Thursday, April 14, 2011

Obama and the Budget, Trump and the Repubs, Slouching Toward 2012

I watched President Obama's speech yesterday and it made sense to me. I just don't see our present Congress having the backbone to carry out a plan that raises taxes on the top richest 2%. And again, without serious structural political reform, these problems will not be addressed in any serious way that will actually help the American people. President Obama would do well to support the kinds of reforms that independents are calling for -- open primaries, independent redistricting commissions, nonpartisan elections.

  • Obama leaves GOP in no mood to deal (By: Glenn Thrush and Manu Raju, Politico) Still, some are optimistic that with the president’s decision to get more forcefully involved in the debt issue, that there could be a way forward to craft a bipartisan compromise –and some hope that could happen as part of an agreement to raise the $14.3 trillion national debt limit, which the Treasury Department has warned must occur within the next few months. But Republican leaders in the Senate are in no mood to compromise with Democrats on the debt limit vote, and are urging their members not to filibuster the vote so Democrats are forced to find 51 votes from their own caucus.
  • Obama risks losing liberals with talk of cutting budget (By Zachary A. Goldfarb and Peter Wallsten, Washington Post/Business) President Obama faces a growing rebellion on the left as he courts independent voters and Republicans with his vision for reducing the nation’s debt by cutting government spending and restraining the costs of federal health insurance programs.

  • Trump’s Rise Highlights a Flawed Field (By NATE SILVER, NY Times/FiveThirtyEight) The counterpart to the Fairfax Five are the Factional Five. They are unpopular with independent voters and, instead, are competing mostly for Tea Party voters and other conservatives that vote within the Republican primary. They tend to be good at drawing attention to themselves, especially on blogs and cable television shows. These candidates are Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump and Ron Paul.
  • Could Trump Lose GOP Primaries, and Legally Run in General Election? (By Katrina Trinko, National Review/The Corner) If Donald Trump wants to see how he fares in the GOP primaries, and then run for president outside the GOP, there are only four states where his participation in a GOP primary could impact a non-Republican run in the general election. Those four states are Mississippi, Texas, Ohio, and South Dakota, according to Ballot Access News editor Richard Winger.  What sets them apart from the other states is that their “sore loser” laws, which bar candidates from running as an independent candidate and/or third party candidate in the general election after losing a primary, impact presidential candidates. In most states with sore loser laws, that’s not the case. 

Commentary: GOP's crowded field presents a problem for President Obama in 2012 (By Laura Vecsey, Patriot News - PA) Unaffiliated voters in Pennsylvania pushed Obama to victory here in 2008, but PPP found that independent voters are split between Obama and the top three GOP contenders. Obama wins independent votes only over Palin and former House Speaker Gingrich.

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