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  • Nov 10, 2014 12:10 PM
    Last: 6yr
    In 2012 America reelected President Obama, Harry Reid and a Democratic controlled Senate, and cast 1.5 million more votes for Democrats than Republicans in House races. Two years later it's as if those elections never happened as Republicans just completely ignored them, and continued their same obstruction tactics, effectively thumbing their noses at the American people in spite of their votes to the contrary. Now these same Republicans actually have the temerity to demand that Obama and the Democrats bow to the results of last Tuesday's election that witnessed only 36.6% of the vote cast mainly in red states, as if they somehow inherited a mandate.

    Aides to Sen. Mitch McConnell are frustrated because President Obama has made it known that he is not going to back down and give the Republican controlled Congress what they want.

    Politico reported, “McConnell’s aides are frustrated at the lack of movement they see from Obama after the election-night wipeout. They say he’s still stuck in the same battle lines with the GOP that make deals on tax reform and infrastructure less likely. White House officials say the president will keep making the same case he’s already made for his tax reform and infrastructure ideas, and believe Republicans will eventually have to give ground on a minimum wage hike now that voters in four states approved increases Tuesday.”

    Republicans seem shocked that Obama hasn’t bowed to their ability to win elections in mostly red states where he isn’t popular. Remember, all of those promises that Republicans made on the campaign trail? Give us the Senate, and we’ll repeal Obamacare. Not so much. What about all of those bills that Speaker of the House John Boehner claims will now be signed into law under Obama? Forget it. All of those pipe dreams that Republicans sold voters about a Republican congress breaking the gridlock? They were a fantasy.

    President Obama has no reason to move. He has been saying the same thing for nearly seven years now. Obama has been urging Republicans to meet him in the middle. Instead of compromising, congressional Republicans keep asking aloud why Obama won’t give them what they want.

    The odds are that the new Republican Senate majority is not going to accomplish much. What is most likely to happen is that Republicans will try to pass bills that Democrats can’t support. Republicans don’t have sixty votes in the Senate, so they won’t be able to do much.

    The only difference is that Mitch McConnell won’t be able to blame Harry Reid. He is going to have to own his failure.

    Obama isn’t going to cave. The president is willing to work with Republicans, but nothing in this world is free. The so-called party of personal responsibility is looking to get something for nothing. That’s not going to happen while Barack Obama is occupying the White House.
  • Nov 03, 2014 06:19 PM
    Last: 7yr
    Ahead of the elections on Tuesday, we seem to be hearing nothing but how the Presidents policies are on the ballot. If people are actually looking at the policies, that should be a net positive for Democrats who have stood with the President.

    Nov. 3 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Treasury Department said its borrowing from October through December will be the lowest for the period in seven years as the economy gains momentum, boosting tax receipts.

    The Treasury plans to issue $232 billion in net marketable debt in the final three months of this year, about $45 billion more than projected three months ago and the lowest since 2007, it said today in Washington. Next quarter, the Treasury plans to borrow $209 billion, the department said.

    U.S. budget deficits have been falling since 2009, and the 2014 deficit was 2.8 percent of gross domestic product, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That is down from 9.8 percent of GDP in 2009, when President Barack Obama took office.

    “The strengthening of economic conditions in recent years has occurred alongside a faster-than-expected reduction in the federal government budget deficit,” Karen Dynan, the Treasury’s chief economist, said in a statement. “The U.S. economic recovery continues to move solidly forward.”

    Borrowing projections for the October-to-December period were revised up as the Treasury aimed to have more cash on hand at the end of the quarter, increasing its cash-balance estimate to $200 billion from $140 billion in August. The Treasury projects it will have $100 billion in cash on March 31.

    The Treasury said it borrowed $205 billion in marketable debt in the three months ended in September, more than an August projection of $192 billion. The cash balance was $158 billion at the end of September, more than the previous estimate of $150 billion.

    Smaller Deficits

    Shrinking budget gaps have come as the economy has gained momentum. U.S. gross domestic product grew at a 3.5 percent annualized rate from July through September, the Commerce Department said Oct. 30, exceeding the median 3 percent forecast by economists in a Bloomberg survey.

    The economy has gained an average of 227,000 jobs per month this year, up from a 194,000 average last, showing progress toward sustaining faster growth. Unemployment fell to 5.9 percent at the end of September from 7.2 percent a year earlier.

    The better pace of hiring could trigger a self-reinforcing cycle of stronger spending that boosts business confidence and creates more jobs, adding fuel to the expansion.

    Today’s Treasury borrowing estimates precede the department’s quarterly refunding announcement on Nov. 5, when the sizes of monthly note and bond sales are released. At the past refunding, the Treasury maintained the size of its two-year and three-year note auctions. The department also kept the amount of longer-term bond issuance unchanged from the previous quarter.
  • Oct 21, 2014 11:00 AM
    Last: 7yr
  • Oct 21, 2014 11:00 AM
    Last: 7yr
    I was chatting with a conservative friend of mine ( yes I have conservative friends ) online recently, when the discussion turned to both of us poking about how the other only used partisan sites as our source of what we posted online. I found this article today which seems to have validated both of our claims.

    WASHINGTON – Die-hard liberals and down-the-line conservatives have segregated themselves into strikingly different news universes, relying on sources of information that often reinforce their views and discussing politics mostly with others of like minds, according to an in-depth new study.

    Although few people manage to live in a complete ideological bubble, the most politically active and aware Americans — the ones who dominate election contests, particularly primaries, and drive discussions of political issues — have gone far in that direction, according to the data from a Pew Research Center project on political polarization and the media.

    The roughly 1 in 5 Americans with consistently liberal or conservative views, based on a 10-question scale of political opinions, rely on very different sources of news and information, and nearly all the sources trusted by one side are heavily distrusted by the other.

    And on both sides, half or more of ideologically consistent Americans say most of their friends share their views.

    What's trusted and what's not

    Nearly half of consistent conservatives (47%) named Fox News as their main source of information about government and politics, and 84% said they got news from the cable channel in the week they were surveyed.

    No single source dominates the audience on the left the way Fox dominates the right. CNN, MSNBC, NPR and the New York Times each were cited by 10% or more of consistent liberals as their chief sources of political and government news. Just over half of consistent liberals said they had gotten news from NPR or CNN in the week of the survey. Almost no consistent liberals cited Fox as their main source of news.

    Consistent liberals overwhelmingly said they distrust Fox, and only 3% of consistent conservatives said they trusted the New York Times or NPR.

    The survey's finding about Fox's overwhelming reach among conservatives dovetails with a 2012 USC Annenberg/Los Angeles Times poll, which found that nearly half of Republicans turned to Fox at least daily. Because of its ubiquity among conservatives, getting coverage on Fox has become crucial for Republican political candidates.

    Among 36 news sources in the survey — including print, online and broadcast outlets — liberals rated 28 as more trusted than not, and conservatives trusted just eight, including radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh and the online Drudge Report.

    Only the Wall Street Journal, which combines a mainstream news report with a conservative editorial page, was rated as more trusted than not by people across the ideological spectrum. At the other end of the scale, one source, BuzzFeed, was more distrusted than trusted by liberals as well as conservatives and those in between — although only about one-third of those responding to the survey had heard enough about the site to have an opinion.

    About many news sources, liberals and conservatives disagreed overwhelmingly. By 81% to 6%, for example, consistent liberals said they distrusted Fox; consistent conservatives trusted the cable news channel by 88% to 3%. Although only 3% of consistent conservatives said they trusted either the New York Times or NPR, among consistent liberals, 72% trusted NPR and 62% trusted the New York Times.

    Among respondents overall, 54% said they trusted CNN and 50% trusted ABC and NBC news. No other sources were trusted by half or more of respondents, in part because many of them were not widely recognized. CBS was trusted by 46% overall.

    Friends and social media

    The Wall Street Journal's audience comes about equally from each part of the ideological spectrum, the survey indicated. Many other programs, websites and other sources that people use for political information have audiences that tilt strongly in one direction or the other. Nearly three-quarters of the audience for Comedy Central's "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," for example, holds consistently or mostly liberal views. More than 80% of Rush Limbaugh's audience holds consistently or mostly conservative views.

    The polarization of information sources also extends to friends. Two-thirds of consistent conservatives and about half of consistent liberals said that most of their close friends shared their political views. Among consistent liberals, about one-quarter said they had stopped talking to or being someone's friend because of politics. About 1 in 6 of consistent conservatives said the same.

    When asked to list three people with whom they discuss politics, half of consistent conservatives listed only people whom they identified as conservative. Just under one-third of consistent liberals listed only other liberals.

    Americans who have more mixed political views don't pay nearly as much attention to politics as those on either extreme, don't talk about it as much with friends or family and don't participate as much. When they do seek out news about politics and government, they rely on a more mixed array of news sources, the survey found.

    Similar patterns hold true in the way people use social media, the survey found. About half of all those surveyed said that they encountered some news about government or politics on Facebook. But those who held ideological consistent views, either on the right or the left, were much more likely to pay attention to those items.

    The ideologically committed were also more likely to see mostly items online that reflected their own views, largely because they are more likely to have ideologically compatible friends.

    Among Americans overall, just over 1 in 5 said all or most of the posts about politics they see on Facebook are in line with their own views. But among consistent conservatives, almost half said that. Among consistent liberals, about one-third did.

    The Pew study was based on an online survey this spring of 2,901 respondents selected to reflect overall U.S. demographics. The data have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.3 percentage points.
  • Oct 18, 2014 01:54 AM
    Last: 7yr
    But things are changing. Demographically. Here in the US, and in China. A generation that will be the majority of the workforce by 2025. This will have a profound effect on the issues you put forward.
  • Oct 20, 2014 12:07 PM
    Last: 7yr
    Many of you may have seen a story circulating about people walking out on an appearance by the President. Here's the debunked version of the story.

    “So I’m going to make a long speech in there. But I had to come to the folks who didn’t get a seat. Because this is a group right here that is truly enthusiastic,” Obama said to much applause from the excited overflow crowd, which POOL reported “included more than a few shrieking women and girls.”

    President Obama campaigned for gubernatorial candidate Anthony Brown in Maryland Sunday afternoon to a sold out crowd of 8,000, according to the Upper Marlboro Fire Marshall. This meant there were folks waiting in the Wise High School overflow room/gym, so POTUS was kind enough to stop in there and address them before the rally.

    “Crowd shrieked again as POTUS wrapped up and made his way to the rope line,” Pool reported as Obama got ready to speak to a sold out crowd of 8,000 at Wise High School. So, many excited fans. Much love. People shouted “I love you!” at POTUS.

    Here’s where all of the love of a sold out rally got turned into a failure by the mainstream press. As President began his speech for Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown, who is running on the Democratic ticket for Governor, folks seated in the front row near where the journalists were sitting (the event was open press) headed for the exit as soon as they got their photos of the President. The White House Pooler accurately noted, “… some in the crowd started leaving as soon as Obama started speaking and by the time he was about 10 minutes in, there was a traffic jam next to the pool’s tables as folks tried to exit the gym.”

    Politico White House reporter Jennifer Epstein elaborated by tweeting a photo (looks like one man leaving is even wearing an Obama t-shirt, so probably not a hater):

    This set off a string excitement among main stream journalists (Jeff Mason, the Reuters White House Correspondent, Zeke Miller a political Reporter for TIME, and Gabriel Debenedetti, a national political correspondent for Reuters for starters), with Reuters’ Debenedetti declaring it as “a story of 2014.”

    msm re obama rally

    Reuters being what it is, I cautioned myself that it might not be safe to assume this was dry commentary on the ridiculous state of our media setting their own stories and narratives and then confirming them within their bubble. (Remember the “Glitch” that ended the Obama Presidency and Obamacare? Yeah? Not so much.)

    Cut to: Jeff Mason’s article on The Story of 2014 is already up on Reuters and trending on Yahoo.

    And it’s enough to make you weep for this poor, unloved President and his loser party:

    President Barack Obama made a rare appearance on the campaign trail on Sunday with a rally to support the Democratic candidate for governor in Maryland, but early departures of crowd members while he spoke underscored his continuing unpopularity.
    With approval levels hovering around record lows, Obama has spent most of his campaign-related efforts this year raising money for struggling Democrats, who risk losing control of the U.S. Senate in the Nov. 4 midterm election.
    Most candidates from his party have been wary of appearing with him during their election races because of his sagging popularity.
    By “most candidates”, he means red state candidates. He should let us know when Republicans are this close to winning in blue state territory and they are campaigning with Bush. Oh, wait, Bush wasn’t even allowed near the RNC in 2008.

    Is the term “struggling Democrats” really apt in a midterm that historically favors the opposition party and in which Republicans are gerrymandered in the House and have access to seemingly unlimited dark money — and yet, is not looking anything like the GOP wave we’ve been promised, with Senate races that the GOP thought they had wrapped up tightening.

    Also, Senate Democrats have outraised the Republicans. But so struggling.

    Let us know when Republicans are “struggling”, or do we need to keep lowering the bar for them so that picking up a few seats in a historically advantaged midterm is going to be sold as “struggling Democrats”.

    At any rate, anyone passing by might have gotten the idea that this is the beltway narrative, so you may soon be reading this as the Huge Obama Fail representative of his entire Year of Fail Six Years of Fail Life of Fail. That certainly would fit in with the media’s continued belief in the Obama voters abandoning their President in 2012 (talk about failing).

    Yes, it was odd (because see update, it was folks from the overflow room who weren’t allowed to stay who were leaving), but it wasn’t a narrative about Obama, unless you willfully disregard the shrieking and the sold out rally and the overflow necessity.

    Jennifer Epstein surmised after the event:

    And this alleged avoidance of a traffic jam caused by all of the people who wanted to see POTUS will now be used to confirm the belief that Obama is a failure with his own base. They fled, I tell you! FLED. It’s The Story Some Want to Tell, but it’s not the accurate story or the whole story. The White House pooler told the accurate story – this happened. It is odd. But it is not a story that tells the story of 2014. Also, the rally was sold out. Update 1 11:00 PM: It turns out the folks who left early were in the overflow room, so actually this was a big Obama success. Oh, Reuters. Your Obama hate is showing.

    Update 2 11:09 PM: Josh Lederman , writing for the AP, brought some straight talk to his coverage because it’s true—Maryland is Obama country and as he points out, the county went for Obama 9 out of 10 voters, so that’s another big black mark in the attempt to turn a few people walking out into A Story Of The Year of Obama Fail:

    Support for Obama still runs high in Democratic-leaning Maryland — and especially in Prince George’s County, a heavily African-American corner of the state and Brown’s home base. Roughly 9 in 10 voters in the county backed Obama in 2008. Just next to the high school where Obama held his rally sits Barack Obama Elementary School.
    Oh, yeah. That’s some hate Reuters. Well done.
  • Oct 20, 2014 11:08 AM
    Last: 7yr
    This guy put's to shame a lot of politicians, who should follow his example. Most people don't have a real appreciation for what true leadership is, and this guy just showed it's done through actions, and not words. Talk is cheap.

    Finding out that reporters are looking into your past is enough to send a cold shiver down most politician’s spine, but one Democratic candidate’s closet was filled not with skeletons, but military medals for heroism.

    The Boston Globe reports that they were astonished to discover that Seth Moulton, a Massachusetts Democratic nominee for US Congress, had recieved multiple accolades for valor while serving as a Marine in Iraq. The reporters’ shock was not that Moulton would be a hero, but that he had never publicly said anything.

    For many politicians, a sterling military record is viewed as a golden ticket to office. Many have eagerly used their service in campaign ads and invoked it during debates, but Moulton chose to keep his experience in Iraq private.

    Via the Boston Globe:

    “In 2003 and 2004, during week-long battles with Iraqi insurgents, then-Lieutenant Moulton ‘fearlessly exposed himself to enemy fire’ while leading his platoon during pitched battles for control of Nasiriyah and Najaf south of Baghdad, according to citations for the medals that the Globe requested from the campaign.

    “The Globe learned of the awards — the Bronze Star medal for valor and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medal for valor — after reviewing an official summary of Moulton’s five years of service, in which they were noted in military argot.”

    After the newspaper “exposed” Moulton as a war hero, he told them in an interview that he intentionally kept his military career private and never wanted to use his medals as a prop for his campaign, saying that to do so felt like “disrespect” to the men and women who served and received no accolades.

    Moulton stated:

    “There is a healthy disrespect among veterans who served on the front lines for people who walk around telling war stories.”

    Most veterans may roll their eyes, but politicians still have no qualms in trumping up their own military service. It’s not hard to see why. The American public has a long love affair with electing war veterans to office. George Washington set the tone as the very first. Andrew Jackson won the presidency almost exclusively because of his heroism in fighting the British and their Native American allies in the War of 1812. What’s more, studies have found that voters view a candidates’ competency of national security and defense as much higher if the candidate has military experience.

    With that kind of political boost, it’s no wonder that some politicians find the idea of it a bit too enticing to pass up. In some cases, they have been caught adding extra flourishes to their war stories just to give themselves a better reputation. In one of the most infamous cases, Ronald Reagan was caught several times flat-out lying about incredible feats of valor during his military service that had never happened. In perhaps the worst offense, he once boasted that he helped liberate Auschwitz and several other concentration camps, when in reality he had never even been near Europe during World War II – in fact, he had never left home during his service.

    When the Premier of Israel visited Reagan at the White House, the President went on and on for three quarters of an hour explaining why he was pro-Jewish: it was because, being in the Signal Corps in World War II, he visited Buchenwald shortly after the Nazi defeat and helped to take films of that camp. Reagan repeated this story the following day to an Israeli ambassador. But the truth was 180-degrees different; Reagan was not in Europe; he never saw a concentration camp; he spent the entire war in the safety of Hollywood, making films for the armed forces… [source]

    And by no means was Reagan the only offender. (Talking Points Memo collected a list of some of the most prolific ones here.)

    That’s what makes Moulton different. When he had the opportunity to use his bona fide military credentials, he didn’t, even if it meant costing him the election.

    Moulton told the Globe:

    “Look, we served our country, and we served the guys next to us. And it’s not something to brag about.”

    Try telling that to Ronald Reagan.
  • Oct 12, 2014 06:23 PM
    Last: 7yr
    It's been about Obama since the day he first took office. A lot of people forget a secret meeting was held in a diner the day he was innaugurated to obstruct everything he did, and to focus on making him a one term President. People also forget that Democrats got 1.5 million more votes in the 2012 House races, and the only reason Republicans are a majority is because of gerrymandered districts, not because they were popularly elected. Now the very policies they are trying desperately to sell as unpopular through dog whistle talking points, are the policies that won popular election in 2012. They are still trying to sell exploding deficits, when the deficit has shrank faster than anytime since WW2, and high unemployment when it currently stands at 5.9%, and their favorite Obamacare is unpopular when uninsured Americans are at all time lows. You are correct. There is a large number of the population who is clearly using what they know is a crock, to justify their hatred of the President for purely partisan, racist reasons, because these cowards won't admit their real motivations. That should worry all reasonable people.
  • Oct 12, 2014 06:23 PM
    Last: 7yr
    This article from DailyKos today goes into the depth of the failure of tax cuts passed by Republicans since the Reagan tax cuts in 1981, that have been the largest source of debt in the economy, and why they don't work, and never will work. Kos was the most accurate pollin venue along with PPP in the 2012 elections, and they always back up there sources as well as anyone on the internet. With the chance of the Democrats losing the Senate this year, and the Paul Ryan budget being one of their biggest pet projects to once again try and shove down Americas throat, I implore everyone to read this article to become well versed in why it's important that they fail.
  • Jul 28, 2014 04:21 PM
    Last: 7yr
    No. It's not that easily transmitted, so our health system can easily contain it. It spreads so easily in Africa because of the lack of any knowledge of dealing with virulents. Though we can help to contain and treat it there, it is harder to educate those that live in the forest's and jungle's, proper food preparation concerning bushmeat, which is where the life cycle of the virus originates.