Workers listen as Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign stop at Gregory Industries in Canton, Ohio, March 5
Latino Fox News (!!!): …. Latino voters favor President Barack Obama by six-to-one over any of the Republican presidential hopefuls, showed a Fox News Latino poll released Monday.
…… 73% of Latino voters approved of Obama’s performance in office, with over half those questioned looking favorably upon his handling of the healthcare debate and the economy, at 66% and 58% respectively.
…. the poll shows Mitt Romney with 35% of Latino voter support, to Ron Paul’s 13%, Newt Gingrich’s 12%, and fRick Santorum’s 9%.
….. In head-to-head match-ups none of the GOP candidates would garner more than 14% of the Latino vote come November…
“This is what we’re seeing across the country,” said Gabriela Domenzain, Obama campaign spokesperson. “The more Latinos learn about the candidates, the more they reject them.”
TPM: On a day when the number of companies fleeing from Rush Limbaugh has snowballed, the conservative talk radio personality’s program is being immediately discontinued by a Hawaii-based station. Chris Leonard, the President and General Manager of New West Broadcasting, announced today that Limbaugh’s program will no longer be broadcast on KPUA AM 670 in Hilo, HI.
Energy.gov: Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced that four new corporate partners – Best Buy, Johnson Controls, Pacific Gas and Electric, and Veolia – are joining the Energy Department’s National Clean Fleets Partnership, a broad public-private partnership that assists the nation’s largest fleet operators in reducing the amount of gasoline and diesel they use nationwide. The new partners announced today join with 14 other major national companies in committing to improve the fuel economy of the commercial fleets, integrate alternative technology vehicles like natural gas trucks and electric vehicles into their fleets, and reduce their overall fuel use. Collectively, the National Clean Fleets Partners operate more than a million commercial vehicles nationwide, accounting for more than 12 percent of all commercial vehicles on American roads.
The Hill: President Obama’s health law has eliminated lifetime coverage limits for 105 million Americans, the administration says in a new report released Monday.
The state-by-state report is part of the White House’s push to highlight popular provisions of the law ahead of its second anniversary later this month. Public opinion about the law remains split, but the administration hopes that its strategy will turn voters against Republicans’ plans to scrap the whole thing.
…. According to the report, 59 percent of workers covered by their employers and 89 percent of people with individual market plans had lifetime limits on their coverage in 2009. That translates to 70 million people in large employer plans, 25 million people in small employer plans and 10 million people with individually purchased health insurance.
CNN: Republican party leaders may be surprised by the results of a new poll of institutional investors: A majority of them want Washington to fix the deficit the Obama way, with both spending cuts and tax hikes.
“They tend to be as a population more fiscally conservative than the general public, but they’re not as fiscally conservative as the most conservative elements of the Republican party,” said Brent McGoldrick, who coordinated the poll. “You see the pragmatism of investors coming through here.”
In fact, on this issue at least, the 56% who favor a mixed approach are largely aligned with President Obama.
Steve Benen: A few months ago, Mitt Romney sat down with Fox News’ Bret Baier, who asked the former governor about his support for a health care mandate. Romney, visibly agitated, repeatedly denied ever advocating a national mandate policy.
When Baier reminded Romney, “Governor you did say on camera and other places that, at times, you thought it would be a model for the nation,” the Republican presidential hopeful got even angrier, snapping back, “You’re wrong, Bret.”
From White House press secretary Jay Carney: “In May, the United States looks forward to hosting the G-8 and NATO Summits. To facilitate a free-flowing discussion with our close G-8 partners, the President is inviting his fellow G-8 leaders to Camp David on May 18-19 for the G-8 Summit, which will address a broad range of economic, political and security issues.”
“The President will then welcome NATO allies and partners to his hometown of Chicago for the NATO Summit on May 20-21, which will be the premier opportunity this year for the President to continue his efforts to strengthen NATO in order to ensure that the Atlantic Alliance remains the most successful alliance in history, while charting the way forward in Afghanistan.”
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will host the 2012 International Women of Courage Awards Ceremony with special guest First Lady Michelle Obama on Thursday, March 8. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer and other U.S. and foreign dignitaries will also participate. Special guests this year include Ms. Leymah Gbowee and Ms. Tawakkol Karman, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates. The event will be held at approximately 11:00 a.m. in the Dean Acheson Auditorium of the U.S. Department of State.
Greg Sargent: If there are reasons for President Obama to be optimistic about his reelection chances, one of them has to be this: The two key dynamics driving our politics right now are both playing in his favor. First, economic optimism continues to rise. Second, the GOP primary seems to have left likely nominee Mitt Romney with historically low standing.
