Somehow, this is still Bush’s fault:
Voters in battleground states think President Obama is worse at “managing the basic functions of the federal government” than his predecessor George W. Bush, according to a POLITICOpollreleased Monday. In other words, voters think Obama is a less effective manager than the man he stills blames for his failures.
Thirty-eight percent of respondents said Bush, the greatest living president, was a more effective manager of government, compared to 35 percent who said Obama was more effective; 26 percent said the two were “about the same.” So in total, 64 percent of respondents think Obama is, at best, no better than George W. Bush at managing the government.
It comes as no surprise, then, that 64 percent of respondents believe things in the U.S. feel “out of control” right now. And 50 percent said the country was “off the wrong track.” The survey comes on the heels of a Fox News poll last week that asked respondents about how they feel things in the world are going. With ISIS, Ebola, a nuclear Iran, and countless other instabilities and threats around the globe, it’s easy to see why 58 percent said things are “going to hell in a handbasket.”
First, the good news: Pat Roberts has been struggling in this race and many polls have found him trailing Orman, so even a dead heat might mean he's gained some ground - and that his rhetoric that Orman is a progressive masquerading as a centrist might be taking hold. The other candidate/undecided vote looks to be breaking toward Roberts, as only 8% of those polled now say they're not committed to either Roberts or Orman.
The bad news, however, is that Orman still maintains a sizable lead over Roberts with self-identified independent voters - 60%-32%. The self-identified independent vote in Kansas is larger than the Democratic vote in Kansas, so Roberts' poor showing here is not good, especially considering that Romney won the independent vote handily in 2012 and Roberts won the independent vote by 5 points in his last election in 2008.
Townhall's PollTracker average, which takes into account all polling to date, finds Orman has a slight lead of two percentage points over Roberts:
Tens of thousands of federal workers are being kept on paid leave for at least a month — and often for longer stretches that can reach a year or more — while they wait to be punished for misbehavior or cleared and allowed to return to work, government records show. During a three-year period that ended last fall, more than 57,000 employees were sent home for a month or longer. The tab for these workers exceeded $775 million in salary alone. The extensive use of so-called administrative leave continues despite government personnel rules that limit paid leave for employees facing discipline to “rare circumstances” in which the employee is considered a threat. The long-standing rules were written in an effort to curb waste and deal quickly with workers accused of misconduct. And the comptroller general, the top federal official responsible for auditing government finances and practices, has repeatedly ruled that federal workers should not be sidelined for long periods for any reason.
They found that supervisors used wide discretion in putting employees on leave, including for alleged violations of government rules and laws, whistleblowing, doubts about trustworthiness, and disputes with colleagues or bosses. Some employees remain on paid leave while they challenge demotions and other punishments. While the employees stayed home, they not only collected paychecks but accrued pension earnings, vacation and sick days, and moved up the federal pay scale...The GAO report almost certainly understates the extent and cost of administrative leave because the figures examined by the auditors were incomplete. Not all government agencies keep track of the practice, and those reviewed account for only about three-fifths of the federal workforce.
In its weekly update for New York State physicians, the Medical Society of the State of New York wanted to ensure that the doctors within their network were well informed on the threat of Ebola. So, MSSNY President Andrew Kleinman, M.D., told them to make sure they were following the society on Twitter.
MSSNY is here to help you. As we communicate regularly with key New York State officials, and closely monitor the worldwide and U.S. efforts regarding efforts to contain the outbreak, please follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest scientific and other important information. Continuous updates are being posted to our Twitter and Facebook feeds when important new information arises, which is many times per day.
If you are not on Twitter or Facebook already, you need to follow us! (If you need help setting up an account, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org). And please “re-tweet” and “re-post” these important updates to those physicians and other care providers who follow you.
How reassuring to know that the MSSNY is taking necessary precautions to keep their patients safe by telling our respected doctors they must rely on social media. Are you telling me this is the best way the organization is keeping in contact with our physicians -- by assuming they're following their Twitter and Facebook accounts? Scary.
MSSNY isn't the only entity to be less-than-accessible on the threat of Ebola. The Centers for Disease Control has contradicted itself several times when responding to the health crisis. First, the CDC definitively declared the virus cannot spread in the air, yet a few days later in a House subcommittee, CDC director Thomas Frieden seemed much less sure of himself, stating, "Evidence does not suggest it spreads through the air." They also backtracked on comments that Ebola could not be spread through sneezing.
In addition to its inconsistent and misleading messages, the CDC managed to put people in danger when it allowed a nurse who had treated Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person infected with Ebola to die in America, to fly on a plane. They told her it would be okay to travel even after she had complained of a fever. It was another example of their incredibly botched oversight.
The question is, are New York's hospitals prepared for Ebola? While Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared New York is ready for the threat, local radio hosts have insisted doctors and nurses don't know the protocol. WBEN's Tom Bauerle said he's been speaking with hospitals who say they are not at all prepared.
But, as long as they keep refreshing their Twitter page, all is well.
One Democrat whose gallantry toward women is monomaniacal, Sen. Mark Udall (Colo.), is now uncomfortably known here as “Mark Uterus.” He is seeking a second term by running such a relentlessly gynecological campaign that the Denver Post, in endorsing his opponent, Rep. Cory Gardner, denounced the “shocking amount of energy and money” Udall has devoted to saying that Gardner favors banning birth control. Actually, Gardner favors over-the-counter sales of oral contraceptives. In addition to being common sense, Gardner’s proposal is his way of making amends for formerly advocating a state constitutional “personhood” amendment (it is again on the ballot this year and will be decisively rejected for a third time) and for endorsing similar federal legislation that has zero chance of passage. By defining personhood as beginning at conception, these measures might preclude birth control technologies that prevent implantation in the uterus of a fertilized egg. On this slender reed, Udall leans his overheated accusations that Gardner is bent on “trampling on women’s rights,” is on a “crusade” for “eliminating” reproductive freedoms and would “outlaw birth control.”
Gardner, 40, cherubic and ebullient, is a human sunbeam whose unshakable cheerfulness is disconcertingly authentic as he exclaims to the waiter at breakfast, “Thank you for your work this morning!” A fifth-generation Coloradoan who lives in a prairie town in a house once owned by his great-grandparents, Gardner is amused by an anomaly: “Udall looks like the Republican in this race — dour and angry.” When Gardner ran an ad saying Udall is “a real nice guy” but too much a creature of Washington to change it (Udall’s father, an Arizona congressman, ran for president; Udall’s uncle was an Arizona congressman and interior secretary; Udall’s cousin is a senator from New Mexico), Udall, in high synthetic dudgeon, called the ad a reprehensible attack on his family. Which elicited this puckish headline in the Washington Examiner: “Cory Gardner calls Mark Udall ‘nice guy’; Democrats want ad pulled.”
Protect "every penny" of Medicare benefits for current and soon-to-be seniors, and reform the troubled program to preserve it for future generations. That's right, Gardner just took a (good-natured, upbeat) shot across the 'MediScare' bow in the closing weeks of the campaign.
Editor's Note: A version of this piece is cross-posted at HotAir.com
If there’s one thing the Tillis campaign has a lot of, it’s confidence. North Carolina GOP Vice Chairwoman Carolyn Justice was feeling good about Republican prospects of booting Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan on Election Day.
“I smell victory in the air,” she told a group of supporters in a packed room at the Raleigh Victory center last Saturday. Hagan’s Republican challenger, Thom Tillis, also addressed the crowd before starting a victory center tour across the state.
As he began to address his legion of loyal supporters, Tillis reaffirmed that the “campaign is going great.” He recalled how he was in the very same room back in 2010 when the NC GOP was planning to retake the State House of Representatives. Tillis was convinced the party would win 16 seats–and they did. In the legislature, Tillis noted that Republicans kept their promises of cutting taxes, spending, regulations, protecting life and promoting family.
Tillis added that keeping your promises is the easiest way to get elected, while breaking them is the fastest way to find yourself out of politics. He then gave a history of Hagan’s record of failure.
