by Bill Schneider
Debates are rarely game changers. That’s bad news for Mitt Romney, who is depending on the debates to turn his campaign around. The most likely way that would happen is if President Obama made some kind of unforced error. That’s a risky thing to count on.
In 2004, CNN polled viewers after every presidential debate and asked them who won. The answer, after all three debates: John Kerry. Voters were in agreement that Kerry was a better debater, and certainly more articulate, than George W. Bush. The debates did make the race closer, but Bush sustained a narrow lead. Most people don’t vote for you for president because you’re a better debater.
Debates have a tendency to do more harm than good.
If you don’t comply with the individual mandate, what happens to you? You can be subject to five years in prison.
-Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) 11/18/2009
Actually, the law specifically states that people who don’t pay the penalty cannot be charged criminally. It also forbids liens or levies placed on property for failure to pay.
Read more in our new memo debunking the 12 biggest myths about the Affordable Care Act.
by Mieke Eoyang & Matt Bennett via Politico.
A sword of Damocles is dangling over the Defense Department. Congress and President Barack Obama hung it up intentionally, in a good-faith effort to hasten deal-making on the budget deficit. But the threat has not had its intended effect of pushing lawmakers toward a grand bargain. So the time has come to ratchet up the pressure.
Late last year, as the debate over lifting the debt ceiling threatened to derail the U.S. economy, Congress created sequestration — more than $500 billion in deep and indiscriminate future defense cuts and another half trillion in domestic cuts all designed to be harmful. The idea was that the specter of these cuts would force Congress to reach a grand bargain, solving the long-term fiscal shortfalls.
But that’s as far as it went. Congressional Republicans have remained loyal to tea party dogma and squarely oppose a balanced deal. But with sequestration looming, that obstructionism is not only irresponsible, it could be dangerous.
Third Way’s Senior Policy Analyst Michelle Diggles talks about voter registration in swing states in this article from Bloomberg. Check it out!
By John McCormick - Jul 9, 2012 8:00 PM ET via Bloomberg.
Independent voters are growing in numbers at the expense of Democrats in battleground states most likely to determine this year’s presidential election, a Bloomberg News analysis shows.
The collective total of independents grew by about 443,000 in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and North Carolina since the 2008 election, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from state election officials.
During the same time, Democrats saw a net decline of about 480,000 in those six states, while Republicans — boosted in part by a competitive primary earlier this year — added roughly 38,000 voters in them, the analysis shows.
“Democrats hit the high-water mark for registration in 2008, so it’s natural that they are going to see some drop off,” said Michelle Diggles, a senior policy analyst with the Democrat-Leaning Third Way research group in Washington who conducted a similar study earlier this year.
The rise of independent voters has had a major impact on recent election results.
The Supreme Court issued their decision on health care reform today… what now?
We argue that supporters of the Affordable Care Act must use this moment to go to back to basics and explain to people what they are getting in this bill—or what they are losing.
- Don’t take a victory lap. The fight is far from over.
- But…stop selling the law. Start explaining it.
- Use this decision as a way to help people understand how they can get help with their health care now and in the future.
- This ruling means you have stable and secure coverage forever
- The fight is now over. Congress debated, the Court decided—this is done.
- Now that the fight is over, this is how you are going to get stable and secure coverage:
- If you have a pre-existing condition, you are assured of always getting health care.
- If you have son or daughter without coverage, you will always be able to put them on your policy until they are 26.
- If you become gravely ill, there are no limits on your benefits.
- If you are a woman, you can’t be charged higher premiums (starting in 2014).
- If you need preventive care, you won’t have a co-pay or deductible.
- If you lose your job, you won’t lose coverage (starting in 2014).
- If your employer doesn’t provide coverage, you will be able to buy affordable coverage (in 2014).
Obama’s Stock Rising While GOP Struggles to Recover from Debt Showdown
by Lauren Vicary
President Barack Obama has stressed his refusal to renew expiring tax cuts for the rich. Democrats are encouraged.
But as the so-called “fiscal cliff” looms ever closer — the year-end showdown on the debt ceiling and the nation’s borrowing authority — Republican House Speaker John Boehner has once again pledged to force more cuts in domestic programs.
“There was a sense of deep demoralization for Democrats last time around,” said Jim Kessler, vice president for policy at Third Way, a centrist Democratic think tank. “All of the articles right after the last debt ceiling debate said Democrats once again were willing to compromise and Republicans once again held firm. And Republicans won.”
But did they really?
Kessler says in the long run, Republicans actually were hurt much more by the brinkmanship, and says the data prove it. Third Way took a look at the polls and averaged 11 reputable monthly job approval surveys in a simple infographic (above). They discovered the president recovering to an approval level of 48.7 percent — above the pre-debate baseline of 47.5 percent — while GOP lawmakers are still at 27 percent, below their baseline of 28.5 percent.
Kessler acknowledges other things have come into play that affect public opinion and approval ratings, but said the first debt ceiling debate was an iconic event in American politics.”Those moments last. They leave marks. And the conventional wisdom at the time was Obama lost it and the Republicans won it,” Kessler said. “But you saw after a couple of weeks that the Republicans actually went down [in the polls] and they have struggled to regain.”
This brinkmanship, or who-is-bluffing-and-who-will-fold-first, is not only a dangerous political game, but also one that can easily sway an electorate frustrated with politicians perceived as underperforming. So who could be hurt most by a political poker showdown, Part II?
“Public opinion is like sunburn,” Kessler theorized.”Not until hours after you’ve done the damage does the red show up.”
The Anatomy of Obamacare (What’s Not to Like?)
The Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare” or ACA) has been widely discussed and debated, but remains widely misunderstood. Many core provisions of the law are viewed favorably by the public, except the individual mandate — the most critical piece, without which the plan cannot survive.
This recent infographic examines the anatomy of this phenomena and asks why 66% of the public views the individual mandate unfavorably when it will affect less than 6%.
President Obama, speaking about his administration’s immigration policy change in a Rose Garden address Friday afternoon.
“Under the new policy, people younger than 30 who came to the United States before the age of 16, pose no criminal or security threat, and were successful students or served in the military can get a two-year deferral from deportation, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said.”- CNN