The new NBC/WSJ poll finds that Obama has hit the 50 percent approval mark – his highest since Bin Laden’s death. That’s apparently driven by these findings about the economy:
Forty percent believe the economy will improve during the next year, a three-point increase from January. And looking back at the economic recession, 57 percent say that the worst is behind us, while 36 percent say the worst is still to come.
MSNBC: Just hours after President Obama described to a group of pro-Israel activists the steps he has taken and will take to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, Mitt Romney made a dire prediction about the consequences for that effort if the president is reelected.
“If Barack Obama gets re-elected, Iran will have a nuclear weapon and the world will change if that’s the case,” Romney (said) in response to a question from an eleven year-old boy…..
Steven Pearlstein (Washington Post): In case you haven’t noticed, the economy is actually getting better. Noticeably better.
…. On Wall Street, the Dow is at its highest point in nearly four years and Nasdaq at its highest point in a decade, reflecting both record profits and renewed investor confidence. Federal and state tax revenues are beginning to come in better than projected and households are continuing to whittle down their debt, with a savings rate of 4.5 percent. There are even enough green shoots in the housing market to suggest that residential construction might contribute to GDP growth this year rather than subtract from it. Revisions of government data are now reliably up rather than down.
And yet, there are those on the Republican right and the Democratic left who have so much invested in a bad economy that they are reluctant to acknowledge any of this good news.
Steve Benen: Last summer, with gas prices rising, several leading Republicans came up with a curious accusation: President Obama was causing pain at the pump deliberately, as part of some undefined environmental agenda. This odd line was pushed by Haley Barbour and the Koch brothers, among others.
…. I wonder if Republicans seriously expect anyone to believe their rhetoric on this. The argument Americans are supposed to believe is that President Obama, in an election year, not only has the power to manipulate gas prices at will, but is trying to raise them – on purpose – to the dismay of consumers.
The follow-up question is rather straightforward: why on earth would Obama want to do that? It doesn’t even take much in the way of critical thinking skills to know the answer: he wouldn’t.
ABC: The federal judge who presided over Chrysler’s bankruptcy told ABC News in an exclusive interview that the ailing company could not have survived without taxpayer money.
“The record before the Court was clear that there were no other sources of lending,” said Arthur J. Gonzalez, who served as chief judge of the U.S. bankruptcy court for the Southern District of New York … “One thing is clear, without government support in one fashion or another, there were no sources of funding.”
….the new Chrysler is accelerating on the road to recovery, earning $225 million in its most profitable quarter since emerging from bankruptcy.….
And what about that taxpayer money? The company has paid back all but $1.3 billion of the $12.5 billion that Uncle Sam loaned it under Presidents Bush and Obama.
Jerusalem Post: President Shimon Peres on Monday praised US President Barack Obama’s speech to the AIPAC annual policy conference, saying he had offered the maximum support for Israel that an American president could possibly offer.
Peres told Army Radio that Obama made clear that the “security of Israel is a national American interest.” He added that it would be preposterous to expect Obama to give a timetable for possible military action against Iran.
“I don’t expect someone to say when they will do this, and when they will do that, not us or them. It’s not done,” Peres stated. “He didn’t talk about dates, but he spoke about actions,” the president added.
…. The president also expressed satisfaction with Obama’s assertion that diplomacy as a means to solve the Iranian nuclear threat had not been exhausted.
Charles Pierce: ….. Rush Limbaugh unloads his weepy pilonoidal cyst of an intellect in this fashion on your daughter. Then, as his advertisers run screaming into the night … he finally issues a statement wherein he, essentially, apologizes for:
….. Using the word “slut,” rather than, one supposes, “trollop,” “slattern,” or “lady of the town.” …. For failing clearly to explain his deeply serious political philosophy regarding what is proper to discuss before Congress in these “very serious political times.”….
Does any of that remotely constitute an “apology” to you for what he said about your daughter? Does any of that make you more likely to trust in the good faith of anything this Viagra-sponging pillhead says in the foreseeable future? Does any of that make you less likely to kind of wish, at least in your heart of hearts, that you could perform orthopedic surgery on this guy with a Louisville Slugger?
RCP: You need not look further than this critical swing state to see just how badly Mitt Romney’s vaunted campaign organization lags behind President Obama’s.
Obama for America already has more than a dozen staffers in the Buckeye State, working seven days a week. There are nine offices scattered throughout Ohio where volunteers gather every day to contact voters — and Election Day is still eight months away. And what should send a chill down Romney’s spine is that the same thing is happening in every swing state.