She voted for Obamacare, which gutted health care coverage for millions of Americans; Veterans Affairs is still a mess; and ISIS is on the rise thanks to Hagan being a rubber stamp for the Obama agenda. Sen. McCain, who dropped by North Carolina last week, told Tillis that he believes America has never been so vulnerable in his lifetime.
On Ebola, Hagan was against a travel ban and now she’s for it, which Tillis reacted by saying, “welcome.”
As for the stimulus allegations against Hagan, Tillis said, “that’s not leadership; it’s wrong.”
In all, Tillis is positioning himself to be an independent voice for North Carolinians; a person who will stand up to leaders of both parties who fail to act on reducing spending, cutting regulations, and creating a climate that is conducive to job growth. It takes courage and commitment to do that–and you can’t succeed if you, like Hagan, vote with the president and his party 96 percent of the time. That’s been a huge talking point for Republicans in this race.
As with any candidate, Tillis thanked his supporters for their time helping him in his race; he also mentioned how critical it is to be on the frontlines as the 2014 election cycle enters its final weeks.
With that said, he also mentioned how this race is his to lose. There’s still a lot of time for both sides to drop the ball. North Carolina is turning out to be one of the most, if not the most, expensive Senate races in our history.
When asked by a GOP strategist how does it feel to be the center of attention for a lot of national media outlets, Tillis said it didn’t leave him with any good feelings. It would mean his campaign would be in the crosshairs of the national Democrats and Harry Reid, which you have already seen in their incessant attacks on his education policies.
On the other hand, Tillis encouraged his supporters who have not yet watched any of the debates to do so; you can see that Sen. Hagan can’t be proud of anything she has done in the U.S. Senate.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus also had a few words, calling North Carolina “ground zero” in the fight for the Senate majority this year. While Priebus thanked Tillis’ supporters, he warned them that freedom was “evaporating” in this country. With Obamacare, premiums are going up, people with coverage are being dropped, and doctors are being lost.
The chairman noted how Hagan was the point of the lance in peddling the “you can keep you doctor” Obamacare lie. Again, as for addressing the allegation that Hagan’s family profited from stimulus cash, Priebus simply said that one should Google “corruption” to get a sense of that story.
As Priebus left the podium, he said, “If you want jobs, vote Republican."
Fresh off from her bizarro-land and near-universally hated advertisement that essentially accused Greg Abbott of hating the disabled (despite, you know, being a person with a disability himself), Wendy Davis' campaign has now thrown another Hail Mary pass in an attempt to remain somewhat relevant in the election by accusing Abbott of being in favor of a ban of interracial marriage.
Greg Abbott won't say whether he'd defend an interracial marriage ban—troubling but not surprising from someone who defends a "poll tax."— Wendy Davis (@WendyDavisTexas) October 20, 2014
Abbott's wife, Cecilia, is Hispanic. His first campaign ad featured his in-laws speaking Spanish, and pointed out that his wife would be the first Hispanic First Lady in the state's history if he were to be elected. The "poll tax" Davis' tweet refers to is Texas' voter identification law, which was approved by the Supreme Court yesterday.
Twitter reacted with appropriate (and somewhat amused) shock at the "desperation" of Davis' tweet:
"We said the wheelchair guy hates the disabled. Now what?" "His wife's Hispanic. Say he hates interracial marriage." https://t.co/3HIkgwVx1J— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) October 20, 2014
That's a clown campaign, bro https://t.co/cAASXHfDY4— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) October 20, 2014
Just another disgusting move from what has already been a disgusting (and poorly-run) campaign.
But fear not. The "best" may be yet to come:
Guys, Wendy Davis has more than two weeks to come up with something even worse.— Timothy P Carney (@TPCarney) October 20, 2014
Abbott has a 15-point lead over Davis in the latest poll.
Two Democrats running for US Senate seats (who are expected to benefit the most from a Clintonworld endorsement) may be on the verge of losing, The Hill suggested in an op-ed published this weekend (via Noah Rothman):
Self-proclaimed Clinton Democrats are struggling this election cycle, and not even their powerful namesakes may be enough to save them.
Both Bill and Hillary Clinton have tried to turn on their charms to help centrist Democrats in Kentucky and Arkansas. But as candidates in both states are slipping, help from the party’s preeminent power couple is falling short. ….
Despite their close ties to the Clintons, their efforts to distance themselves from a deeply unpopular current president may not work.
And why not? One possible reason is because both candidates are struggling to portray themselves as independent-minded candidates. In Arkansas, for example, Sen. Mark Pryor has been routinely accused by the Cotton campaign of rubber stamping the administration’s agenda and casting the deciding vote for Obamacare. He is not, in other words, living up to his own slogan that “Arkansas Comes First.” By contrast, Team Pryor has sought to parlay these attacks by taking selfies with the former US president and emphasizing his record of bipartisanship. But these efforts will perhaps be in vain, as Noah Rothman explained over at Hot Air:
…What is instructive ahead of 2016 are those Democrats who are enthused to turn out in support of liberal candidates this cycle. It’s not pro-Clinton moderates, but Obama-backing progressives who are most likely to head to the polls despite anti-Democratic headwinds.
This is why Clinton's continued support for Pryor may fail to meaningfully tip the scales; after all, the kind of voters the former president's desperately trying to win over for him...may not even vote. Meanwhile, unfortunately for Pryor, recent polling indicates his Republican challenger is in fine shape, edging him in four of the last five polls conducted in the state.
Team Cotton therefore has the momentum, and it remains to be seen what, if anything, the Clintons can do about it.
Lots of people, at least up front near where journalists are sitting, appear to be leaving this rally now that Obama has started speaking.— Jeff Mason (@jeffmason1) October 19, 2014
Steady stream of people leaving Maryland rally continues as Obama speaks. It's noticeable and noisy. They would have waited hours to get in.— Jeff Mason (@jeffmason1) October 19, 2014
After waiting a long time for a POTUS speech, don't you want to hear the whole thing? And not just take a phone pic or two and then leave?— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) October 19, 2014
President Barack Obama made a rare appearance on the campaign trail on Sunday with a rally to support the Democratic candidate for governor in Maryland, but early departures of crowd members while he spoke underscored his continuing unpopularity. With approval levels hovering around record lows, Obama has spent most of his campaign-related efforts this year raising money for struggling Democrats, who risk losing control of the U.S. Senate in the Nov. 4 midterm election. Most candidates from his party have been wary of appearing with him during their election races because of his sagging popularity. Not so Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown of Maryland, who is running for governor, and Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois, who is running for re-election….A steady stream of people walked out of the auditorium while he spoke, however, and a heckler interrupted his remarks.
She votes with President Obama 97 percent of the time. Yet, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) represents the "middle ground" in Congress, according to The Times-Picayune, a New Orleans-based newspaper.
In its gushing editorial, The Times-Picayune praises Sen. Landrieu's efforts in steering disaster relief to the state after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita rattled its borders, as well as helping to secure the necessary funds to restore Louisiana's coasts following the disastrous BP gulf oil spill in 2010. Her success in these areas is certainly commendable, but the newspaper takes its praise a bit too far when it claims Landrieu is working directly in the political center:
She occupies the middle ground in Congress. She has been an advocate for free trade and a strong military. She pushed the Obama administration to lift its drilling moratorium after the BP spill and is an advocate for the oil and gas industry, which is a mainstay of Louisiana's economy.
Right...Did I mention Landrieu votes with the president 97 percent of the time? This is a fact The Times-Picayune has even reported. Oblivious. In addition to her nearly perfect party line voting record, Landrieu has proven to be radical on issues such as abortion. The Democratic senator has supported taxpayer funding for the procedure and has refused to support restrictions on abortion after five months, when unborn babies can feel pain.
What's more, Landrieu is a proud supporter of Common Core, an educational initiative the federal government has forced on schools across the country, taking decisions out of the hands of teachers and parents.
Landrieu is nowhere near the middle. She's in left field, catching everything our liberal president throws her way.
Our poll tracker currently has Landrieu's GOP opponent Bill Cassidy up by six points: