Posts Tagged ‘elections

08
Jul
14

The President’s Day

@dougmillsnyt: President Obama meets with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in the Oval Office

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Yahoo: NATO Chief Warns Afghanistan Must Sign Security Pact By Early September

NATO’s chief warned Tuesday that, despite a disputed election, Afghanistan must sign a security pact on a post-combat international training mission by September, or there will be “severe” problems for the Western alliance. Anders Fogh Rasmussen said after meeting President Barack Obama that allegations of poll fraud were a “grave concern”

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@dougmillsnyt: [President] Obama steps off Marine One and boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base for a trip to Denver, Colorado

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President Obama steps from Air Force One upon his arrival in Denver with Rep. Ed Perlmutter

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President Obama greets people at Wazee Supper Club in Denver, July 8

02
Jun
14

Elections Matter

Obama Wins

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Washington Post: Obama Judges Tip Appeals Court To Democrats

When President Bush II left the White House in 2009, the 13 U.S. courts of appeal were firmly under Republican appointees’ control. Ten appeals courts had majority GOP judges, two were evenly split and only one had a majority of Democrats. President Obama’s 49 appeals court appointees have dramatically altered the landscape. As of the Senate’s recess on May 23, nine of those courts had majority Democratic appointees and four had Republican majorities.

(There are 10 vacancies in the circuit courts. One Obama nominee is awaiting a Senate vote and three nominees pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee.) The change, much feared by Republicans, is not necessarily shocking. But the transformation, in just 5 1/2 years, said University of Pittsburgh law professor Arthur D. Hellman, an authority on the federal circuit courts, marks ”a huge shift in a very short period of time.” And it means that Democratic appointed judges “have the ability to control every important case if they wish to” in those nine circuits, he said.

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Timothy B. Lee: Obama Has Secured Democratic Majorities On Most Federal Appeals Courts

A president’s Supreme Court nominees get a lot of attention, but presidents shape less visible parts of the judiciary too. Barack Obama is no exception. The Washington Post has a chart showing how the president has changed the composition of the nation’s appeals courts over the last five and a half years: Now, it’s important to say that courts are not supposed to be partisan institutions.

Still, Democratic judicial nominees tend to be more liberal than Republican nominees. And so the growing number of Democrat-appointed judges in our appeals courts will push American jurisprudence to the left on a wide range of issues. And because Obama’s nominees will stay on the bench long after Obama leaves office, these nominations will be one of his most durable legacies.

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Change Is

15
Jan
14

How to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory

Will Rogers’ old aphorism—”I belong to no organized political party; I’m a Democrat”—was, at one point, an endearing shorthand for the messiness of Democratic politics. Now, however, it may threaten Democratic chances to gain back the House and hold the Senate this year.

A few examples:

* Today President Obama travels to North Carolina for an event. Democratic senator Kay Hagan is staying in Washington, DC, for the Senate session. Now, while commendable, it is rather interesting that she couldn’t spend a couple of hours welcoming the leader of her party to her state as she gears up for a tough election battle. One has to wonder if she’s putting distance between herself and the President.

* Gov. Brian Schweitzer, putative 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, was asked in an interview to name one positive thing accomplished by Pres. Obama. After much reflection he came up with this:

“My mother, God rest her soul, told me ‘Brian, if you can’t think of something nice to say about something change the subject,’” he said.

But he couldn’t help himself, slamming Obama’s record on civil liberties (the NSA revelations were “un-effing-believable”), his competency (“They just haven’t been very good at running things”), and above all, Obamacare (“It will collapse on its own weight”).

This is the man touted as one of the 2016 frontrunners: someone who wants to expurgate Obama’s two terms as President from the collective memory.

