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  • Advantage Obama in hunt for 270 electoral votes

    10/28/2012 7:01:43 PM PDT · by SmithL · 64 replies
    AP via SFGate ^ | 10/28/12 | THOMAS BEAUMONT, Associated Press
    AMES, Iowa (AP) — President Barack Obama is poised to eke out a victory in the race for the 270 electoral votes needed to win re-election, having beaten back Republican Mitt Romney's attempts to convert momentum from the debates into support in all-important Ohio, according to an Associated Press analysis a week before Election Day. While the Democratic incumbent has the upper hand in the electoral vote hunt, Romney has pulled even, or is slightly ahead, in polling in a few pivotal states, including Florida and Virginia. The Republican challenger also appears to have the advantage in North Carolina, the...
  • Analysis: Social issues constrain GOP

    03/04/2012 1:43:38 PM PST · by SmithL · 15 replies
    AP via KnoxNews ^ | 3/4/12 | STEVEN R. HURST - Associated Press
    Once deeply vulnerable, President Barack Obama has seen his fortunes take a dramatic turn for the better as the Republican Party splits between its historic business-friendly establishment and the powerful tug of more conservative and social issues voters. Burdened throughout his term by the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression, Obama was expected to be hard pressed to hold on the White House in November. But eight months before Election Day, things have changed. That's partly because the economy is finally showing signs of a sustained recovery. But the new wind at Obama's back blowing just as powerfully...
  • Investigators say 4 Reps got discounted loans [Countrywide -- Friends of Angelo]

    12/19/2011 5:16:37 AM PST · by Hunton Peck · 9 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Dec 19, 2011, 7:36 AM EST | LARRY MARGASAK
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congressional investigators said Monday that four House members received VIP discounted loans from the former Countrywide Financial Corp., the lender whose subprime mortgages was largely responsible for the nation's foreclosure crisis. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, declined to name the four but wrote the House Ethics Committee that it should investigate the lawmakers. Issa, in a letter dated Friday and released Monday, said there could be additional lawmakers who received discounted loans. The most favored customers of Countrywide were known as "Friends of Angelo," who were given discounts in...
  • Tea party bulling its way into 2012 GOP race

    09/04/2011 9:10:33 AM PDT · by SmithL · 31 replies
    AP via SFGate ^ | 9/4/11 | STEVE PEOPLES and MIKE BLOOD, Associated Press
    Bulling its way into 2012, the tea party is shaping the race for the GOP presidential nomination as candidates parrot the movement's language and promote its agenda while jostling to win its favor. That's much to the delight of Democrats who are working to paint the tea party and the eventual Republican nominee as extreme. "The tea party isn't a diversion from mainstream Republican thought. It is within mainstream Republican thought," Mitt Romney told a New Hampshire newspaper recently, defending the activists he's done little to woo, until now. The former Massachusetts governor is starting to court them more aggressively...
  • AP Interview: Tough talk from Paul on Perry

    09/02/2011 3:53:00 PM PDT · by SmithL · 16 replies
    AP via SFGate ^ | 9/2/11 | STEVE PEOPLES, Associated Press
    Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is likening his home state opponent, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, to a "candidate of the week." Paul, a Texas congressman, is advising GOP primary voters to look closely at Perry's record over the last decade. Paul says a lot has changed in Texas under Perry's watch — and much of it isn't good.
  • Latest picks for debt panel spark some pessimism

    08/10/2011 4:50:16 PM PDT · by SmithL · 12 replies
    AP via SFGate ^ | 8/10/11 | ALAN FRAM, Associated Press
    Republicans named a mix of partisans and pragmatists on Wednesday to the new congressional committee charged with striking a debt-cutting compromise. While members of both parties expressed urgency over controlling surging budget shortfalls, others were pessimistic that the bipartisan panel would overcome deep political divides. With nine of the committee's 12 members selected, Washington began calculating whether the faltering economy and chaotic financial markets could spur the panel to produce a bipartisan plan trimming $1.5 trillion from the government's debt over the coming decade. Failure — a real possibility, considering GOP opposition to tax increases and Democratic hostility to cuts...
  • Wisconsin GOP's stand could reverberate elsewhere