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden talk following a meeting in the Oval Office, March 2 (Pete Souza)
A gazillion thank yous to HZ for her wonderful comment (turned-in-to-a-post today at Tien Le’s excellent suggestion) – it was a joyful, constructive, positive breath of fresh air in the middle of all today’s madness. You’re a gem, HZ.
Robert Shrum: After Mini-Mitt’s diminutive three-point Michigan “triumph,” which was a little like a Roman general being hailed for a near defeat, how important is Ohio? To put it in Santorian terms, it could be apocalypse two; once more, as in Michigan, Mitt will have to avert the sun darkening and the sky falling on his presidential campaign.
President Barack Obama is introduced by Sec. of Interior Ken Salazar before delivering remarks at a conservation event at the U.S. Dept. of Interior in Washington, March, 2
President Barack Obama walks across the South Lawn upon his return to the White House after visiting wounded service members at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland
Mitt Romney holds up a baby from the audience at a campaign rally at Cleveland State University, March 2
Rick Santorum speaks during a campaign stop at Chillicothe High School on March 2, 2012 in Chillicothe, Ohio
First Lady Michelle Obama embraces members of the Johnson C. Smith ladies’ basketball team during a “Let’s Move!” physical fitness promotion between games at the CIAA basketball tournament in Charlotte, N.C.
TOD is up and running on YouTube again after today’s little, eh, setback. Just click the YouTube logo third from the top in the right sidebar and it’ll take you to the channel. I’ll add more of the old videos over the next few days. Hey, this YouTube channel might disappear too …. if it does, well, we’ll just start up another one😉
“He encouraged me and supported me and thanked me for speaking out about the concerns of American women. What was really personal for me was that he said to tell my parents that they should be proud and that meant a lot because Rush Limbaugh questioned whether or not my family would be proud of me.”
James Fallows (The Atlantic): … but then he gets a chance to sing at the White House tonight, doing Sweet Home Chicago with Mick Jagger and also B.B. King?? Jeesh, talk about being the most powerful man in the world.
…. The guy does have a charm that is hard to imagine the Santorums or Romneys ever matching …. for extra enjoyment check out the shots of White House chief of staff Jacob Lew bopping in the background. A real hep cat, for sure!
AP: A surging Rick Santorum is running even with Mitt Romney atop the Republican presidential field, but neither candidate is faring well against President Barack Obama eight months before Americans vote, a new survey shows.
Obama tops 50 percent support when matched against each of the four GOP candidates and holds a significant lead over each of them, according to the Associated Press-GfK poll….
….. Obama holds an 8-point lead over Romney, 9 points over Santorum and 10 points over Gingrich or Paul…. Notably, the survey showed the president dominating among independents, a group central to Obama’s 2008 victory, whose support for him had faltered in recent months. According to the poll, 6 in 10 independents would choose Obama over any of the Republicans.
Marquette: President Barack Obama leads each of his Republican rivals in Wisconsin, according to the new Marquette Law School Poll. Obama leads former Senator Rick Santorum 51 percent to 40 percent and leads former governor Mitt Romney by 53 percent to 38 percent. In January, Obama’s lead over Romney was 48 percent to 40 percent. The president holds a 52 percent to 36 percent lead over Rep. Ron Paul and a 56 percent to 33 percent margin over former Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Charles Pierce: It should be A Very Special Episode, this Wednesday night’s season finale of the 1,329,465,771.5 Republican debates. They should invite the whole cast back, all the people who left the show for their own spinoffs, the way they brought Rhoda and Phyllis back when Mary Richards got fired at WJM. Look, here’s Herman Cain, and there’s Michele Bachmann, and there’s Rick Perry, stumbling and falling into the potato salad. And there’s the formerly invisible Jon Huntsman. Who knew he was so tall?
Steve Benen: Last week, the House Oversight Committee, led by Chairman Darrell Issa, held a one-sided hearing on contraception access, featuring an opening panel of five conservative men – and no one else. Democrats on the committee had invited a witness, Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, but Issa refused to allow her to participate.
House Dems aren’t taking “no” for an answer …. Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday that a Democratic panel will meet this week to hear testimony from just one witness: Sandra Fluke….
…. There was, however, an unexpected twist yesterday afternoon … the Republican-controlled Committee on House Administration has refused to allow the hearing to be televised ….. what is it, exactly, about Fluke’s perspective that has Republicans so concerned? The law student wants to share the story of a classmate who lost an ovary due to an ailment that could have been treated with birth control.