NCDP Clips for October 4, 2013


Politico: GOP’s missed opportunity: A budget win
Congressional Republicans are in danger of morphing into the anti-Obamacare party rather than one devoted to fiscal conservatism and cutting out-of-control federal spending.In the shutdown battle, Republicans have squarely focused on dismantling President Barack Obama’s signature health care law instead of highlighting their victory on slashing spending. Lost in the Obamacare siege: The message that Republicans have already won on the budget. Congressional Democrats are now calling on the House GOP to pass a “clean” government funding bill — minus any Obamacare add-ons — that would fund the government at $986 billion spending levels, which would preserve the sequester that Democrats and Obama staunchly oppose. It also is $70 billion less than the $1.058 trillion spending level Senate Democrats have outlined in their budgetary vision.

News and Observer: More than 1,000 National Guard employees sent home
More than 1,000 National Guard personnel in North Carolina have been furloughed this week because of the federal government shutdown, officials said. Those include 900 military personnel as well as 100 civilian, according to Lt. Col. Maury Williams of the National Guard. The National Guard employees were sent home at noon on Tuesday. The affected employees work at the 93 National Guard armories located throughout the state.

Real Clear Politics: Let Go of the Car, Mr. Speaker
Republicans in Congress are like a dog that chases cars and finally catches one. There is a fleeting sense of accomplishment, followed by sheer panic. God bless Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., for at least being honest. "We’re not going to be disrespected," he told the Washington Examiner on Wednesday. "We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is." Nobody knows what the House Republicans’ goal might be at this point. So far, they have managed to shut down the government and maintain enough unity in their ranks to prevent an open revolt by moderates. They also succeeded in getting Democrats to agree to fund the government at sharply reduced "sequester" levels, but for some reason they renounced this victory. The list of what Republicans haven’t been able to do is considerably longer. Most galling for them — and most beneficial for the country — is that they failed to defund or delay Obamacare. The health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act are up and running, despite technical glitches. People across the country are buying coverage for themselves and their families. This fight is over, people. Republicans lost.

Dome: Some North Carolina lawmakers defer pay, Renee Ellmers refuses
As some North Carolina congressional lawmakers defer pay during the shutdown, GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers is refusing to do so — and her remarks are drawing the attention of an advocacy group. "The thing of it is, I need my paycheck. That is the bottom line," Ellmers told WTVD, the Raleigh ABC station Wednesday. More than 70 congressional lawmakers are voluntarily not taking a salary during the partial government shutdown. Democrat David Price of Chapel Hill and Republican Robert Pittenger are among those donating it to the U.S. Treasury. Republicans George Holding, Virginia Foxx and Mark Meadows are not accepting their pay. But Ellmers’ decision to keep her pay — and her reasoning — is prompting Progress NC, an advocacy group critical of Republicans, to call on Ellmers to reverse course. The organization suggests her remarks are hypocritical given that other federal employees are not getting paid because of the federal budget impasse in Congress. ‘"Beltway Renee’ and the Republican leadership in Washington are posturing for an extended shutdown cushioned by their six-figure salaries," said Gerrick Brenner, the group’s executive director.

Buzzfeed: The Government Shutdown Summed Up In One GIF
Presiding congressman George Holding of North Carolina was caught by the House camera taking a snooze while his distinguished colleague Louie Gohmert of Texas spoke about “doing what’s right for the country.”

The Huffington Post: Here’s A Tally Of Which House Republicans Are Ready To Fund The Government, No Strings Attached
In the hours since the government shut down, House Republicans have slowly but steadily been coming forward to say they’re ready to pass a bill to fund the government with no strings attached. As of Wednesday afternoon, the number of those Republicans hit 21 — surpassing the magic 17 votes needed to pass a clean funding bill if all 200 Democrats stick together and team up with them. Of course, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) would have to be willing to put that bill on the floor in the first place. But if he did, the votes appear to be there for passage, at which point the bill would sail through the Senate and be signed by President Barack Obama, ending the shutdown. Here’s who those House Republicans are, and why they say they’re done with trying to force through provisions to delay or defund Obamacare in order to keep the government running. We’ll update the list when, or if, more come in.

New Republic: The Republicans Are Starting to Reek of Desperation
House Republican leaders are starting to look pretty desperate. Their latest gambit, as reported in National Review and Politico, and analyzed by my colleague Noam Scheiber, is to fuse negotiations over funding the government with negotiations over raising the debt ceiling and then—yes, there’s a third part—start negotiations over some kind of “grand bargain” on fiscal policy. Somehow this is supposed to break the current impasse. The reporting on exactly what Republican leaders have in mind is a little sketchy. I’m guessing that’s because Republican leaders haven’t figured it out themselves. The fiscal standoff has taught us two things: House Speaker John Boehner has no control over his caucus and no long-term political strategy, other than to stop Tea Party Republicans from deposing him. Remember, Boehner knows that shutting down the government was a bad idea and that allowing the federal treasury to default would be a much, much worse idea. He has said so explicitly. And yet here he is, shutting down the government and threatening to allow a default if Democrats won’t agree to undermine Obamacare. Every move Boehner has made in the last few days has reeked of panic.

Digtriad: Kay Hagan, Virginia Foxx, Howard Coble and Mel Watt Answer WFMY’s Questions About the Shutdown
As the shutdown continues in Washington, D.C., many of you are asking what are U.S. lawmakers from North Carolina doing to solve the problem on Capitol Hill. WMFY News 2 spoke with Senator Kay Hagan and Representatives Virginia Foxx, Howard Coble and Mel Watt. Senator Richard Burr has yet to return our repeated calls. The lawmakers say they share your frustrations, but at the end of the day, no one is willing to take the blame."I feel just as frustrated, that’s why this is so irresponsible," said U.S. Senator Kay Hagan. "The house, has the bill that the Senate has already passed, it is at reduced spending levels, so we’ve negotiated to that. Speaker Boehner needs to put that bill on the House floor.""There’s nothing to negotiate about," said District 12 Representative Mel Watt. "We’ve already compromised on the figure, a figure that I find ridiculously low for the next six weeks to try to give us time to work this out. I’m not sure what else I can compromise on, I’m not going to compromise on delaying healthcare reform."

The Daily Beast: America’s Women Hate the Government Shutdown, Blame Republicans

That’s the bad news for Republicans. The worse news? Dig deeper into the numbers, and you find that women are even less jazzed about this whole defund-Obamacare-or-we’ll-blow-up-the-economy business than men. Some of the polls show only a slight difference. Quinnipiac’s latest, for instance, shows 25 percent of men supporting a shutdown, versus 19 percent of women. Others show a more sizable spread: a mid-September CNBC poll had 26 percent of men backing the defund-Obamacare-even-if-requires-shutdown-and-default option, but only 12 percent of women. Similarly, CNN found that 33 percent of men but only 20 percent of women thought that shutting down “for a few days” would be “a good thing.” (CNN also found that women are more likely than men to blame congressional Republicans for the mess, 50 to 43 percent.) So what, you may say. Women as a whole skew less Republican than men do. (See: that whole Women Problem.) It only stands to reason that they would express less enthusiasm about a GOP-fueled shutdown. Very few of the Republican gals I reached out to this week were eager to talk about the shutdown. Most expressed discomfort or dismay over the whole spectacle. That’s true—but it’s also what makes the Republican-focused polling by David Winston so intriguing. In an early August survey conducted for GOP members of Congress, Winston found that Republicans nationwide opposed the shutdown, 53 percent to 37 percent. When he sliced the responses by gender, however, he found a whopping disparity: Republican men favored the shutdown 48 to 44 percent; Republican women overwhelmingly opposed it, 61 to 29 percent. So much for the GOP taking seriously the views of its own women.

Politico: Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul caught on hot mic
Kentucky GOP Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul were caught discussing on Wednesday night Republican messaging strategy during a hot mic moment in a Senate office building.After a CNN news hit, Paul came over to a “wired up” McConnell, who was sitting in front of a camera for his own interview. During the brief exchange, Paul suggested that Republicans would sound more reasonable if they struck a conciliatory tone on government funding than Democrats, who maintain that they won’t alter Obamacare as a condition of reopening the government. “I just did CNN. I just go over and over again: ‘We’re willing to compromise, we’re willing to negotiate,’” Paul said of his interview, adding of Democrats’ stance: “I don’t think they’ve poll tested,‘We won’t negotiate.’ I think it’s awful for them to say that over and over again.”


Huffington Post: Senate Republican ‘Lynch Mob’ Rails Against Ted Cruz
A group of Senate Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), railed against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) at a private luncheon on Wednesday, according to The New York Times, which cited two unnamed people who were present. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) presented a Senate Conservatives Fund printout that logged 25 Senate Republicans — including Ayotte and McConnell — as voting for cloture on Sunday in what the group said was supporting Obamacare, "betraying their principles" and "giving Democrats the power," the newspaper reported. When Ayotte asked whether Cruz would repudiate the Senate Conservatives Fund’s attack, Cruz responded, "I will not," an attendee told Politico. At that point, McConnell, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and others joined in lashing Cruz, leader of the anti-Obamacare showdown that spiraled into the government shutdown. "It just started a lynch mob," one senator told the Times. The clash shows some Republican senators have lost patience with Cruz, who has failed to reveal a strategy to win his goal of defunding Obamacare. “It was very evident to everyone in the room that Cruz doesn’t have a strategy -– he never had a strategy, and could never answer a question about what the end-game was,” one senator told Politico. “I just wish the 35 House members that have bought the snake oil that was sold could witness what was witnessed today at lunch.”


Progressive Pulse: Another baffling performance by the Governor
Another day and another strange and troubling moment for Governor McCrory. Today’s came when the Governor charged into the press room at the state Administration Building to read a four-and-a-half minute statement in response to the announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice that it would be adding North Carolina to the list of states it has sued in recent years for unlawfully suppressing voting rights. While there was much in the statement itself that fell short — the Governor seemed, for instance, not to remember that his voter suppression law includes multiple provisions spread out over 49 pages and is about a lot more than just voter ID requirements – there were at least two other items about the event that had to leave observers shaking their heads


Real Clear Politics: Ex-Bush Aide Griffin to Seek N.C. House Seat
Taylor Griffin, a longtime Republican operative and former White House aide, announced Thursday that he will challenge U.S. Rep. Walter Jones Jr. in North Carolina’s 3rd District. In a statement announcing his campaign, Griffin characterized himself as a “principled conservative” in the coastal district where Mitt Romney defeated President Obama by 17 points in the 2012 presidential election. “I am running for Congress to return our bedrock conservative Eastern North Carolina values to Washington,” Griffin said. “The most liberal Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives should come from San Francisco, not from Eastern North Carolina.” A native of Wilson, N.C., Griffin was a campaign operative on both of George W. Bush’s presidential runs and served as an aide in the Bush White House and in the Treasury Department.

Political Wire: McAuliffe Links Cuccinelli to Government Shutdown (VIDEO)
Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe (D) links rival Ken Cuccinelli (R) to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and the federal government shutdown in a tough new ad.

The Daily Tarheel: Hagan positions herself for 2014
With the 2014 U.S. Senate campaign beginning, candidates are staking their pressing issues in North Carolina. After the N.C. General Assembly passed a controversial budget this summer, Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., posted a petition to her campaign website asking to restore money that was cut from the education budget. The petition is just one of many that Hagan has posted on her website involving the state legislature — an area in which she has little influence as a U.S. Senator.Mitch Kokai, a political analyst from the conservative John Locke Foundation, said he thinks Hagan posted this petition to get ready for elections next year. “I think what she’s trying to do is stir up some interest among the Democratic base in getting support for her campaign,” he said. “Obviously, her run for re-election is going to be the big race in North Carolina.”

Political Wire: What the GOP Base is Thinking
Democracy Corps conducted focus groups to get inside the base of the Republican Party.
"Understand that the base thinks they are losing politically and losing control of the country – and their starting reaction is ‘worried,’ ‘discouraged,’ ‘scared,’ and ‘concerned’ about the direction of the country – and a little powerless to change course. They think Obama has imposed his agenda, while Republicans in DC let him get away with it."

Charlotte Observer: Mayoral candidates Cannon, Peacock spar over spending
Underscoring their philosophical differences, Charlotte Democratic mayoral candidate Patrick Cannon and Republican rival Edwin Peacock sparred Thursday over budgets, taxes and the streetcar.Speaking at a forum sponsored by the Mecklenburg County Bar Association, Cannon criticized Peacock for not supporting the city’s recent capital improvement budget.

