WP: Republicans Have Edge With Independents

From the Washington Post:

Republicans may have an edge with independent voters. Can they use it?

By Chris Cillizza | September 29, 2013

Understanding the independent voter is the white whale of politics. Strategists in both parties spend inordinate amounts of time trying to grasp why these fence-sitters feel the way they feel — and what message makes them vote Democratic or Republican on Election Day.

How can independent voters who supported Democratic House candidates by 18 points in 2006 turn around and back Republicans running for the House by 19 points just four years later? And what does that movement tell us about where independents might end up in the 2014 midterms and, eventually, the 2016 presidential election?

Those are the questions Micah Roberts of the Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies seeks to answer in a new memo that combines years of NBC-Wall Street Journal polling data on independents

Here’s what Roberts did: He merged all of the monthly information on independents for 2010, 2012 and 2013, giving him a huge — and statistically rigorous — group of independents in each of those years.


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Americans Are The Most Conservative In Decades

First, we have this from an outraged Washington Post:

Americans are more conservative than they have been in decades

By Larry Bartels | September 30, 2013

James Stimson knows as much about public opinion as anyone in America. He has been tracking the nation’s policy preferences for more than 20 years using a “policy mood” index derived from responses to a wide variety of opinion surveys involving hundreds of specific policy questions on topics ranging from taxes and spending to environmental regulation to gun control.

The latest update of Stimson’s policy mood series suggests that the American public in 2012 was more conservative than at any point since 1952. (Actually, since mood in each year is estimated with some error, it seems safer to say that the current level of conservatism roughly equals the previous highs recorded in 1980 and 1952.) While the slight increase in conservatism from 2011 to 2012 is too small to be significant, it continues a marked trend that began as soon as Barack Obama moved into the White House…

Stimson’s data show, the public was already more conservative than usual in 2008, and a good deal more conservative by 2012…

Which is born out by this, from the Washington Examiner:

76% of GOP now ‘conservative,’ pick Cruz for 2016 nomination


This won’t surprise Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid or GOP old bull Sen.



Schools Drop Lunch Program Despite Losing Money

From the water carrying Associated Press:

Small number of schools drop out of lunch program

By MARY CLARE JALONICK | September 30, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Agriculture Department says 524 schools — out of about 100,000 — have dropped out of the federally subsidized national school lunch program since the government introduced new standards for healthier foods last year.

The new standards have met with grumbling from school nutrition officials who say they are difficult and expensive to follow, conservatives who say the government shouldn’t be dictating what kids eat and — unsurprisingly — from some children who say the less-greasy food doesn’t taste as good. But USDA says the vast majority of schools are serving healthier food, with some success. Data to be released Monday by the department shows that 80 percent of schools say they have already met the requirements, which went into place at the beginning of the 2012 school year.


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Obama-Care Includes $11,000 ‘Marriage Penalty’

First, we have this from an op-ed in Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch:

Will Obamacare hurt job creation and marriage?

By Diana Furchtgott-Roth | Sept. 27, 2013

… As well as effects on hiring, the subsidies in the Affordable Care Act, could increase the incentive to divorce and discourage marriage…

Under the Act, if workers have affordable single-family coverage from an employer — coverage that by law workers are obligated to accept — their family members will not be eligible for premium subsidies on the exchanges. This can make the cost of insurance for some low- or middle-income families unaffordable. But if they divorce, they get the subsidy.

Without subsidies, low-income families will not be able to afford to buy insurance on the state exchanges. The Internal Revenue Service estimates that family plans will cost $20,000 (in after-tax dollars) a year by 2016.



19% Medicos: O-Care Will Make Some Die Sooner

From the Washington Examiner:

19% of health care pros say Americans ‘will die earlier’ due to Obamacare


A unique new survey of health care professionals finds that 56 percent oppose Obamacare, with more than nine in 10 believing that there could be major negative impacts such as a drop in quality care. A shocking 19 percent believe Americans will die earlier.

In its 2013 Health Care Survey of 200 top health care professionals nationally, Coupa Software told Secrets that health care professionals are worried about a number of setbacks that the health law could result in. Asked to list the “negative impacts,” of which they could pick several, here’s what Coupa found:

— 53 percent, “Quality of health insurance policies will suffer.”
— 51 percent, “Quality of care will go down.”
— 49 percent, “The law is overly complicated."

— 42 percent, “Insurance exchanges will be poorly managed.”
— 37 percent, “The law still allows insurance companies to be the middleman.”
— 32 percent, “Too complex for businesses.”
— 19 percent, “Americans will die earlier.”

These are some pretty grim expectations.



Economy Boomed During 1995 & 1996 Shutdowns

From the Daily Caller:

U.S. economy boomed during 1995/1996 shutdown

By Tim Cavanaugh | September 29, 2013

Every major economic indicator in the United States improved during and after the Clinton-era government shutdown that has dominated news analysis columns throughout the Defund Obamacare debate.

Although the spending gaps that occurred from November 1995 to January 1996 are depicted almost unanimously by politicians and the establishment media as disasters for the United States, in fact the so-called shutdowns, during which a portion of government spending was temporarily reduced, did no discernible damage to the American economy, and may have boosted the financial well-being of the American people.

“I mean whatever effect Obamacare might have on the economy is far less than even a few days of government shutdown,” President Obama declared in a speech to supporters Thursday, giving a characteristic point of view that seems to be shared by a majority of Americans, who strongly oppose a government shutdown.


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AP: Economy Won’t Be Hurt By A Gov’t Shutdown

From the Associated Press:

Why investors shouldn’t fear a government shutdown

Past US government shutdowns haven’t caused the stock market to melt down

Steve Rothwell and Ken Sweet, AP Markets Writers | September 28, 2013

NEW YORK (AP) — The government shuts down. The economy unravels. Stocks plunge. That may be Wall Street’s worst fear, but history shows it’s mostly overblown.

Has the Syrian Electronic Army hijacked the AP’s servers again?

There have been 17 government funding gaps and shutdowns since 1976, ranging in length from one to 21 days. A funding gap is when federal agencies continue to operate without the passage of a regular appropriations bill. None has caused a market meltdown.

The average decline in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index during one of these periods lasting 10 days or more is about 2.5 percent.



AP Claims Threat Of Default Caused US Downgrade

From the shameless fear mongers at the Associated Press:

How budget showdowns could squeeze the US economy

By Christopher s. Rugaber | September 29, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — Just as the U.S. economy is struggling to expand at a healthy pace, a pair of political standoffs threatens to slow growth and spook investors.

Just when the economy was getting ready to take off — again. Gosh, Obama is unlucky.

Here are questions and answers about how the two standoffs, now intertwined, could affect the economy and financial markets…

The "two standoffs" being the government shutdown over the continuing resolution to fund the government and the debt ceiling debate.

Q. Will the economy escape harm if both deadlines are met?

A. Probably. But even brinksmanship can have consequences.


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There Have Been 17 Shutdowns, Mostly Dem Affairs

From the Washington Post:

Here is every previous government shutdown, why they happened and how they ended

By Dylan Matthews | September 25, 2013

Since the modern congressional budgeting process took effect in 1976, there have been a total of seventeen separate government shutdowns..

Shutdown #1: HEWdown

When did it take place? Sept. 30 to Oct. 11, 1976
How long did it last? 10 days
Who was president? Gerald Ford
Who controlled the Senate? Democrats, 62-38; Mike Mansfield was majority leader
Who controlled the House? Democrats, 291-144; Carl Albert was speaker
Why did it happen? The major budget conflict during this period came because Ford vetoed a funding bill for the Departments of Labor and Health, Education, and Welfare (or HEW, today split into the Departments of Education and of Health and Human Services), arguing that it failed to restrain spending adequately.


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AP Cheers Obama’s Willingness To Shutdown Govt

From the Associated Press:

White House: Obama will veto House shutdown bill

September 28, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama would veto House Republican legislation that would delay much of the president’s health care overhaul for a year and cancel a tax on medical devices.

Once again, notice how the AP avoids reporting that the Republican bill would delay the individual mandate for a year. Why are they afraid to tell their readers that? Because it’s a hugely popular idea?

And note too that the AP neglects to mention that this veto would shutdown the government. (Just like Bill Clinton’s vetoes shut down the government in 1995 and 1996.)

The White House statement comes as the GOP-run House prepares to debate a bill averting a government shutdown Tuesday morning, but delaying the health care law and repealing the tax as the price for doing so.



The AP Sugarcoats Reid’s Refusal To Compromise

From the Associated Press:

Who’ll blink? Dems, GOP in shutdown stare down

By ANDREW TAYLOR | September 30, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — With the government teetering on the brink of partial shutdown, congressional Republicans vowed Sunday to keep using an otherwise routine federal funding bill to try to attack the president’s health care law.

Oddly enough, Obama is never mentioned once in this article. He apparently has nothing to do with any of this.

Congress was closed for the day after a post-midnight vote in the GOP-run House to delay by a year key parts of the new health care law and repeal a tax on medical devices, in exchange for avoiding a shutdown…

Note how artfully the AP avoids mentioning that the Republicans are pushing to have the individual mandate delayed for a year.



The S&L ‘Hive’ – Please Talk Amongst Yourselves

Here is our weekend discussion thread, where comments on the general topics of the day are very welcome.

But please remember to post and comment on specific news items in the ‘Reader Selected News’ thread below or via the ‘News Selected By Our Readers’ link found in the sidebar.



Reader Selected News For Week Sep 28 – Oct 4

This thread is for the busy bees of S&L to post news articles that might not warrant their own thread.

Posting Guidelines

To make the articles as readable as possible, please:

  • Only post news from established news media outlets.
  • Avoid editorials or opinion pieces unless they are truly newsworthy.
  • Avoid items that most people most likely have seen elsewhere.
  • Post articles that fit under the topic of a recent thread as a comment there.
  • Always spell out the name of the source and post a link to it.
  • Always post less than one quarter of the original article.

Posts of articles that do not follow these guidelines may be edited or deleted.

Thank you.



WI Bill Would Protect Racist Names Like ‘Indians’

From an apoplectic Associated Press:

Wis. bill aims to guard race-based school nicknames

September 26, 2013

MADISON, Wis. –  Republican legislators in Wisconsin introduced a bill Thursday that would make it harder to strip public schools of race-based nicknames and allow schools already ordered to drop such monikers to keep them.

The proposal stems from a Milwaukee-area school district’s refusal to follow a state order to drop its "Indians" name. It comes amid a rekindling of the national debate over race-based nicknames, including a push to get the Washington Redskins to change names.

The bill, which one Native American official described as racist, would require anyone seeking to change a school nickname to get enough petition signatures from district residents to equal or exceed one-tenth of the number of district students.



Obama Begins Bailout Of Detroit With $100 Million

From the Associated Press:

Ahead of talks, feds find $100M for broke Detroit

By COREY WILLIAMS | September 27, 2013

DETROIT (AP) — The federal fingerprint in efforts to fix Detroit is growing larger as the Obama administration has found millions of dollars in grant money to help the bankrupt city hire more police and firefighters, and clear out blighted neighborhoods.

So while we are being distracted by the Obama-Care debate, and Syria, the federal taxpayer bailout of Detroit begins. In fact, it’s probably been underway for some time. And this is just the first time we are being told about it. But you can be damn sure this $100 million of taxpayer dollars is only the beginning.

But considering the Motor City is at least $18 billion in debt, it will take a far larger infusion of cash or historic deals with bond holders, insurance companies and other creditors to correct the problem.



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