    08/10/2011 9:58:03 AM PDT · by SmithL · 30 replies
    MADISON, Wis. -- A stand by Wisconsin Republicans against a massive effort to oust them from power could reverberate across the country as the battle over union rights and the conservative revolution heads toward the 2012 presidential race. Democrats succeeded in taking two Wisconsin state Senate seats away from Republican incumbents on Tuesday but fell one short of what they needed to seize majority control of the chamber. Republicans saw it as a big win for Gov. Scott Walker and a confirmation of his conservative agenda, the hallmark of which was a polarizing proposal taking away most collective bargaining rights...
  • Muslims, non-Muslims still dislike each other

    07/21/2011 2:49:12 PM PDT · by SmithL · 23 replies
    AP via SFGate ^ | 7/21/11 | SUZANNE GAMBOA, Associated Press
    Attitudes about Muslim-Western relations have become slightly more positive in the U.S., Britain, France, Germany and Russia compared with five years ago, though negative views between Muslim countries and the West persist on both sides, a Pew Research Center survey found. The survey, by Pew's Global Attitudes Project, found majorities of Muslims surveyed in five of six Muslim-dominant countries and the Palestinian territories described non-Muslim Westerners as selfish and greedy. In all of the six Western countries surveyed, less than 30 percent of non-Muslims said they consider Muslims respectful of women. Ten years after the Sept. 11 attacks, Muslims in...
  • Wisconsin high court race yields mixed results

    04/08/2011 3:33:04 PM PDT · by SmithL · 67 replies
    AP via SFGate ^ | 4/8/11 | TODD RICHMOND, Associated Press
    Madison, Wis. (AP) -- When a little-known liberal challenged a conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court justice, the once-sleepy race suddenly looked like a backdoor way for Gov. Scott Walker's opponents to sink his agenda. Then a clerk discovered 14,000 unrecorded votes that vaulted the incumbent into the lead. Experts said the results represented a draw for the governor: He didn't lose, but the slim margin means he didn't win big, either. And the close contest could help ensure Walker's opponents stay energized for the next round. The outcome also improves the odds that Walker's collective bargaining law would survive a legal...
  • GOP hopefuls cheer for a spending showdown

    02/28/2011 4:39:46 PM PST · by SmithL · 5 replies
    AP via SFGate ^ | 2/28/11 | PHILIP ELLIOTT, Associated Press
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Easy for them to say: Cut spending, no matter what. Don't let the government borrow any more. Shut it down if you have to. While the cast of potential White House contenders tells Congress to get tough, drawing lines in the sand is risky for lawmakers who have to live with the consequences. Many remember what happened more than two years ago when House conservatives bolted from their Republican president and leadership to defeat a $700 billion rescue bill for the nation's financial system. The Dow Jones industrials plunged 777 points, the most ever for a single...
  • GOP governors undermine Obama's agenda in states

    02/27/2011 2:48:39 PM PST · by SmithL · 22 replies
    AP via SFGate ^ | 2/27/11 | LIZ SIDOTI, AP National Political Writer
    Their ranks swollen after the last election, Republican governors from Florida to Alaska are undermining President Barack Obama's agenda at every turn ahead of the Democrat's 2012 re-election campaign.
  • Paladino's gay issues hounds NY governor campaign

    10/13/2010 12:34:57 PM PDT · by SmithL · 35 replies
    AP via SFGate ^ | 10/13/10 | MICHAEL GORMLEY, Associated Press Writer
    Republican candidate for governor Carl Paladino rails against gay marriage and called the bumping-and-griding at gay pride parades disgusting. He also once was the landlord for two gay clubs in Buffalo. The real estate deal, first reported Wednesday by the New York Daily News, left Democrats calling him a hypocrite. Paladino's campaign said it proved that he supports gay rights, just not gay marriage. Meanwhile, a rabbi who represents an umbrella organization of ultra-Orthodox clerics said he was dropping his endorsement of Paladino because the candidate had apologized for the harsh wording of some of his comments about gays.
  • Progressives criticize White House, Democrats

    06/07/2010 12:45:14 PM PDT · by SmithL · 22 replies · 50+ views
    AP via SFGate ^ | 6/7/10 | PHILIP ELLIOTT, Associated Press Writer
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Progressive activists who helped elect Barack Obama president are criticizing the White House and congressional Democrats, saying they are too timid and too willing to compromise.
  • Election spooks lawmakers, curbs Congress spending

    06/07/2010 6:39:34 AM PDT · by Incorrigible · 9 replies · 18+ views
    WCAX ^ | 6/7/2010 | LAURIE KELLMAN
    Election spooks lawmakers, curbs Congress spending WASHINGTON (AP) — The 2010 elections have changed the direction of government only half way through the primary season, with voter anger and economic jitters causing lawmakers to balk at their most basic duties as well as key elements of President Barack Obama's agenda.After betting their political future on a government-mandated expansion of health care to include millions more Americans, Democrats appear to have little appetite for more legislative showdowns given voter rebellion against government spending amid trillion dollar-plus annual deficits.The solution in some cases is to simply not vote. Immigration reform is too...
  • Analysis: Israeli raid puts Obama on the spot

    06/01/2010 9:46:08 PM PDT · by SmithL · 19 replies · 729+ views
    AP via SFGate ^ | 6/1/10 | STEVEN R. HURST, Associated Press Writer
    WASHINGTON, (AP) -- The diplomatic crisis prompted by Israel's raid on a flotilla of aid ships bound for the Gaza Strip confronts President Barack Obama with a second major test by the Israeli leadership and presents yet another blow to his goal of brokering peace with the Palestinians. Also taking a hit: the president's effort to improve the U.S. image in the Arab world. Muslim countries, even U.S. allies Turkey and Egypt, are slamming Obama over his measured reaction to the raid.
  • Democrats' Obama bounce in California disappearing

    02/28/2010 9:14:27 AM PST · by SmithL · 14 replies · 1,043+ views
    AP via SFGate ^ | 2/28/10 | SAMANTHA YOUNG and KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press Writers
    Kent Hancock can't remember tougher economic times in the two decades he's sold used cars in California's Central Valley. He brings home less than half the money he cleared a few years ago and has dipped into savings to keep his business open. Hancock, 41, blames politicians for doing too little to get the economy back on track and hopes they are "sweating it a little bit. They should. It shouldn't be a guaranteed job." Hancock's frustration is evident throughout the nation's most populous state. Just a year ago, the Democratic Party looked at California as a base for adding...
  • Don't call ex-Vice President Cheney a has-been

    05/23/2009 9:43:33 AM PDT · by SmithL · 30 replies · 1,115+ views
    AP via SFGate ^ | 5/23/9 | DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Dick Cheney refuses to be a has-been. The former vice president's voice appears to carry even more weight than it did in the waning days of the Bush administration. Some people want him to be quiet and disappear. Others are cheering the public relations tour that Cheney began halfway through President Barack Obama's first 100 days, defending the Bush administration's harsh interrogation tactics and other anti-terrorism policies. Vice presidents typically fade away quietly. Not Cheney. When Obama released memos detailing Bush-era interrogation techniques and wouldn't completely rule out prosecuting or disciplining former Bush administration officials, Cheney couldn't...
  • Analysis: Obama debating Cheney is a plus for GOP

    05/22/2009 1:20:22 PM PDT · by SmithL · 29 replies · 1,282+ views
    AP via SFGate ^ | 5/22/9 | WALTER R. MEARS, AP Special Correspondent
    Chapel Hill, N.C. (AP) -- In political debate, the side that keeps its arguments simple and repeats them again and again is likely to gain the advantage. It is an easier sale, especially when the topic is as scary as terrorism. That's how Republicans got the edge in the dispute over President Barack Obama's planned closing of the Guantanamo Bay prison. And it put former Vice President Dick Cheney on a separate but almost equal platform with the president of the United States, which is a plus any time the party out of power can manage it. Their back-to-back speeches...
  • Analysis: Obama plan brings cries of class warfare

    02/26/2009 9:37:15 AM PST · by SmithL · 23 replies · 1,169+ views
    AP via SFGate ^ | 2/26/9 | TOM RAUM, Associated Press Writer
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- He's not being timid, that's for sure. President Barack Obama's first federal budget lays out the most far-reaching agenda for American life since Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society." But paying for it by having upper-income earners shoulder much of the cost is already provoking cries of "class warfare" in Congress. The Obama priorities reflected in the $3.6 trillion budget guarantees a fierce political battle ahead over taxes. And it assumes a fairly quick economic recovery from the worst recession in decades. The budget outline includes ambitious initiatives on energy, health care, education and climate change. It would boost...
  • Painless move: It's easier when you're president

    01/16/2009 4:57:21 PM PST · by SmithL · 2 replies · 473+ views
    AP via SFGate ^ | 1/16/9 | NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer
    WASHINGTON, (AP) -- If only all home moves could be as quick and easy as at the White House. President George W. Bush will leave the White House on Tuesday morning and give way to Barack Obama at noon sharp. By the time the Obamas enter their new quarters a few hours later, the new first family's clothes will be hanging in the closets and their photos on display.