News and Observer: Dome: New poll shows some Republican vulnerability in NC
The upheaval from the legislative session continues to reverberate as lawmakers look at what it did for their prospects in 2014. Voters are wavering, Republicans are openly discussing a course-correction next year and the N.C. Democratic Party is trying to capitalize. And now, it’s showing in legislative district polls. Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-learning firm based in Raleigh, recently looked at eight state Senate districts held by Republicans, finding two leaning Democrat and six more in the toss-up category. PPP pollster Tom Jensen writes that “the political landscape has shifted in such a way that Democrats have a lot more opportunities to eat into the Republican majority next year than could have ever been imagined even six months ago.”
StarNews Online: NC Democrats run newspaper ads against Republicans
The North Carolina Democratic Party is running ads in newspapers this week criticizing Republican lawmakers for public education laws this year that contained no teacher raises and granted tax-funded scholarships for students to attend private school. A party spokesman said Wednesday it’s spending several thousand dollars initially on ads in more than a dozen publications chosen according to House and Senate districts represented by Republicans but Democrats want to target in the 2014 elections.
WECT 6: Poll shows dissatisfaction with Sen. Thom Goolsby
A survey of nearly 600 voters in Sen. Thom Goolsby’s district found that more than half disapprove of his job performance, according to results released Wednesday by left-leaning Public Policy Polling of Raleigh. Half the respondents said they’d vote for Goolsby’s Democratic opponent if the election were held today. In a telephone interview with WECT, Goolsby called Public Policy Polling "the premier liberal pollster." He said that he hasn’t read the poll and doesn’t intend to. "I could care less what they say," Goolsby said. He said the firm has always been wrong in predicting his races.
Real Clear Politics: Obama:"Unprecedented Effort" To Scare People About Obamacare (VIDEO)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: "What you’ve had is an unprecedented effort that you’ve seen ramp up in the past month or so that those who have opposed the idea of universal health care in the first place — and have fought this thing tooth and nail through Congress and through the courts — trying to scare and discourage people from getting a good deal." (Clinton Global Initiative, September 24, 2013)
New York Times: Obama’s U.N. Speech in 3 Minutes (VIDEO)
Addressing the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama explained his positions on Syria and Iran, and the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians.
Politico: John Boozman thrashes Ted Cruz for Obamacare tactics
Sen. John Boozman lit into Sen. Ted Cruz during a closed-door meeting this week, underscoring the mounting tension within the Senate Republican Conference over the Texas freshman’s hardball tactics on Obamacare. Boozman is usually quiet and reserved in private sessions, but on Tuesday he could no longer keep his anger reserved, according to four people who witnessed the exchange. Boozman, an Arkansas Republican elected in 2010, stood up and yelled at Cruz, expressing frustration that his staff was deluged with belligerent phone calls mostly from out-of-state activists attacking the senator over the issue of defunding Obamacare, according to several sources familiar with the exchange. Boozman also slammed Cruz for suggesting Republicans were in favor of the three-year-old law even though all of them opposed it and have repeatedly voted to repeal it.
Real Clear Politics: McCain Defends Obamacare: "Respect Outcomes Of Elections" (VIDEO)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ): I would like to make sure that my colleagues and especially those who were not here in 2009 understand that there are many of us who are opposed to Obamacare, as it’s called, the Affordable Care Act, and the opposition that we mounted in 2009, it’s a matter of record that, to start with, the Senate Finance Committee considered the Affordable Care Act over several weeks and approved the bill on October 13 of 2009. At that time, members of the Finance Committee submitted 564 amendments, 135 amendments were considered, 79 roll call votes taken, 41 amendments were adopted. Then the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee approved the Affordable Care Act by 13-10 after a month-long debate. 500 amendments were considered, more than 160 Republican amendments were accepted. And then it came to the floor of the Senate, and the Affordable Care Act was on the floor for 25 straight days, including weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas of 2009. 506 amendments were filed, 228 of which were Republican. 34 roll call votes were held. Most roll call votes resulted in party-line votes, including a motion which I had to commit the bill to the Finance Committee for a rewrite.
Slate: Ted Cruz, Wendy Davis, and Politico’s Bogus Claim of Media Bias
When Ted Cruz finally emerged from the Senate floor, he was met by a group of reporters nearly as large as the one that greeted Barack Obama when he came to the Hill to talk to senators about Syria. Cruz walked right into the thick of it. "How do you feel?" shouted one reporter."Good afternoon," said Cruz, who proceeded to condense his speech into two minutes. "Obamacare is the biggest job killer in this country. It’s causing millions of Americans not to have a job, to potentially lose a job, to be pushed into part-time work … this debate was about whether Washington was listening to the American people." "Can you talk about your feelings for us?" asked NBC News’ Kelly O’Donnell. "What you think you’ve accomplished?" Cruz gave another two minutes of greatest hits. "Americans are convinced there shouldn’t be two sets of rules, one for members of Congress and another for hard-working families," he said. "Any senator who votes to give the majority leader the ability to fund Obamacare on a 51-vote party vote has voted to fund Obamacare." He name-checked James Hoffa, whose disagreement with Obamacare is that union health plans don’t get subsidies, twice. After about five minutes, he pronounced he had "probably spoken enough" and left, ignoring some frivolous but logistical questions about how he’d had the stamina to hold the floor for 21 hours.
New Republic: Ted Cruz Is a Wacko Bird of His Party’s Own Making
For his 21-hour floor speech decrying Obamacare, Ted Cruz is catching heat from a lot of his fellow Republicans. In the Senate, they disdain his not-quite-filibuster as grandstanding. “This is not a situation where you dig your heels in and Obamacare gets defunded,” said Senator Ron Johnson. “[The tea party] just want anybody who offers them a path, whether it’s realistic or not.” Said Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, “To be told we’re not listening by somebody who does not listen is disconcerting.” The Wall Street Journal editorial page, usually on board for any assault on Obamacare, blasted Cruz’s maneuver as baldly ineffective.
The sum of all these reactions is yet more widespread Republican exasperation with Cruz. But while the GOP usually has good reason to treat Cruz like a wacko bird, this time, the GOP broadly has plainly laid the groundwork for his gimmicky Obamacare opposition. The Ted Cruz who completed that 21-hour Senate floor marathon is a wacko bird of the party’s own making.
Washington Post: House Republicans explore strategy to avoid federal government shutdown
With federal agencies set to close their doors in five days, House Republicans began exploring a potential detour on the path to a shutdown: shifting the fight over President Obama’s health-care law to a separate bill that would raise the nation’s debt limit. If it works, the strategy could clear the way for the House to approve a simple measure to keep the government open into the new fiscal year, which will begin Tuesday, without hotly contested provisions to defund the Affordable Care Act. But it would set the stage for an even more nerve-racking deadline on Oct. 17, with conservatives using the threat of the nation’s first default on its debt to force the president to accept a one-year delay of the health-care law’s mandates, taxes and benefits.Obama administration officials dismissed the plan, vowing that there would be no delay of the insurance initiative, which is set to begin enrolling consumers Tuesday. They argued that Republicans risk destroying their own credibility among voters, who strongly disapprove of such brinkmanship regardless of their views on the Affordable Care Act.
House Republicans will meet privately Thursday morning to plot paths forward on a looming government shutdown and legislation needed to raise the debt ceiling. House GOP leaders met Wednesday evening to discuss their next steps on a stopgap budget bill that would temporarily fund the government and avert a shutdown. The Senate is rewriting the House bill to restore money for the implementation of Obamacare, and is expected to send it back to the House, possibly as late as Monday, the day before the shutdown would occur without funding. Republican leaders will present to their rank and file on Thursday options they have in responding to the Senate’s pending refusal to defund Obamacare. Republicans aren’t ruling out attaching an Obamacare defunding provision onto another bill to keep the issue alive.House Republicans also could drop their defunding plans and push instead to delay the implementation of Obamacare. If the GOP does that, they would still send a new government funding bill, one that incorporates GOP priorities, back to the Senate.
Politics NC: In a lather
Republicans are all in a lather about the implementation of Obamacare. Here in North Carolina, they got news that sent them over the moon. Our state’s premiums will be higher than than the national average. On twitter, this was like Christmas in September. The right-wing talking-point tweeters were doing 140-character metaphorical jigs tweeting various forms of “I told ya so, you liberal idiots.” And, at the same time, Ted Cruz was wooing them with his faux filibuster. They were swooning like teenage girls at an Elvis concert. The right-flank of the Republican Party, dominated by the Tea Party faction, is betting the farm that the failure of Obamacare is going send Democrats the way of the dinosaur. They are sure that the public is hanging on every negative article and they have polls that show the American people dislike the new program more than they like it. The funnest part for me is watching them eat their own. They’re outright attacking Senator Richard Burr for not trying to defund Obamacare by any futile means possible. And they attacked the conservative but pragmatic Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) as a RINO for saying that the folks trying to defund Obamacare are not based in the “real world.” While I hope the moderates in the GOP civil war eventually win, right now I’m just enjoying the show.
The two men vying to be Charlotte’s next mayor squared off before city business leaders Wednesday, each positioning himself as the better choice to solve disputes over the airport, heal the rift with Republican lawmakers and boost economic prosperity. Debating during the Charlotte Chamber’s annual retreat, Democrat Patrick Cannon and Republican Edwin Peacock made their first debate a civil, restrained affair in which both touted their strengths without overtly attacking each other.Both men stressed the importance of Charlotte Douglas International Airport to the city’s economy and pledged to fight for the city to keep control of it, even as they decried the polarized politics that have swirled around it.