The Daily Beast: She’s In! Wendy Davis Announces She’s Running for Texas Governor
It’s official: Wendy Davis is running for Texas governor.The state senator from Fort Worth, who shot to national attention in June with a nearly 11-hour filibuster over a restrictive abortion bill, announced her candidacy Thursday amid a cheering crowd in the same auditorium where she graduated from high school. “This is not a campaign for the governor of our state, but for the future of our state,” Davis said. “Until we can make our state even greater, we will keep going.” Despite the national attention, Davis comes into the race as the underdog. Republicans outnumber Democrats in the state, and Davis’s presumptive opponent, Attorney General Greg Abbott, has held statewide office since 2005 and has a more than $20 million war chest. But even before announcing her candidacy, Davis trailed Abbott by only 8 points, according to aTexas Lyceum poll released Wednesday. He led her 29 percent to 21 percent, with the rest of those polled undecided.


Bloomberg: Hillary Clinton Tops in 2016 Race, Would Topple Top Republicans
Hillary Clinton has the most support of any potential Democratic candidate for the 2016 presidential sweepstakes and would defeat any of three Republican candidates tested in a poll released today. The former secretary of state, 65, has the support of 61 percent of Democrats, according to the Quinnipiac University national poll. n the Democratic field, Clinton tops Vice President Joseph Biden 61 percent to 11 percent, with 7 percent favoring U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and 2 percent supporting New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.“As she watches the hand-to-hand political combat in Washington, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remains above the fray and the queen of the 2016 mountain,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.Asked about the Republican field, 17 percent of those polled said they’d support Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, 13 percent were for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, 12 percent backed Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and 11 percent said they’d support former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin each had 10 percent. In a head-to-head contest against Republicans, Clinton would defeat Christie 49 percent to 36 percent, Paul 53 percent to 36 percent, and Cruz 54 percent to 31 percent.The survey conducted among 1,497 registered voters between Sept. 23-29 has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percent.


The Washington Post: We Need Climate-Change Risk Assessment
Our analysis, when complete, will arm decision-makers with the information they need to determine how much climate risk they are comfortable taking on. The reality is that we don’t yet know everything there is to know about climate change, and we don’t know its full potential impact. That’s exactly why we need to assess the risks. What will changes in temperature and precipitation mean for farmers and livestock producers? How will higher sea levels affect the value of coastal property? What might stronger and more frequent storms mean for the infrastructure that is the bedrock of our national economy? These are not theoretical questions. We already know that extreme weather events cost a lot of money. In recent years, these costs have added up after such events as Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina; the wildfires and epic floods in Colorado; the die-off of pine trees across the Rocky Mountains; devastating, historic floods across the Midwest; deepening drought in New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma; record heat waves across Alaska and the Northeast; and the slow but intractable death of the coral reefs in the Gulf of Mexico.


The New York Times: Wrong Side of History
Sarah Palin finally got her death panels — a direct blow from the Republican House. In shutting down the government, leaving 800,000 people without a paycheck and draining the economy of $300 million a day, the Party of Madness also took away last-chance cancer trials for children at the National Institutes of Health. And now that the pain that was dismissed as a trifle on Monday, a “slimdown” according to the chuckleheads at Fox News, is revealed as tragic by mid-week, the very radicals who caused the havoc are trying to say it’s not their fault. It’s too late. They flunked hostage-taking. About 30 or so Republicans in the House, bunkered in gerrymandered districts while breathing the oxygen of delusion, are now part of a cast of miscreants who have stood firmly on the wrong side of history. The headline, today and 50 years from now, will be the same: Republicans closed the government to keep millions of their fellow Americans from getting affordable health care. They are not righteous rebels or principled provocateurs. They are not constitutionalists, using the ruling framework built by the founders. Just the opposite: they are a militant fringe of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of government trying to nullify an established law by extortion. This is not the design of the Constitution. Nor are they Martin Luther King Jr., or Rosa Parks or Winston Churchill — preposterous comparisons made on the floor of Congress by those whose only real fight is with progress.


Micah Beasley, Press Secretary
North Carolina Democratic Party
Twitter: @Micah4NC

Paid for by North Carolina Democratic Party. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee.