the chance to choose their own destinies,” President Obama said in his proclamation to mark the International Day of the Girl. “And on every continent, there are girls who will go on to change the world in ways we can only imagine, if only we allow them the freedom to dream.”
Media Matters: Once Again, Sunday Morning Talk Shows Are White, Male, And Conservative
In the first nine months of 2013, white men dominated the guest lists on the broadcast network Sunday shows and CNN’s State of the Union. MSNBC was the only network achieving notable diversity in its guests, particularly on Melissa Harris-Perry’s show. Republicans and conservatives are hosted significantly more on the broadcast Sunday shows than Democrats and progressives.
President Obama greets the student finalists of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge as they enter the Oval Office, Oct. 12, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at an event celebrating the success of her Let’s Move! program and the new statistics showing a decline in obesity rates among young children
Left to right: U.S. track and field Olympic champion Allyson Felix, Washington D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson, First Lady Michelle Obama, North America Reebok President Uli Becker and former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal
President Obama and his daughter Malia follow First Lady Michelle Obama (and her mother Marian Robinson) from the Strathmore Music Center after attending a dance performance that featured their daughter Sasha, June 16
Charles Pierce: The next time I hear some lefty mooing about the president’s having let down the side on something or another, it better be about something of substance, like the Keystone XL pipeline, or I’m going to boot said lefty’s hindquarters in the general direction of the federal appeals court of the District Of Columbia, which today laid down the most singular piece of partisan hackery to come out of a court since Antonin Scalia picked the previous president.
…. This, children, is what you get when you operate politically under the theory that They’re All The Same. You get 20 or 30 years of primarily Republican judges acting primarily as Republicans, drawn from the legal chop-shops in the conservative movement bubble, and doing their partisan duty like performing seals.
David Sentelle would be the one in the center ring with the ball on his nose …. This is a guy who thinks the NLRB itself is constitutionally illegitimate….
…. Three decades of this, and what you get are decisions like the one that was handed down today. Tell me again how it never mattered.
(No, this isn’t VC …. at least, I don’t think it is)
I never thought I’d see the day when I’m forced to admit that some experiences defy words. I’ll try to share, though I make no promises I can convey my inner feelings.
On Sunday, at the ‘T’ meet-up I ‘won gold’! Two tickets to a section of the action for which you had to be ‘vetted’! Who would have thunk that *I* would look forward to being patted and ‘wanded’ and having my purse pawed through? :???:
But look forward I did. Can you imagine how it feels to get a surprise gift that puts you closer to SEEing President Obama and family, VP Joe and family, Nancy Smash et al, than you had ever dreamed of being? Of being in the midst of the action even though you hate crowds? My ‘win’ brought me the experience of having a dream I never dared dream in earnest, fulfilled! I was going to the Inauguration!
(Nancy spots an old friend in Georgetown)
I went out to supper with Theo and her mom at a posh restaurant (at least for me it was) in the heart of Georgetown after meeting with the ‘T’ crowd. As alluded to earlier, I saw Nancy Smash up-close and personal. Sadly, just like some of you, she didn’t recognize me. [It must have been the little bit of makeup I tried* to add to my features. (* = don’t ask).]
(DC, Inauguration morning)
Inauguration morning was fresh, cool, invigorating and pregnant with expectation and promise. I say fresh because the morning was ‘new’, the air sharp, and also because I left my hotel at 6:10am to meet my ‘guest’, Political Junkessa, who was going to be my partner to scout out the action. Not knowing my way around and knowing the subway stations would be busy, I arranged to meet PJ on the platform of a station common to both our routes, each of us coming to it from a different direction.
Yes, I arranged to meet someone in a subway system with which neither of us was greatly familiar, but what other option did I have? The station was a central change point but if we met on the lower level it should be simpler (so thought *I*), as the upper levels had several train lines to confuse us. I got there 15 minutes early – trains were running very fast with hardly any wait time in between – and realized the folly of my decision!
(No, VC and PJ aren’t actually in this pic, but it was the best I could find to illustrate the scene described)
Live streaming from DC has started at all three links
C-Span: Sights and Sounds on Inauguration Day (live now)
C-Span: Inaugural Activities on Capitol Hill (live now)
People gather on the mall in the early morning in front of the Washington Monument, January 21
President Obama views a portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama before a church service at Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Jill Biden speak to supporters and donors at an inaugural reception for the 57th Presidential Inauguration at The National Building Museum in Washington, Sunday, Jan. 20
President Obama greets volunteers at Burrville Elementary School in Washington, D.C., Jan. 19 (Photo by Pete Souza)