One of the great polling mysteries of the 2012 is the fact that President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are deadlocked in national polling, but the state-level polling shows a much more comfortable Obama lead.
Case in point is Pennsylvania?a state more critical for Romney's chances than Obama's. Yet polling hasn't shown much of a contest. PPP has the latest numbers:
PPP's newest Pennsylvania poll finds things have changed very little in the state over the course of the last ten weeks. Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney 50-42, basically the same as his 49-42 advantage there in early March.Two weeks ago, Quinnipiac University had Obama leading 47-39 in the state. Several other university polling operations gave Obama big leads earlier in the year. Meanwhile, Rasmussen has been strangely AWOL in the state.
Looking at the big picture, the current state of the race (using TPM's polling composites):
Add it all up, and our map is still a comfortable 294-235 Obama victory (with Colorado's nine electoral votes unassigned). And if you look at the polling margins, Obama's leads are far more comfortable than Romney's in the states he leads.
Harry Reid to Senate GOP: Drop your "blind adherence to Tea Party extremism" on tax policy. [...]
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The White House says that another debt limit showdown will be political suicide ... for Republicans. [...]
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The Fail Whale trades showed that massive, as-yet unregulated risk still exists in our financial system, with the potential to bring down the economy once again and trigger massive taxpayer bailouts. Since the Administration already passed a law that was[...]
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A very cool, albeit long, video.
Well, Mayor Booker had a chance to make it right on Maddow last night, and he failed miserably. Starting with,
BOOKER: My outrage, and really my frustration, was about the cynical, negative campaigning, the manipulating of the truth.
Really, Mayor? Because the Obama campaign's claims about Bain are true. So what was "cynical" and "manipulative" about it?
And then it got worse.
BOOKER: For anybody that knows me, and that really knows my career, I've been an Independent Democrat for a long time, standing up on issues. And actually have been comfortable to say I disagree with the president...
God, this guy is totally clueless.
Let me give you some free advice, Mayor. Following in Joe Lieberman's footsteps is not a good career move in Democratic politics.
Just go away already.
In the year since President Obama released his long-form birth certificate, tax payers are partly-funding Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s investigation into whether or not the president was truly born in the United States.
The Arizona Republic and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser report that two men identifying themselves as Michael Zullo and Brian Mackiewcz arrived at the Hawaii Department of Health on Monday and requested verification of Obama’s birth. They left after a Hawaii deputy attorney provided them information on the legal requirements for obtaining that documentation. Zullo is a volunteer in Arpaio’s inquiry, but Mackiewcz provided a business card identifying him as a public employee who works in the Threats Management Unit of the sheriff’s office.
Arpaio, who has previously claimed that the investigation was being funded through private donations, dismissed concerns about tax dollars funding the conspiracy quest and said “he hopes the agency will be paid back through private donations”:
“It’s one deputy, so what? We have security issues, too, that I can’t got into,” Arpaio said on Friday. “For six months we were not spending any money. When you’re doing investigations sometimes things change, you put more resources into it.”
“He’s not going to make any arrests,” Arpaio said. “I didn’t say we’re going to keep using him. We’re not going to use him constantly. He’s not assigned to it. For this trip I feel it’s important to have a deputy there. He’s just a liaison to give advice if needed. He’s not doing anything. The posse’s been doing the research. I’m not going to say what other trips they’ve been taking but they haven’t had a deputy with them.”
Mackiewcz continues to work on other cases while assisting Arpaio’s investigation, and the sheriff’s office has covered the costs of airfare and hotel rooms for both Mackiewcz and Zullo.
The donations for Arpaio’s probe — close to $40,000 so far — have been regularly encouraged by WorldNetDaily, a fringe right-wing website heavily involved in the promotion of the birther conspiracy theory. Michael Zullo has also co-authored an e-book about birtherism with Jerome Corsi, one of WorldNetDaily’s top theorists.