Slate: America’s Only Election: The Virginia Gubernatorial Debate
The last competitive elections in America this year are the races for control of Virginia’s statewide offices—governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general. Before the start of tonight’s gubernatorial debate, Democrats were telling me that the last of the three races was the only one worth panicking about. They worried that Mark Obenshain, the GOP’s nominee for AG, "read" as pretty moderate. The implication: No such problems with Ken Cuccinelli and E.W. Jackson, the social conservatives running for the top two jobs.Terry McAuliffe, the DNC rainmaker-turned-politician, attempted to take advantage of that by swinging every debate topic back to Cuccinelli’s social views. "Gridlock, driven by the Tea Party, is once again risking a government shutdown that would be devastating to the Virginia economy," he said. "My opponent has spent most of his career on a social ideological agenda. He has pushed personhood legislation which would outlaw most forms of contraception, would make the pill illegal in Virginia. He bullied the Board of Health that would shut down the woman’s health centers. Women are 50 percent of the workforce of the United States of America. You cannot grow an economy by putting walls up around Virginia."
LATimes: Another Clinton presidential campaign?
So, will Hillary Rodham Clinton run for president? In an interview with New York Magazine published this week, the former secretary of State acknowledged that she’s wrestling with the idea but still needs time "to weigh what the factors are" before "making a decision one way or the other." While Clinton is weighing factors, her supporters are building a campaign operation. A group called "Ready for Hillary" has collected more than 1 million Facebook "likes" and compiled preemptive endorsements from a long list of national figures, including Bill Clinton campaign veteran James Carville, civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and actress Eva Longoria. "Ready for Hillary" hasn’t been authorized by the not-yet-candidate, but it hasn’t been discouraged either; those lists would be awfully useful if there is a campaign. And here’s one more straw in the wind: Clinton has a new haircut. The scrunchies and ponytails are no more; the new coif is shorter, layered and more photogenic. How soon does Clinton need to decide? "She doesn’t have to declare now or in three months or six months," her husband, Bill Clinton, told PBS Monday. Notice he said "declare," not "decide."
News 14: NC teachers consider walkout to protest poor working conditions
Teachers are considering a statewide walkout to get lawmakers’ attention. They are fed up with education funding cuts, lay-offs, lack of raises, and even more importantly, what they see as a lack of respect for their profession. There is no denying teachers have a tough job and the importance of having a good teacher in every classroom. But feeling underpaid and under-appreciated, teachers across the state are considering a walkout.“I think it’s a shame that it’s going to possibly take that to get noticed,” said James Gardiner, a Wake County father. In a grassroots effort, teachers have started a Facebook event page titled “November 4th NC Teacher Walkout Day.”
Huffington Post: House Republicans Argued Unsucessfully To Include Abortion Provision In Debt Ceiling Bill: Report
Some House Republicans argued, without success, to include a ban on late-term abortions in a bill to authorize a one-year increase of the debt ceiling just three weeks before the Treasury Department expects that the United States will not have enough money to fund its obligations, according to the Washington Post. The House of Representatives already passed a ban in June, but the Democratic-controlled Senate did not take up the measure and the White House threatened to veto it. Adding the provision was previously reported as under consideration in May. While other provisions considered by the GOP had at least a plausible relationship to the debt, a late-term abortion ban does nothing. In fact, the CBO estimated that such a ban will increase the debt.
Buzzfeed Politics: Hillary Clinton To Lead Review Of Women’s Rights At Clinton Foundation
Hillary Clinton announced Wednesday morning that her focus at the Clinton Foundation will be a “full and clear-eyed” review of global women’s rights leading up to September 2015, which will mark the 20th anniversary of her landmark speech at the United Nations Conference on Women in Beijing.In remarks delivered in New York City at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting, Clinton said her initiative — dubbed “Beijing Plus 20” — will examine “how far we have come, how far we still have to go, and what we plan to do together about the unfinished business of the 21st century: the full and equal participation of women.”
In 1996, scientists took a huge risk when they pointed the Hubble telescope to an inky field that they believed to be void of stars and planets. As images from Hubble are in constant demand, the worry was that devoting so much time to a black space would prove futile. Once the photons finally registered, though, that leap of faith proved fruitful: light from over three thousand galaxies illuminated the image. A few years and missions later, Hubble’s glimpse into what is known as the deep field has revealed that we are just one tiny part of a vast system comprising 100 billion galaxies.
Micah Beasley, Press Secretary
North Carolina Democratic Party
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