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Friday, April 24, 2015

The Daily Drift

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Today is - Arbor Day
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Obama Approval Soars

Thanks to a growing economy President Obama’s approval rating has reached its highest level since May of 2013. Obama is now more popular than George W. Bush, and as popular as Ronald Reagan was at the same point in their second terms.
According to the latest CNN/ORC poll, the Obama resurgence is being fueled by the growing economy. Fifty-two percent of respondents called the U.S. economy very or somewhat good while 48% said the economy was very or somewhat poor. The President’s approval rating has increased with 18-29-year-olds (57%), women (51%), Democrats (88%), and liberal Democrats (97%).
The news gets even better for Obama when his approval rating is stacked up against the previous three two-term presidents. With the exception of Bill Clinton, President Obama is faring better than or equal to the most recent two-term presidents.
Here is the approval rating for the last four two-term presidents in April of their seventh year in office:
Obama approval rating
CNN provided some context for the Bush, Clinton and Reagan approval ratings:
At this point in his presidency, Bill Clinton held a 60% approval rating following his impeachment trial over the Monica Lewinsky scandal, largely buoyed by a strong economy. George W. Bush posted a 36% approval rating in April 2007, buffeted by the war in Iraq despite mostly positive reviews of the economy.

And the spring of Ronald Reagan’s seventh year in office saw him earning a 48% approval rating from the public, a rating that was just beginning to recover from the Iran-Contra affair and didn’t get any boost from a tepid economic climate.
Many supporters of the President will view his increasing approval numbers as Obama finally getting credit for the economic turnaround after pulling the country back from the brink of a potential depression when he took office, but these numbers could foreshadow a Democratic strong point in 2016. If the economy keeps growing, Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, will be able to run on maintaining and expanding the Obama economy.
Republicans are arguing that a Clinton win would equal an Obama third term, but what if the American people like where the nation is heading under Obama? The Republican attack could backfire and actually make the case for electing Hillary Clinton. President Obama has held Democrats together, and he is on the upswing.
His critics tried their best to destroy him, but President Obama is not only surviving, but he is also growing stronger.

Elizabeth Warren . . .

The Next Senate Majority Leader?
Image via Whitney Ogden
Senate Majority Leader Elizabeth Warren . . . that can be a reality, if progressives get out and vote in 2016.

Republican’s Racist Gerrymandering Takes Another Hit At The Supreme Court

Featured image credit: flickrNorth Carolina Republicans are so smug when it comes to their redistricting plans. After all, they’ve been getting away with the same kinds of election rigging schemes for years.

The Shill Game


Changing the Tax Code

Hillary Clinton floats tax-code changes to reward companies that actually produce goods

Suing the Government

Supreme Court makes it easier for people to sue the government

The Chamber Of Commerce Is Fighting Fiercely To Stop The Scourge Of Corporate Transparency

Now That McConnell Has Proved He’s An Embarrassment, It’s Time To Confirm Loretta Lynch

Loser McConnell
Now that the Republican scam to include anti-abortion language in the Human Trafficking bill has failed, Mitch McConnell also lost his official excuse for pushing Loretta Lynch’s confirmation to the back of the Senate’s bus.  The irony lies in the fact that Republicans chose to hold the leader in the fight against human trafficking hostage for a failed attempt to get anti-abortion language into a bill intended to help survivors of human trafficking.
Perhaps that’s why John McCain admitted Republicans are obstructing Lynch’s nomination, (not to mention the 18 others waiting for a floor vote and the 130 plus nominations that continue to languish in committees) to “get even” with Democrats using the Senate rules to break Republican obstructionism during the previous term.
I told ‘em: ‘You jam them through, it’s going to be a long time before I approve of them,'” McCain said, recounting what he told Democrats after they changed the rules in 2013 and confirmed dozens of lifetime judicial appointments and several high-profile Cabinet nominees. “It’s affected me as chairman of the Armed Services Committee.
The only time Republicans suspended their temper tantrum was to confirm Defense Secretary Ash Carter. President Obama nominated Carter on December 5th.  Republicans managed to hold hearings and confirm Carter on February 15.
It has gotten so bad that even Republicans are embarrassed. A few days ago, Jeb Bush echoed similar embarrassment over the behavior of Senate Republicans.
Aside from being embarrassing, this stunt defies all logic.  For as long as Republicans delay confirming Loretta Lynch, Eric Holder remains the Attorney-General.  Moreover, while Republicans whine about perceptions that they are misogynistic racists, obstructing the nomination of the first black woman to become Attorney-General, reinforces that image.  Nothing about this stunt will address the deficits of support Republicans have from women and racial minorities.  The optics are even worse when you consider Lynch’s stellar record of prosecuting human traffickers.
Lynch – according to prosecutors, officials and victims’ advocates familiar with her tenure as US attorney for the eastern district of New York – has a prodigious history of throwing sex traffickers in prison, breaking up prostitution rings, rescuing underage victims forced to work as prostitutes and reuniting mothers held captive by the rings with their long-lost children.
As of this writing, Loretta Lynch has waited for confirmation longer than the seven previous Attorney-Generals combined, as shown in this table by politifact.
Nominee President Nomination received by Senate Confirmed by Senate Days
Eric Holder Obama Jan. 20, 2009 Feb. 2, 2009 13
Michael Mukasey G.W. Bush Sept. 21, 2007 Nov. 8, 2007 17
Alberto Gonzales G.W. Bush Jan. 4, 2005 Feb. 3, 2005 30
John Ashcroft G.W. Bush Jan. 29, 2001 Feb. 1, 2001 3
Janet Reno Clinton Feb. 26, 1993 Mar. 11, 1993 13
William Barr G.H.W. Bush Oct. 25, 1991 Nov. 20, 1991 26
Richard Thornburgh Reagan July 25, 1988 Aug. 11, 1988 17
The total is 119 days.
Republicans don’t have any good reasons to delay Loretta Lynch’s confirmation. During her confirmation hearing way back in January, Republican critics acknowledged that Lynch is eminently qualified to hold the position of Attorney-General by virtue of the fact that they spent most of that hearing attacking Eric Holder.
Even other Republicans like Rudy Giuliani of all people joined with the President to recognize that this scheme is embarrassing to Republicans and reinforces the image of racism and misogyny. McConnell has run out of doomed to fail schemes and pathetic excuses to avoid doing what he should have done months ago.  Give Loretta Lynch a vote.
Editor's Note: Lynch was confirmed Thursday.

Republican Xenophobia In Full Swing As Scott Walker Now Wants To Curb Legal Immigration

scott walker
In a Monday interview with right-wing talk show host Glenn Beck, Wisconsin GOP Governor Scott Walker suggested that he not only wants to curtail illegal immigration, but that he also wants to find new ways to limit legal immigration as well. Walker told Beck that he has been having conversations with anti-immigrant Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, who has warned that the percentage of Americans who are foreign-born is expected to reach record numbers in the next decade.
Walker hinted that in order to “protect” American workers, “adjustments” would need to be made to our legal immigration policy. He stated:
In terms of legal immigration, how we need to approach that going forward is saying, we will make adjustments. The next president and the next Congress need to make decisions about a legal immigration system that’s based on, first and foremost, on protecting American workers and American wages.
Because the more I’ve talked to folks — I’ve talked to Senator Sessions and others out there, but it is a fundamentally lost issue by many in elected positions today — is what is this doing for American workers looking for jobs, what is this doing to wages, and we need to have that be at the forefront of our discussion going forward.
Walker’s new anti-immigration position contrasts sharply with his 2013 stance. At that time, he was a Republican supporter of immigration reform and of providing a path to citizenship for undocumented workers and students. Now the Governor, running for President has done an about face and not only opposes a path to citizenship, but is even suggesting imposing further restrictions on legal immigration.
Since entering the presidential race, Walker has pandered to the hardcore GOP base on a number of issues, but few have been as breathtakingly craven as his transformation on immigration policy.  Walker has decided to throw his weight behind the “Know Nothing” xenophobic wing of the Republican Party. With the first two major GOP contests being held in predominately white Iowa and New Hampshire, perhaps his strategy will even work for a few weeks. However, in a nation that was built on the contributions of immigrants, Walker’s new position is politically risky in a general election.
More importantly, it is also bad policy. Voters should say no to the parochial prejudices of the Scott Walker wing of the Republican Party, and embrace the continuation of a generous immigration policy that helps America build upon the contributions of immigrants, arriving from a wide variety of foreign nations.

Republican ‘One Percenter’ Chris Christie Says He’s Not Wealthy, Whines About His ‘Insane’ Tax Return

Image by Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/16667376871/ Republican New Jersey governor and potential Presidential candidate Chris Christie wants everyone to believe he’s the everyday American complaining...

Two Republican Congressmen Under Investigation For Violating Gun Laws

Police in Washington, D.C., have been referred materials for a possible investigation into two Republican congressmen who posed for a picture with an assault rifle in a House office building.

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) last week tweeted a picture of himself and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the leader of the House’s Benghazi investigation, holding an AR-15.

Having the AR-15 in the District could be a violation of the city’s strict gun laws, and the city attorney general’s office has referred the matter to police, a spokesman told The Hill.
The Republicans will use any potential investigation as a reason to tout their “Second Amendment Rights,” but the issue is the respect for existing laws. The hypocritical contradiction between law and order conservatives, and the Republican willingness to violate laws that they disagree with is striking.
Contrary to what Republicans believe, this is not a Second Amendment, or personal liberty issue. It is an issue of public safety and respect for the law.
Rep. Gowdy is better known as the guy who is supposed to be leading the House’s latest Benghazi investigation, but his credibility will be damaged if he is breaking the law while investigating the Obama administration for breaking the law.
Gowdy is another Republican, who President Obama lawless while he is potentially breaking the law. Republicans have demonstrated repeatedly that the when it comes to breaking the law, nobody outdoes the GOP.

Non Sequitur


With or Without Rick Scott, South Florida is Taking Action on Climate Change

rick scott global warming

5 Republican Climate Change Deniers Who Are Murdering Our Planet

Survey Shows Wingnuts Don't Care About Their Grandchildren

Survey Shows Conservatives Don't Care About Their Grandchildren
How else to explain their lack of urgency on the major issue of our time?
Wingnuts Don't Care About Their Grandchildren

This 8-Year-Old’s Letter To Obama Proves Wingnuts Passing Delusions Onto Their Kids

This 8-Year-Old’s Letter To Obama Proves Conservatives Passing Delusions Onto Their KidsHere’s what you could sound like if you grew up in a Fox News-only household.

Tennessee Idiocy

Tennessee governor expected to sign bill requiring 48-hour abortion waiting period

Oh Goody, The Wingnuts Are Fighting Over Social Security!

Oh Goody, The Wingnuts Are Fighting Over Social Security!We just love it when they're fighting.
Oh Goody, The Wingnuts Are Fighting

Tennessee Republican Opposes Exceptions To Abortion Restrictions Because Rape Is 'Not Verifiable'

Tennesee GOPer Opposes Exceptions To Abortion Restrictions Because Rape Is 'Not Verifiable'
Tennessee state Rep. Sheila Butt (R) on Tuesday moved to table an amendment that would have exempted victims of rape and incest from new restrictions on access to abortion because she said that their claims were "not verifiable."