The special election in California is fast approaching and will test Prop-14 for the first time although a small turnout is expected. News continues to roll in on Obama's gear up for his 2012 campaign as his approval rating rises to 50 %. It seems to be pretty obvious that his approval is dependent by the eyes of many on the health of the economy. Speaking of the economy and the budget crisis, Michelle Rhee of the Wall Street Journal discusses and interesting point on how this could be an opening for school reform, where cuts should be based on the quality of the teacher, not their seniority.
- North Dakota Bill for a Blanket Primary (Ballot Access News) The bill would change that, so that any voter could vote for any candidate in any party’s primary. This is the system that California used in 1998 and 2000, and for all special elections 1967 until 2010.
- SSP Daily Digest: 1/11 (by: Crisitunity, Swing State Project)
- Obama approval rises as economy improves: poll (CNBC - Reuters) Independent voters who abandoned Democrats in November 2 elections and who Obama will need to win a second term in 2012 are willing to take a second look. In this poll, independents backed him 50 percent to 45 percent.
- Obama Begins Gearing Up Re-Election Bid (By JONATHAN WEISMAN And LAURA MECKLER, Wall Street Journal) After a disastrous midterm election for his party, Mr. Obama recently has been seeking to re-establish himself as a unifying figure who can appeal to independent voters. Now, some Democratic strategists close to the White House fear the return of Mr. Obama as a candidate could harm the repositioning effort.
- Feb. 15 to mark 'short, brutal affair' in California (Becky Yeh - OneNewsNow California correspondent, American Family News Network) Pres. of Calif. Repub Assembly: "You will see the first time -- and that's why this was a big mistake -- it drowns out voices," he notes. "You will absolutely see that probably the top two vote-getters will be Democrat[s]."
- Brown sets special election for Assembly vacancy (The Associated Press, Mercury News) Under California's new open primary law, the top two vote-getters in a March 8 primary will advance to a May 3 runoff election, regardless of party affiliation. Brown set the dates Tuesday.
- Willie Nelson in tune with Galbraith for governor (By Jack Brammer, Lexington Herald Leader) Nelson formed the Teapot Party last November after he was arrested for possession of marijuana. He said its motto is “We lean a little to the left.”
- Dr. King and the Achievement Gap (Brian Jones, Teacher and activist, Huffington Post) If we truly want to close the achievement gap, we should remember Dr. King's words. At the end of his life, his perspectives were diametrically opposed to those of today's political elites. Yet, come Monday, they will all line up to praise his dreams of equality. They will quote his famous speech from 1963, but not his perspectives from 1967: "If the society changes its concept by placing the responsibility on its system, not on the individual, and guarantees secure employment or a minimum income, dignity will come within reach of all."
- In Budget Crises, an Opening for School Reform - School systems can put students first by making sure any layoffs account for teacher quality, not seniority. (By MICHELLE RHEE, Wall Street Journal)
- Jared Lee Loughner a Registered Independent; Didn't Vote in 2010 (Posted by Stephanie Condon, CBS News/Politics Hotsheet
Jared Lee Loughner was a registered independent, didn't vote in 2010 election (By Chris Cillizza, Washington Post/The Fix)
- Right rejects left’s charges on Palin (By Shane D’Aprile and Sean J. Miller, The Hill) Commentator Bill Kristol called the attacks on Palin “McCarthyism.”