On a day when politics, to say nothing of perusing election polling, has been rightly relegated to the back page, there are nevertheless a handful of polls which crossed our eyes today. A sharp movement in the Gallup tracker, a lesser movement from the House of Ras, and some predictable statewide polling marks the day.
But the one polling headline that might be worth remembering next week is a pair of GOP internal polls that hint that California may not be the treasure trove of pickups for the Democrats that everyone thinks. The reason: Two nominally Democratic seats may be more competitive than we thought.
On to the numbers:
PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION TRIAL HEATS:
NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Obama d. Romney (48-44)DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Obama d. Romney (47-46)
CALIFORNIA (Pepperdine Univ. School of Public Policy for the California Business Round Table): Obama d. Romney (52-33)
FLORIDA (SurveyUSA): Obama d. Romney (48-43)
NORTH CAROLINA (National Research for Civitas Institute?R): Romney d. Obama (49-48)
PENNSYLVANIA (Rasmussen): Obama d. Romney (48-44)
CA-SEN (Pepperdine Univ. School of Public Policy for the California Business Round Table): Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) 49, Elizabeth Emken (R) 30A few thoughts, as always, await you just past the jump ...
CA-24 (Public Opinion Strategies for Maldonado): Rep. Lois Capps (D) 48, Abel Maldonado (R) 46
CA-47 (Probolsky Research for DeLong): Alan Lowenthal (D) 44, Gary DeLong (R) 41
FL-SEN (SurveyUSA): Connie Mack IV (R) 48, Bill Nelson (D) 42
OH-SEN (Rasmussen): Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) 46, Josh Mandel (R) 42
WA-SEN (SurveyUSA): Sen. Maria Cantwell (D) 51, Michael Baumgartner (R) 40
Earlier today, a gunman walked into a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, where people were watching the midnight showing of the new Batman movie. He fired gas canisters into the crowd, and then opened fire. At least 12 people are dead and 59 people are injured. My heart and prayers go out to all of them.
On the day Gabby Giffords was shot, I was picking up my son Henry from a lesson when I got the text message saying there had been a shooting. I?d campaigned with Gabby in 2006. Henry didn?t understand why I?d stopped getting into the car and started crying.
Walking back from a haircut the other day, I passed Café Racer, where on May 30th a gunman walked in and killed four people.
It's time we had an adult conversation in this country about guns.
On January 17, 1989, a gunman in Stockton, California walked onto a playground and opened fire, killing 5 children and injuring 30 more.
On July 1, 1993, a gunman in San Francisco walked into a law office and opened fire, killing 8 and injuring 6.
On April 20, 1999, two gunmen in Columbine, Colorado walked into their high school and opened fire, killing 13 people and injuring 21 others.
On January 16, 2002, a gunman in Virginia walked into a law school and opened fire, killing 3 and injuring 3.
On July 8, 2003, a gunman in Mississippi walked into a factory and opened fire, killing 6 and injuring 8.
On March 21, 2005, a gunman in Minnesota walked into a high school and opened fire, killing 7 and injuring 5.
On November 20, 2005, a gunman in Tacoma walked into the mall and opened fire, injuring 6.
On March 25, 2006, a gunman in Seattle walked into a party and opened fire, killing 6 and injuring 2.
On February 12, 2007, a gunman in Utah walked into a mall and opened fire, killing 5 and injuring 4.
On April 16, 2007, a gunman in Virginia walked onto the Virginia Tech campus and opened fire, killing 32 people and wounding 17 others.
On December 5, 2007, a gunman in Nebraska walked into a mall and opened fire, killing 8 and injuring 4.
On December 9, 2007, a gunman in Colorado Springs walked onto a church parking lot and opened fire, killing 2 and wounding 3.
On February 7, 2008, a gunman in Missouri walked into a city council meeting and opened fire, killing 5 and wounding 2.
On February 14, 2008, a gunman in Illinois walked onto a college campus and opened fire, killing 5 and injuring 17.
On June 25, 2008, a gunman in Kentucky walked into a factory and opened fire, killing 5 and injuring 1.
On January 24, 2009, a gunman in Portland walked up to a nightclub and opened fire, killing 2 and injuring 7.
On March 29, 2009, a gunman in North Carolina walked into a retirement home and opened fire, killing 8 and injuring 2.
On August 4, 2009, a gunman in a suburb of Pittsburgh walked into a fitness club and opened fire, killing 3 and injuring 9.
On November 5, 2009, a gunman at Fort Hood in Texas walked into a medical center and opened fire, killing 13 and injuring 29.
On November 29, 2009, a gunman in Lakewood, Washington walked into a coffee shop and killed 4 police officers.
On January 7, 2010, a gunman in St Louis walked into a power plant and opened fire, killing 3 and injuring 6.
On January 12, 2010, a gunman in Georgia walked into a truck rental place and opened fire, killing 3 and injuring 2.
On February 12, 2010, a gunwoman in Alabama stood up in a college faculty meeting and opened fire, killing 3 and injuring 3.
On August 3, 2010, a gunman in Connecticut walked into a warehouse and opened fire, killing 8 and injuring 2.
On August 7, 2011, a gunman in Ohio broke into his girlfriend?s house and opened fire, killing 7 and injuring 1.
On September 6, 2011, a gunman in Nevada walked into a pancake restaurant and opened fire, killing 4 and injuring 7.
On October 5, 2011, a gunman in Cupertino, California walked into a quarry where people were working and opened fire, killing 3 and injuring 7.
Sadly, I could go on.
But the numbers don?t tell the stories. These were people. Rachel Scott was a 17-year-old aspiring writer and actress who wanted to change the world through small acts of kindness. Dave Sanders was a 47-year-old teacher and girls basketball coach who was shot and killed while trying to evacuate students. Cassie Bernall was hiding under a table praying. Jack Berman was a lawyer who founded a program to help homeless people find housing. John Scully died while shielding his newlywed wife with his own body. Drew Keriakedes and Joe Albanese were musicians with wicked senses of humor. Every one of the hundreds of people shot in the incidents I list above had dreams and aspirations, laughed and cried, had friends and neighbors and parents.
As a country, though, we have not had a real conversation about guns in many, many years. The National Rifle Association (NRA) threatens the career of any politician who so much as opens the conversation. As a consequence, our country has not discussed assault weapons ? which have no use except killing large numbers of people in massacres like the ones I?ve listed. We have not discussed the fact that anyone can buy a gun at a gun show without any background check, even if they have a history of criminal violence. We have not discussed the expiration of the ban on large clips, which allow shooters to kill more people in a shorter time because they don?t have to reload. We have not discussed what a sensible, rational approach to regulating guns in our country might be.
It?s time we took steps to stop the mass killings.
It?s time we had an adult conversation about guns in this country. The NRA can go to hell.
In deepest sympathy,
Also posted at DailyKos
It looks like the sloppy wording in the Affordable Care Act cuts both ways.We've been talking about the various challenges to the law arising out of drafting errors, in particular the vagaries of whether individuals seeking coverage on federally-run[...]
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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE?
Late Night Snarksters, aka People Mitt Would Enjoy Firing:
"At a basketball game, the President and Michelle Obama got caught off-guard on a Kiss Cam. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney was caught off-guard by the Show Us Your Tax Returns Cam."And how can we forget this from five years ago?
"Mitt Romney says he doesn?t know where his financial records are because he doesn?t manage them. He would have said more but he had to go give a speech on why he's the perfect guy to manage the economy."
"I was just the guy with the smoke-screen'ish yet still-legal title of CEO and managing director who was paid at least one hundred thousand dollars a year to do what, according to me, Mitt Romney, was nothing! And that's the kind of common-sense business experience I hope to bring to the White House."
---Jon Stewart, channeling his inner Mitt
"Wall Street says they prefer Mitt Romney for president. And, by God, who could question Wall Street's judgment?"
"I don?t know why, but Mitt Romney has gotten this reputation as a guy who can't identify with the common man, no matter how hard he fires them."
Bill O'Reilly: [Daily Kos is] like the Ku Klux Klan. It's like the Nazi party.Deep down we know ya love us, Billo. Ya big closet hippie.
Stephen Colbert: Exactly! The Ku Klux Klan and the Nazis were both notorious for allowing people to express unpopular views in an open and free forum.
---The Colbert Report
Your west coast-friendly edition of Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]
Update: July 20, 2012, 5:29 PM
Growing up in San Diego, James Eagan Holmes was seen by his neighbors as an "everyday guy," a smart kid who was otherwise unremarkable.
But by Friday, the young man was being described by Colorado's governor as a "very deranged mind" and was the sole suspect in a horrific massacre that left 12 people dead and 59 wounded at a movie theater in the Denver suburbs.
There are still many questions unanswered about how Holmes, now 24, went from the quiet teen in California to an alleged mass killer in Aurora, Colo. But just hours after the massacre, a clearer portrait was emerging of his life leading up to it.
Holmes graduated from Westview High School in San Diego in 2006, a school district spokeswoman, Tina McDowell, told TPM. His neighbors described him as a shy, Presbyterian churchgoing teen.
"I saw him as a normal guy, an everyday guy, doing everyday things," neighbor Anthony Mai, 16, told the Los Angeles Times.
Reporters flooded his former neighborhood after the killing, lining up in front of the house where his parents still live. Police were called to keep reporters at bay.
San Diego police spokeswoman Lt. Andra Brown said the family was deeply upset and just wanted privacy. She said the suspect's father was escorted from the house early in the morning but declined to say where he was headed. She also released a statement from the family.
"Our hearts go out to those who were involved in this tragedy and to the families and friends of those involved," the unsigned statement said. "We ask that the media respect our privacy during this difficult time. Our family is cooperating with authorities in both San Diego, California and Aurora, Colorado. We are still trying to process this information and we appreciate that people will respect our privacy."
After high school, Holmes enrolled in the neuroscience program at the University of California, Riverside. Chancellor Timothy White said at an afternoon news conference that Holmes was an honor student who earned merit scholarships and graduated in 2010.
"Academically, he was at the top of the top," White said. "He distinguished himself from an academic point of view during his four years with us, graduating with the highest honors."
For graduate school, Holmes moved out of state and enrolled in a neurosciences graduate program at the University of Colorado Denver. Dan Meyers, a spokesman for the school of medicine, confirmed to TPM that Holmes had been a student on campus there.
But something changed in recent weeks. The Denver Post reported that Holmes was in the process of withdrawing from the school. A neighbor in Aurora, Colo., told the Huffington Post that Holmes appeared stone cold, carrying two black bags into their apartment building a day before the killing.
Then on Friday, authorities said Holmes drove his white Hyundai sedan to the nearby Century 16 movie theater that was screening midnight showings of the premier of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises."
Holmes was dressed all in black and wearing a helmet, a bullet-proof vest, armored leggings, a groin protector and a gas mask when he walked into the theater. Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said the young man brought an assault rifle, a shot gun and at least one .40 caliber Glock pistol with him.
Holmes allegedly then opened fire on the sold-out theater just a short time after the movie began. Authorities said the 911 calls started to come in at 12:39 a.m. In the end, 71 people had been shot. The police chief said officers found Holmes in the parking lot behind the building. As of Friday afternoon, 10 bodies were still in the theater.
There was no credible information early after the massacre about what motivated the gunman. He was in custody, but it was unclear whether he was cooperating with authorities. Denver television KUSA reported that he was expected to make his first court appearance on Monday.
Meanwhile, Oates said bomb technicians were dealing with what appeared to be "sophisticated" booby traps rigged in Holmes' apartment. Five buildings in the area had to be evacuated.
Almost every major political leader in the U.S., including President Obama, offered their condolences by the end of the day. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, however, offered a cold assessment of the gunman that had torn apart his state.
"This is the act apparently of a very deranged mind," Hickenlooper said. "We will come back stronger than ever, although obviously it will be a very, a very hard process."
Eric Lach and Igor Bobic contributed to this report.
The picture of James Eagan Holmes, the man accused of killing 12 people and wounding another 59 in a Colorado movie theater massacre, is only starting to emerge. Here's what we know now. [...]
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SIT BACK and listen to the best selling jazz song of the 20th century… Then watch the full episode of “Political Animals.” Sigourney Weaver plays Secretary of State Elaine Barrish, with a family of misfits, in a world that’s always on boil, in an age where the media is looking for ratings over anything else.
It’s not an accident if it reminds you of someone else and that the last line in the series premiere makes you dream of what might yet come true for that someone.
Tough day. Take a load off. Hug your cat… your dog… your mate… Drink a glass of whatever takes the edge off. We’ve all earned it.
What happened today was a horrible tragedy and that’s when it’s most important to enjoy the sweetness of life, so you never forget what it feels like. Step away from the television, quit watching the news. Steal a moment of happiness for yourself. It’s good for you.
A mass shooting has once again rocked the American psyche. Sadly, this is just the latest in a long line of random killings that is not going to end anytime soon. Here in America we celebrate guns and the violence they bring. We are such cowboys us Americans. I have to give credit to Michael Bloomberg for his willingness to address the gun control issue head on. Unfortunately, our two presidential candidates are not going to go there.
Anyway, you have to wonder about a country where you can't drive a Pagani Huayra but you can buy an AR-15 assault rifle. Still, I won't get on my gun control soap box tonight, unlike certain [right] wingnut politicians who can't wait for a tragedy to say something stupid , (Congressman Gohmert, if the shooter wanted to attack Christians, why do you think he didn't just shoot up a mega- church?) I will leave the soapbox for later.
The back and forth will go on for the next few days, and the happiest people in America will be the NRA lobbyists on K Street. ---I guarantee you that the recession will not be affecting them.--- Whichever side you choose in this debate, I am sure that you feel for the victims and the family members who will have to bury them over the next few days.
Hopefully, one day, we will be able to figure it all out.
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My little Sasha is one step away from being this dog. (She has this little hang up about motorcycles.) This is a quick and simple video that's absolutely hysterical, and if you know dogs, absolutely understandable.