Continue reading ‘How to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory’

07
Nov
13

Throwback Thursday

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07
Nov
13

Rise and Shine

President Obama hugs his campaign manager Jim Messina during an unannounced stop at campaign headquarters in Chicago, Nov. 7 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today (All Times Eastern):

12:30: Jay Carney briefs the press

6:0: President Obama hosts screening of ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’

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Mayor Julián Castro: Let’s Stop Denying Texans Health Insurance Because Of Politics

Usually, we do things bigger in Texas. But right now, when it comes to covering the uninsured, some of our neighboring states are trying to beat us to the draw. In Arkansas, for example, they¹ve cut the total number of uninsured in the state by nearly 14 percent in just over a month.

There’s one big reason for that. Under the Affordable Care Act, states can choose whether or not to expand Medicaid to cover more of its citizens, and Arkansas chose “yes.”  If we made that same choice in Texas, it would cover more than one million of our citizens, and save our taxpayers $1.7 billion over the next decade in unpaid hospital bills.

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USA Today: Reversing CNN’s Fortunes Proves A Daunting Task

With its heavy emphasis last week on the woes of the new national health insurance exchange website’s rollout, the cable news network registered its lowest weekday primetime ratings in over a year. For the week of Oct. 28 to Nov. 1, the Time Warner-owned network averaged 385,000 viewers – lowest since Aug. 2012 – and 95,000 coveted adults between the ages of 25 and 54.

CNN’s ratings numbers have always popped with national breaking news. But the story about an insurance website – however comprehensive in coverage – likely wasn’t the kind that drives viewers to interrupt their day’s routines to tune in, says Andrew Tyndall, a longtime TV news monitor and publisher of industry newsletter Tyndall Report.

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Think Progress: Texans Sharply Disagree With Rick Perry On Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion

While Perry hasn’t exactly been shy about his opposition to that ACA provision, his constituents have a markedly different view, according to a new poll by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune.

In addition to wide-ranging support for various ACA components such as insurance subsidies for low-income Americans and tax credits to businesses for providing health coverage, the poll finds that two-thirds of Texans support Medicaid expansion. Over 35 percent of the respondents even said that they “strongly support” the policy

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Washington Post: Debt Collectors Face New Rules Under Proposal From Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The government is preparing restrictions on debt collectors, a loosely regulated industry under increasing scrutiny over complaints of abusive tactics. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is slated to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking to modernize the legal framework governing debt collection.

The government watchdog is seeking public and business comment before formally proposing the rules, which are expected to be finalized by next year. The bureau is asking Americans whether creditors and collection agencies are providing accurate information about their outstanding debts. It also wants to know whether people are receiving threatening calls at all hours of the night or being dragged into court for money they do not owe.

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Jamelle Bouie: How High Black Turnout Gave Terry McAuliffe His Win In Virginia

One of the big questions of the next few years of politics is whether Democrats can replicate the “Obama model” of minority turnout without the presence of Obama on the ballot. If the Virginia gubernatorial election was a test case, then the early answer is a clear “yes.” Cuccinelli maintained the GOP’s traditional advantage with white and married women, winning the former by sixteen point spread of 54 percent to 38 percent, and the latter by a solid margin of 51 percent to 42 percent.

Where the change from 2009 was most significant was among black voters. Then, African Americans were 16 percent were of the electorate, a significant drop from the 2008 election. This year, blacks were 20 percent of all voters, which means their turnout was exactly where it was in 2012.

Put another way, for the second year in a row, African Americans turned out at a rate above their percentage of the population, and supported the Democrat by a 9-to–1 margin. This is huge. For McAuliffe, what it meant is that—for almost every black voter who went to the polls—he could count on a vote, giving him crucial support in a tight race. To wit, more than 37 percent of his vote total came from African Americans.

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Sy Mukherjee: No, Obamacare Won’t Cause Millions Of Workers To Lose Their Employer Sponsored Health Plans

Forbes contributor and former Mitt Romney health care adviser Avik Roy wrote a piece claiming that the Obama administration knew “93 million Americans will be unable to keep their health plans” under Obamacare and that many of them would actually be workers with employer-sponsored coverage.

Under the “grandfather clause,” a plan issued before the ACA was signed in 2010 could remain in place as long as employers or insurance companies didn’t drastically change its terms in a way that would harm the policy holder, like increasing out-of-pocket costs or dropping benefits. However, if a plan did change, it would lose its “grandfather status.” Then, any new plan issued in its place would be subject to Obamacare’s various requirements.

“So it isn’t like all of a sudden people are going to wake up and find out I don’t have my employer coverage anymore,” said Jost. “It’s just there are going to be some minor changes in those plans that benefit enrollees, and that many employers probably already covered anyway.” These small changes might include things like covering workers’ dependent children, or adding preventative care services, according to Jost.

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Sure, Bloomberg. Stop and Frisk has nothing to do with racial discrimination

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Yahoo: Starbucks Wants To Recruit 10,000 Vets, Spouses To Its Ranks

Starbucks Corp is looking for thousands of good men – and women. The world’s biggest coffee chain said on Wednesday it would commit to hiring at least 10,000 veterans and spouses of active military in five years.

It also said five new and existing U.S. Starbucks cafes on or near military bases will share a portion of each sale with non-profit organizations that help veterans re-enter the workforce.

Many U.S. companies have committed to hiring thousands of military veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Seattle-based Starbucks said it will have specialized recruiters to match the unique skills of veterans and their spouses with company jobs.

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Alec MacGillis: The Pundits Are Wrong. The Virginia Election Was A Big Win For Obamacare

Last night, the prospects for Robin L. and the estimated 400,000 Virginians who would be eligible under a Medicaid expansion brightened considerably. The gubernatorial election was won by Terry McAuliffe. So, the election was a clear win for Obamacare, right? Nope, say the pundits.

I’m not sure when I last saw such a stark example of election spin and punditry floating away from the substantive reality of governing and its impact on actual people. There is no mention in these accounts of the greatly enhanced prospects for the Medicaid expansion in Virginia as a result of McAuliffe’s win. No, it’s all about the exit polls and what it might mean for Obama and the Democrats.

All we know right now is that after a very rough patch for the law, the guy who ran strongly in support of it beat a guy who was strongly opposed to it, in the most purple state in the country. And as a result, hundreds of thousands of working poor may get health insurance coverage. How removed from the reality of these people’s lives does one have to be to chalk up such a result as a loss for Obamacare?

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BBC: US Economy Sees Growth Pick Up

The US economy grew at an annualised pace of 2.8% in the third quarter of the year, latest figures have shown. The growth rate was faster than expected, and was an improvement on the 2.5% pace seen in the previous quarter. Growth was lifted by rising exports, businesses restocking shelves and a pick-up in home construction.

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Keith Boykin: Despite What Conservatives Try To Argue, Black People Do Vote For White Candidates

Although no Democrat has run New York City since Dinkins, New Yorkers on Tuesday chose a progressive white Democrat, Bill de Blasio, who was swept into office with enormous Black support, an accomplished African-American wife and a highly publicized interracial family, all of which served as a rebuke to the racial polarization of the Rudy Giuliani regime and the racist stop-and-frisk policies of the Michael Bloomberg era.

On the same day de Blasio was elected, voters also chose Letitia James to succeed him as the city’s public advocate, making her the first Black woman in New York history to hold citywide office. The real story was about the influence of Black women, who voted 91 percent for McAuliffe while only 38 percent of white women did so, according to a New York Times exit poll.

That’s a lesson Democrats should remember as they suit up for 2014 and 2016. Democrats win when they attract a wide and diverse group of voters, just as President Obama did.

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A Year Ago Today:

See more of the international front pages here

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President Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Sasha and Malia walk from Marine One to board Air Force One at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Nov. 7, 2012, in Chicago, the day after the presidential election.

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On This Day:

President Obama hugs House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the Cannon House Office Building at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Nov. 7, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

Nov. 7, 2010: “In India, the President was finally persuaded to join the First Lady on the dance floor at Holy Name High School in Mumbai.” (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet young dancers at a Diwali candle lighting and performance at Holy Name High School in Mumbai, India, Nov. 7, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama greets students following a town hall meeting at St. Xavier College in Mumbai, India, Nov. 7, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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