Arpaio first rose to prominence for carrying out violent, demeaning, implicitly and often explicitly racist practices against Latino’s in pursuit of his ultra-hard-line opposition to undocumented immigration. The Hawaii investigation is the most recent dust-up in Arpaio’s recent digression into birther territory, kicked off earlier this year when the Sheriff held a press conference touting roundly-criticized evidence that the certificate was a forgery. In the meantime, Sheriff Joe has become something of a kingmaker in Republican circles, up to and including attempts by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney to secure his endorsement.
Arpaio is currently under federal investigation.
A new NBC/WSJ finds that 54 percent would support a law in their state legalizing same-sex marriage, while only 40 percent would oppose such a measure. Polls have consistently shown over the past two years that a majority of Americans favor the freedom to marry, and these results confirm that strong momentum. The poll also assessed the fallout from President Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality and found that it was ultimately a wash. This too signifies incredible progress since 2004, when same-sex marriage was used as a wedge issue to mobilize conservatives.
Many uncertainties remain — most immediately the status of negotiations with Pakistan over the reopening of NATO supply routes, and the funding plan for the Afghan national security forces over the coming years, which forms the biggest portion of an Afghan government budget that is still highly dependent on international donors. But pressing Afghan leaders to take responsibility for their country?s future, and for the ensuing political compromises and reforms that will be necessary to sustain the government in a way that does not require large-scale international intervention, is the right course for both U.S. interests and for Afghanistan.
As my colleagues Caroline Wadhams, Brian Katulis and I argued in our recent policy paper, a transition strategy that promotes Afghan?s stability over the medium to long-term requires the U.S. to prioritize diplomatic processes that can work to resolve the political disputes at the heart of the Afghan conflict — rather than pinning the country?s future on the cohesion of its regular and irregular security forces. Although media coverage in the run-up to the summit focused primarily on troop levels and funding pledges, it appears that President Obama focused his bilateral conversations with President Karzai on these issues, and the summit declaration includes strong language in support of reconciliation, good governance, and the importance of transparent presidential elections.
With the news that the United States? ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, is likely to step down soon, his successor will face the challenge — alongside the other branches of the U.S. government — of making sure that these commitments are not left on the summit drafting table. This effort will require renewed focus from the U.S. and its partners to ensure free and fair elections for Karzai?s successor in 2014, to support an inclusive reconciliation process, and to hold the Afghan government accountable for its management of international donor funds. The international donors conference in Tokyo scheduled for this summer will be the next major opportunity to hold negotiations on this issue on an international scale. NATO and its allies have laid out an increasingly detailed plan for the transition of security responsibility in Afghanistan, but more work will need to be done to develop the processes of political reform and reconciliation that can ultimately support a durable end to the Afghan conflict.
But a ThinkProgress review of their voting records shows that the two dozen women have been fairly consistent in their legislative opposition to women’s rights:
- Violence Against Women: Of the 24 women, 22 voted to rollback the Violence Against Women Act, backing a version of the bill that could violate the confidentiality of victims and that excluded protections for immigrants, LGBT people, and Native Americans.
- Access to contraception: 21 of the 24 co-sponsored the “Respect for Rights of Conscience Act” to take away regulations enacted under Obamacare requiring most employers to cover birth control in their health insurance plans, without additional cost-sharing.
- Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act: Of the 15 Republican Congresswomen who were in the House at the time, all 15 voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, a law that helps women hold accountable employers who discriminate in the pay practices based on gender.
- Paycheck Fairness Act Act: 13 of those 15 also voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would update the 1963 Equal Pay Act by closing many of its loopholes and strengthening incentives to prevent pay discrimination.
- Reproductive health: According to Planned Parenthood, 20 of the 24 GOP women earned a zero score, voting against reproductive health at every opportunity. The average score for the women was under 6 percent.
Watch their video announcing the caucus:
In lauding the group’s formation, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said “Make no mistake, these aren?t just leaders on so-called ?women?s issues,? these are women leaders on all issues.”
But their leadership on women’s issues has been decidedly absent. In fact, even in their two-minutes-and-fifteen-seconds introductory video “Working For You,” they note they are “working together to create jobs, reduce spending, health small businesses, and put back into your hands.” But they do not name a single accomplishment or goal relating to equal protection for women.