News Briefing for Wednesday, October 22, 2014



Report: Most of new Obamacare insured are on Medicaid

“Medicaid expansion accounts for the vast majority of new health insurance enrollment under Obamacare, a new report by the conservative Heritage Foundation has concluded. The think tank crunched numbers derived from insurer regulatory filings and other sources and determined that, out of the 8.5 million people who gained health insurance coverage in the first half of this year, Medicaid expansion for working-age adults comprised 71 percent of them. “The inescapable conclusion is that, at least when it comes to covering the uninsured, Obamacare so far is mainly a simple expansion of Medicaid,” Heritage Foundation senior research fellow Edmund Haislmaier and health economist Drew Gonshorowski wrote in the report. According to the White House, 8 million people signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace, and 3 million were enrolled in Medicaid and the federal children’s health insurance program as of February.”


Yes, Obamacare Is Continuing To Hurt Employment

“Many health-policy analysts, lulled into complacency by the fact that employer-based health benefits have not vanished in a puff of smoke in Obamacare’s first year, insist that the federal healthcare takeover is not to blame for the continuing poor recovery in employment. Their arguments are superficially appealing, but they ignore the big picture. Compared to a normal economic recovery, the current one is characterized by too many part-time workers who are unable to increase their hours. A new report published in September by the Urban Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation asserts that Obamacare does not explain the part-timers’ predicament. It focuses on two observations. First, it notes that the increase in part-time work is fully attributable to an increase in involuntary part-time work. Perhaps we should celebrate this conclusion from Obamacare’s supporters. Previously, some cheered the theory that Obamacare, which expands Medicaid eligibility and heavily subsidizes health insurance for middle-income households, would lead people to voluntarily reduce their working hours. In 2010, then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi encouraged people who wanted to be musicians, for example, to quit their jobs and focus on their (as yet undiscovered) talents, because taxpayers would underwrite their health coverage. (The Congressional Budget Office endorsed this approach last February, in a report that concluded the Obamacare insurance subsidies would “effectively boost the income of recipients, which will lead some of them to decide they can work less and still maintain or improve their standard of living.”)



A new Kaiser Health tracking poll finds that even after four-and-a-half years of being the law of the land, Obamacare remains a mystery to most of the nation’s uninsured. The poll found that two-thirds (66%) of the uninsured say they know “nothing at all” or “only a little” about Obamacare.”


Insurers Alter Obamacare Contracts Out Of Fear That Subsidies Could Be Struck Down

“Insurance companies bought into Obamacare exchanges with the promise that federal premium subsidies would convince more people to sign up, but they appear to be getting worried about pending lawsuits that could end the subsidies in federal exchanges. According to insurance news service Inside Health Policy, insurance companies offering plans on this year had a new clause inserted into their contracts with Obamacare administrator the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that allows them to cancel plans if federal premium subsidies are eliminated. Forbes’ contributor and Obamacare subsidy expert Michael Cannon, who highlighted the change, argues that this could spark Supreme Court review of the legality of premium subsidies in federal exchanges. The contract says that insurers’ participation in exchanges is “based on the assumption that [premium subsidies] and [other cost-sharing subsidies] will be available to qualifying Enrollees,” according to Forbes. “In the event that this assumption ceases to be valid during the term of this Agreement, CMS acknowledges that the Issuer could have cause to terminate this Agreement subject to applicable state and federal law.”


EDITORIAL: Affordable Care Act on the ballot

“We interrupt coverage of the ISIS crisis and the Ebola emergency to remind voters of the biggest reason why President Barack Obama’s approval rating is plummeting and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is at risk of losing his job: the Affordable Care Act. The midterm elections are two weeks out — early voting in Clark County began Saturday. And the president recently provided a moment of clarity that brought groans from Democrats on ballots everywhere. “I am not on the ballot this fall. Michelle’s pretty happy about that,” the president said. “But make no mistake: These policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them.” None will have a greater impact on voters than Obamacare. The next enrollment period for Obamacare-compliant health insurance plans begins Nov. 15. It was supposed to begin Oct. 15, but last November, recognizing what a disaster the ACA was, the administration pushed enrollment until after the elections, hoping to minimize midterm damage. But that didn’t stop people from learning about increases in premiums and deductibles, or that their plans would be part of another wave of cancellations for not being ACA-compliant. As reported Friday by Jed Graham of Investor’s Business Daily, rates for the cheapest bronze plans in the biggest cities in 15 states and Washington, D.C., will jump an average of 13.9 percent for 40-year-old nonsmokers earning 225 percent of the poverty level ($26,260). Elsewhere, the jump is much higher for that demographic, including 22 percent here in Las Vegas, 27 percent in Los Angeles and an eye-popping 64 percent in Seattle. Conversely, some of the higher-level plans would see a slight decrease — 0.8 percent — but for those who can’t afford a bronze plan, a silver plan is completely out of the question, anyway. The Review-Journal’s Jennifer Robison reported Sunday that in Nevada, small groups and individuals who still hold pre-ACA plans will take a bath, with premium increases of 50 percent or more. Many people will see a doubling of their premiums. Equally if not more problematic, Ms. Robison noted, is that the out-of-pocket expenses of deductibles and copays could soar as much as 200 percent. Businesses are reacting to the reality of Obamacare, too. Because of the rising costs of ACA compliance, Wal-Mart, the largest private employer in the country, announced earlier this month it was dropping coverage for 30,000 part-time workers. Obamacare supporters rave about how great this legislation is, yet they’re pummeling Wal-Mart for allowing its part-time workers the opportunity to buy a health insurance policy on the federal or state exchanges. If Obamacare is so good, what’s the problem? Or is the problem that it’s just not that good? Obamacare is largely responsible for holding back economic growth and take-home pay, preventing people from earning more and keeping more of what they earn. The only way to fix that is to radically scale back or completely repeal Obamacare. It’s definitely on the ballot. Vote accordingly.”


Obamacare users pitched for voter registration

“Sharyl Attkisson has dug up another interesting story of government activity which is certainly questionable in nature. It appears that at least some of the people who signed up for Obamacare have been getting some unsolicited e-mail… and it has nothing to do with healthcare. Last spring, John* purchased health insurance through the Washington State healthcare exchange. He was surprised when, last month, he received an email from the exchange at the address he’d provided when he signed up. The email was entitled, “Voter Registration Information.” It read, in part: “ARE YOU REGISTERED TO VOTE? If you would like to register to vote or update your information, visit the Washington Secretary of State

website at” “I did think it was an effort to [register voters] for the Democrat party,” says John, a union member for the better part of four decades. He wasn’t the only healthcare exchange customer to get the voter registration email.”


Ohio’s Gov. Kasich Clarifies: I Still Oppose Obamacare

“Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich moved quickly to deny a report that quoted him saying repeal of the Affordable Care Act was “not gonna happen,” saying that he had been talking instead solely about the health law’s expansion of Medicaid, which he has opted to do in his state. Mr. Kasich, a potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate, said his remarks had been misconstrued in a report by the Associated Press that quickly caught the attention of political observers when it appeared Monday afternoon. In the report, Mr. Kasich appeared to say that he believes the law in its entirely could not and should not be overturned, and that he didn’t think political or ideological opposition to it “holds water against real flesh and blood and real improvements in people’s lives. He said in an interview Monday evening that he had been referring specifically to the possibility of the law’s Medicaid expansion ending if the law was overturned. The Associated Press also updated its story following a separate interview with the governor. “I do not support Obamacare and I never have,” Mr. Kasich told the Journal. “I don’t see how supporting Medicaid is the same as supporting Obamacare.” The governor has long backed Ohio accepting the significant federal funds authorized by the health law to extend Medicaid eligibility to all adults making around or below the poverty line. A June 2012 Supreme Court decision effectively gave states the choice to opt out of that provision of the law.”

Kasich’s Obamacare pushback suggests he’s seriously considering 2016 presidential bid

“Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s recent comments suggesting President Obama’s healthcare law was here to stay and having a positive impact on people’s lives generated a lot of attention as marking a potential shift in Republican attitudes toward the program. But the fact that he has since pushed back on the story suggests he’s seriously thinking about a run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. On Monday, the Associated Press ran a (since-modified) story quoting Kasich as saying of repealing Obamacare, “That’s not gonna happen.” He added that opposition “was really either political or ideological” and that “I don’t think that holds water against real flesh and blood and real improvements in people’s lives.” His comments echoed the arguments of liberals, who like to belittle opposition to the healthcare law and talk about all of the ways it’s benefitting individuals rather than the offsetting costs. Kasich, an enthusiastic backer of the law’s Medicaid expansion, has consistently tried to hold the dishonest position that supporting one of the key components of Obamacare was somehow consistent with opposing Obamacare, an untenable distinction I slammed him for last year. But what generated headlines this time was that, as originally quoted by the AP, he appeared to be breaking from his long-held dishonest effectively-pro-Obamacare position into an openly-pro-Obamacare position. One of my first thoughts after reading his initial comments was that he cannot be serious about running for president in 2016, because there’s no way he could win a primary with such a stance. However, Kasich subsequently took to Twitter to reiterate that, no, he really meant to continue being dishonest about Obamacare and the AP misquoted him by suggesting he now wanted to be open about his support for the law. “The AP got it wrong,” Kasich tweeted. “Ohio said NO to the Obamacare exchange for a reason. As always, my position is that we need to repeal and replace.” He later added, “Spent my night talking to the NYT, WSJ & Politico. Why? Because the AP screwed up. Let me make my position simple. Repeal Obamacare.” The AP ended up revising its story to say that Kasich was talking about the Medicaid expansion, not all of Obamacare, in his original comments. But conservatives shouldn’t give Kasich a cookie for not setting up a state-based exchange, because all that means is that Ohioans can obtain Obamacare through the federal website (unless that changes due to current litigation). The real chance for Republican governors to stand up for limited-government principles was to reject the money coming from Washington to expand the fully government-run Medicaid program. And Kasich embraced the big government position and has defended it strenuously. If he actually supports repeal, it would mean getting rid of the expansion of Medicaid that he still holds is making “real flesh and blood and real improvements in people’s lives.” Kasich is currently cruising to reelection, so his aggressive pushback on the idea that he’s pro-Obamacare suggests he may very well have GOP presidential primary voters on his mind.”

John Kasich rips AP after reportedly denouncing Obamacare’s repeal

Kasich Slams AP, Goes Back To ‘Repeal Obamacare’

“Republican Ohio Governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate John Kasich is in damage-control mode after The Associated Press reported unclear statements from the governor, potentially indicating his support for Obamacare.  When asked about repealing Obamacare if Republicans take the Senate in November, Kasich said “that’s not gonna happen,” The AP reported Monday. (RELATED: John Kasich Throws Support Behind Obamacare) “The opposition to it was really either political or ideological,” Kasich reportedly said. “I don’t think that holds water against real flesh and blood, and real improvements in people’s lives.” The AP didn’t specify whether Kasich was talking about the Medicaid expansion alone or Obamacare as a whole, but a reference to the Medicaid expansion soon after suggests Kasich may have been referring just to the welfare program. But the governor’s office slammed The AP almost immediately for getting his quotes wrong. “The AP got it wrong,” Kasich tweeted Monday night. “Ohio said NO to the Obamacare exchange for a reason. As always, my position is that we need to repeal and replace.”




Feds Getting Ready for Executive Action on Immigration


EDITORIAL: Green cards on the table

President Obama lets slip his scheme for a permanent majority

“The White House intended to remain silent about its plans for immigration. Revealing a scheme to open the floodgates of amnesty would be disastrous on the eve of the critical midterm elections. But this is the gang that can’t shoot straight. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on Friday threw open the door to as many as 100,000 Haitians, who will now move into the United States without a visa. Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, rightly and accurately denounced enabling Haitians awaiting a U.S. visa to enter the country and legally apply for work permits as “an irresponsible overreach of the executive branch’s authority.”





“Talk radio host and author of “The Liberty Amendments,” Mark Levin reacted to news that the US government is planning admit 100,000 Haitians into the US next year on Monday.

“I just want to know where American citizens are going to find jobs,” he wondered.

Levin said that the policy of flooding the US with cheap labor and greater competition for scarce jobs disproved “all this bull about Obama looking out for the little guy and going after the rich.  He’s not looking out for anybody but himself and the Democratic Party.” He added that the US has departed from prior immigration policy, where “the whole idea [was] to bring people into this country who are highly educated, who have skills that will promote American industry science and academia and so forth and so on.”





“Mayor Sam Abed (R-Escondido) reported that one-fourth of his city’s population is “believed to be” illegal immigrants and declared the federal government’s failure to secure the border “offensive to the legal immigrants of this country who are struggling to realize the American Dream” on Tuesday’s “Laura Ingraham Show.” “Escondido has [a] 150,000 population, with a diverse community, half of our population [is] Hispanics, and half of that 75,000 are believed to be illegals” he stated.  Abed also railed against the federal government for its failure to secure the border, declaring “here’s the president coming to our local, little government and saying ‘we’re going to dump this problem on your city with no solution.’ There is no solution unless we secure our border.  This is really a disappointment to our country.” Abed added, “I am a very proud immigrant to this country from Lebanon. I have been proud to be sworn in to protect the Constitution of our city and our great country, and I will not waiver on my pledge to our city and our great country. …. All I want is I want to protect the same values that made America so great.” He argued that “Immigration in our city is one of the top two issues (after the jobs and economy, immigration has become a big issue. When you have 500 people showing up to the planning commission and to the city council meeting where the overwhelming majority of the people say, ‘I don’t want more illegals.’ I think, you are right Laura, it’s offensive to the legal immigrants of this country who are struggling to realize the American Dream.  And I’m getting 30-35% of the Hispanic vote in my re-election because they believe in the rule of law.”

Abed also expressed that he wants “a Republican party that protects the values of this country period… You cannot waiver on the principles that made this country so great.”



“Voters in Oregon are set to strongly reject a measure that would allow illegal immigrants to receive driver’s licenses.  According to an October 8-11 poll conducted by Oregon Public Broadcasting, 61% of likely voters were opposed to Measure 88. 53% said they were “certain” to oppose the measure while another 8% said they were opposed to it but “may change mind.” 26% of Oregon voters said they supported giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants while 5% said they supported the measure but “may change mind.”  As the Register-Guard noted, Measure 88 would require illegal immigrants to “pass the state’s written driver knowledge test and behind-the-wheel driver test, provide proof of residence in Oregon for more than one year, proof of identity and date of birth,” but the potential “recipient would not have to prove legal U.S. residency.” The survey of “the major Oregon ballot measures” found that legalizing marijuana is the only initiative that has the support of a majority of Oregon’s voters. On the other hand, as the the Oregonian noted, unlike other measures—like whether to “require labeling of genetically modified foods”—that can go either way as election day approaches. Measure 88 is “the one exception” because it is the only one that seems certain to be defeated.

Oregon voters are rejecting the measure even though those in favor of giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants have raised more than ten times the amount of money its opponents have. Groups for the measure have raised $421,000 while those opposed to it have only raised $37,000. Opponents have claimed that industries that want to hire illegal immigrants are backing efforts to pass Measure 88. According to the Register-Guard, while those who support the measure have claimed that the driver’s license “could not be used as identification with federal agencies for air travel, to enter a federal building, to register to vote or to obtain any government benefit requiring proof of citizenship or lawful presence in United States,” talk radio show host “Lars Larson said the federal Transportation Security Administration, which oversees air travel security, confirmed to him that the driver card—as a state-issued identification card—would be accepted by the TSA to board an airplane.” The TSA is not commenting on the matter after Larson’s remarks. The Oregon Republican Party has also opposed the measure, “saying it could aid terrorists and Mexican drug cartels.” The poll, conducted by “Portland-based DHM Research,” has a margin of error of +/- 4.3 percentage points.”



“Representative Mike McCaul (R-TX) argued that “there’s not an interest” among Americans for high-tech jobs in a discussion on increased guest workers on Tuesday’s “Laura Ingraham Show.”

McCaul pledged he would “absolutely” oppose any executive order to grant amnesty through an executive order, and that his recently announced “pre-emptive strike” When asked he thought of the Senate’s plan to increase guest workers and fast-track H-1B visas, he responded “We’re going to oppose amnesty in December and if these executive actions come out to basically allow work permits or grant citizenship or whatever he plans to do in circumvention of the law and Congress, then…this is going to be a fight we’re going to have.” He then said, “well, I think we need to protect Americans first and American jobs first,” but added “we educate people and pay a lot of money for them, they’re skilled and high-tech and then they can’t stay here and they go back to our competitor in China.” McCaul argued the US shouldn’t be educating foreign graduates at taxpayer expense, and that “I think Americans should have those slots first.” But then he argued, “the fact is that there’s not an interest.”



“If Republicans gain control of Congress, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) wants more guest-worker visas for high-tech and low-skilled workers in addition to a piecemeal immigration reform.

Hensarling, the House Financial Services Committee Chair whom the pro-amnesty Wall Street Journal touted as the “leading candidate to eventually succeed John Boehner as Speaker,” would “like to see immigration reform that allows more H-1B visas for high-tech workers and also creates a ‘vibrant guest-worker program’ for low-skill workers who want to come here to work in agriculture.” The Journal also noted that Hensarling “believes a good guest-worker program is a form of border security because it allows law enforcement to focus on catching criminals and terrorists: ‘Less hay to find the needles.'” He doesn’t think a “physical wall” is needed “over the entire length of the border.” Hensarling, according to the Journal, also “thinks a GOP Congress would still be able to move piecemeal immigration reform” passed. The Journal refers refers to illegal immigrants who should be “liberated” from the enforcement bureaucracy as those “crossing America’s southern border to make an honest living in the U.S.”  As Breitbart News reported, a recent national Polling Company poll found that “90% of likely voters feel that U.S.- born workers and legal immigrants already here should get first preference for jobs.” And “among likely voters who think that illegal immigration laws are enforced ‘too much,’ 67% believed that jobs now held by illegal immigrants should go to American workers.” The poll also found that even 61 % of voters who favor a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants “feel that Americans should be employed in jobs that illegals currently have.”




Labor Secretary Says Paid Leave Would Boost Labor Force Participation

“Paid leave will improve the nation’s labor participation rate, currently at record lows, Labor Secretary Tom Perez said on Monday. “It is a sleeper issue that will sleep no more,” Perez told a gathering at the National Press Club. “Every first Friday of the month, the most frequently asked question I get, ‘What can you do, Tom, to increase labor force participation?’ Well, let’s talk about paid leave and let’s compare the United States with Canada,” Perez said. “The labor force participation rate of women ages 25 to 54 in the year 2000 in the U.S. and Canada was virtually identical. Today, Canada is ahead of us by roughly 8 percentage points, in large measure because they have generous paid leave laws and they provide affordable access to affordable child care.”


GAO report finds thousands of government workers on paid leave, costing taxpayers millions

“Thousands of federal workers who have been put on administrative leave for more than a month have been allowed to collect a paycheck, and accrue vacation days and pension benefits, while taxpayers were forced to foot the multi-million-dollar bill, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. Some government employees who broke the rules – meaning they were cited for being untrustworthy or had ongoing issues with co-workers or their bosses — were allowed to remain on leave for large chunks of time while they challenged their demotions, the 62-page report said. The study, released publicly on Monday, marks the first time auditors have taken a look at the scope of administrative leave and its cost to taxpayers. During a three-year period, more than 57,000 employees were told to go home – and stay home — for 30 days or more, costing taxpayers $775 million in salary alone. The report found that 53,000 civilian employees were kept home for one to three months. Another 4,000 were kept off the job for three months to a year and hundreds more for one to three years.”


Yes, the Deficit Is Smaller. But That Wasn’t the Main Problem.

“While the massive deficits of recent years were startling, they were never the country’s key fiscal problem. Deficits, which grew more than 750% from 2007 to 2009, were a symptom of the near-calamitous economic crisis in which revenues plunged and automatic spending kicked in. Much of the growth in the federal deficit was a sign of just how bad the economy was. But deficits were also a partial cure for our economic woes in that the automatic stabilizers and the additional spending in the 2009 stimulus (for all its flaws) stopped the economic tailspin from becoming far worse. What was needed then and is still needed now is a plan–not for short-term austerity but to address our medium- and long-term debt situation. Policies need to be phased in gradually and designed to support the country’s economic recovery. Unfortunately, we got the opposite: spending reductions that focused on the short term and cuts to discretionary spending instead of tax reforms and entitlement reforms to generate permanent and growing savings. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that last year the sequester alone shaved 0.6 percentage points–the equivalent of 750,000 jobs–from the U.S. economy. And while the deficit may well be too low given the state of the recovery, the national debt is much too high. Before the crisis, the debt equaled about 35% of the economy; it has since more than doubled and stands at 74% of the economy. The last time U.S. debt levels were this high the country was coming out of World War II. Then, we had demographics and the global economic situation on our side, as well as a plan to again reduce the debt. Today, however, the plan is to keep on borrowing. The CBO warned in July that the debt levels the U.S. is headed toward would “reduce the total amounts of national saving and income in the long term; increase the government’s interest payments, thereby putting more pressure on the rest of the budget; limit lawmakers’ flexibility to respond to unforeseen events; and increase the likelihood of a fiscal crisis.” Too-tight fiscal policy can still be swapped out for more desirable longer-term savings. For starters, we should trade some or all of the sequester for longer-term savings in entitlement programs that would grow over time. The two-year Murray-Ryan budget deal was a small-scale version of the sort of changes that need to be made. Medicare’s “sustainable growth rate” is actually unsustainable and should be replaced with a variety of longer-term health-care reforms. Pro-growth, pro-jobs, fiscally responsible policy would include making the highway trust fund solvent to allow for more infrastructure spending by raising the gas tax or other sources of dedicated revenue, cutting other areas of spending, or some combination of the two.”




‘Plunge protection’ behind market’s sudden recovery









Midterm elections: Democrats distancing themselves from Obama


The Democrats are running, but President Obama won’t let them hide

“It is a constant frustration among Republicans that Democrats never seem to get called out for talking to the right back home and then governing to the left here in Washington. Well, maybe with some help from President Obama, voters will start to listen and recognize how deceptive the Democrats have been. Yesterday, on Al Sharpton’s radio show, President Obama said that even though the most vulnerable Democratic candidates have actively avoided campaigning with him, “The bottom line is, though, these are all folks who vote with me; they have supported my agenda in Congress. So this isn’t about my feelings being hurt. These are folks who are strong allies and supporters of me…I tell them…you do what you need to do to win.  I will be responsible for making sure that our voters turn out.” The headache this quote has caused Democrats has been widely reported, but also take note of how Obama-esque this quote is.  In five sentences he uses “I,” “my” and “me” a total of six times. The Democrats and the mainstream media certainly can’t blame Republicans for making this election about Obama. Anyway, the president, who is fully aware that Democratic candidates like Kay Hagan in North Carolina, Mark Pryor in Arkansas, Mark Begich in Alaska and Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky – to name a few – have been running from him, can’t suppress his instinct to let voters know that they are all loyal followers of his. While the incumbent Democrats – most of whom have voted with him almost all the time, try to claim their independence, the president is actually the one calling them out and telling the truth. Democrats are going to have a hard time hiding behind their phony images for much longer, because President Obama has made it clear that most every Democrat running for office in 2014 will be pretty much in lockstep with the liberal Democratic leadership. It is one thing for a president to have bad poll numbers six years into his term and be a drag on the ticket. It is another thing for a president to crush the messaging of the candidates in his party and be unable to hide his own vanity. Democratic candidates don’t want President Obama to campaign for them and now they don’t want him giving any interviews either. The Democratic candidates are running, but President Obama won’t let them hide.”



Obama To Dem Senate Candidates: You’re Stuck With Me


Axelrod: ‘An Inconvenient Fact’ That Incumbent Dems Support Obama’s Agenda [VIDEO]

“A day after President Barack Obama told Rev. Al Sharpton that incumbent Democrats are “all folks who vote with me” and “supported my agenda in Congress,” former Obama adviser David Axelrod says this is an “inconvenient fact” for this group of embattled Democrats vying for multiple terms in the Senate. “Well, look, it’s a fact. But it’s an inconvenient fact for some folks that are running in states where the president lost to Mitt Romney by 23 or 24 points. So many of these Senate contests in particular are being played out in state where’s the president didn’t carry the vote even two years ago, so that’s problematical,” the MSNBC contributor opined. “The other thing is what he really was trying to say before and what he was trying to say right here that should be separated from him is that the approach to the economy, whether minimum wage or infrastructure, more education, the kinds of things that would build incomes and wages and better futures for the middle class, that’s what’s on the ballot. That’s what being contested,” Axelrod said.”


From patron saint to pariah: how Barack Obama became toxic for Democrats

With midterm elections only two weeks away, Democrat candidates are doing something they never would have dreamed of in 2008: distancing themselves from President Barack Obama

“Six years after Barack Obama helped Democrats to a slew of surprising electoral victories in Republican states, pollsters and pundits alike agree that the once-charismatic US president has become an electoral liability in November’s mid-term elections. It has been a stunning reversal of fortunes for Mr Obama, whose celebrity status helped get Democrats elected in several Republican states in 2008 – states which the party is now desperately struggling to defend.

Republicans need to take back six Democrat Senate seats in order to regain control of the 100-member upper chamber, a result that would give them control of both houses of Congress and leave Mr Obama, who is already verging on lame duck status, even further isolated.

With less than two weeks to go until the November 4 polling day, we track the travails of the man who once walked on political water.”


Michelle Obama: Get your “knuckle-headed nephew on the couch” to vote



“Conservative columnist and author of “Never Trust a Liberal Over 3-Especially a Republican,” Ann Coulter argued that the 2014 election is too important for Republicans to sit out on Monday’s “Hannity” on the Fox News Channel. “If we have the Senate, too, with Mitch McConnell and John Boehner passing repeals of Obamacare and terrific things, the media won’t be able to keep maintaining it’s Republicans who are doing nothing but passing birth control laws. They will have to report on the bills that get passed out of both houses of Congress and our do-nothing president keeps vetoing. That will set up a presidential candidate very well for 2016. This is a very important election, please, Republicans” she stated. She added, “we have Republicans, some Republicans, some base running off and voting for the Libertarian or the third-party candidate. No, you cannot do it this time, Republicans. A lot of Republicans are running this year, I would like to, just, never hear from again. I detest. Yet, you have to vote for them because Republicans do not just need to take a majority, they need to take 53 seats this year because we are very likely to lose two or three seats two years from now. If we are ever going to repeal Obamacare, we have got to get 53-54 seats and then elect a Republican in 2016.” Coulter did say that dissatisfaction with the GOP is due to the failures of Republican leadership, arguing “we’re taking in all of Central America, and the Republican Party won’t mention that because their donors want the cheap labor? And then you wonder why the base runs off and does crazy things like primary Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Thad Cochran (R-MS) who not only voted against amnesty, they voted against Reagan’s amnesty. Why did they have primary challenges? Because our leadership has let us down. And so you have the base angry and just striking out at anyone. I mean, there are Republicans, by the way, who deserved a primary challenge, but not now.”



“Two weeks before Election Day, most of the nation’s likely voters now expect the Republican Party to take control of the U.S. Senate, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. And by a growing margin, they say that’s the outcome they’d like to see. But the survey suggests many will cringe when they cast those ballots. Most likely voters have a negative impression of the Republican Party, and 7 in 10 are dissatisfied by its leaders in Congress. The Democrats win few accolades themselves. Impressions of the party among likely voters have grown more negative in the past month. In fact, Democrats are more trusted than the GOP on just two of nine top issues, the poll showed. The economy remains the top issue for likely voters — 91 percent call it “extremely” or “very” important. And the GOP has increased its advantage as the party more trusted to handle the issue to a margin of 39 percent to 31 percent. With control of the Senate at stake, both parties say they are relying on robust voter-turnout operations — and monster campaign spending — to lift their candidates in the final days. But the poll suggests any appeals they’ve made so far haven’t done much to boost turnout among those already registered. The share who report that they are certain to vote in this year’s contests has risen just slightly since September, and interest in news about the campaign has held steady. Among all adults, 38 percent say they’d like the Democrats to wind up in control of Congress, to 36 percent for the Republicans. But the GOP holds a significant lead among those most likely to cast ballots: 47 percent of these voters favor a Republican controlled-Congress, 39 percent a Democratic one. That’s a shift in the GOP’s favor since an AP-GfK poll in late September, when the two parties ran about evenly among likely voters. Women have moved in the GOP’s direction since September. In last month’s AP-GfK poll, 47 percent of female likely voters said they favored a Democratic-controlled Congress while 40 percent wanted the Republicans to capture control. In the new poll, the two parties are about even among women, 44 percent prefer the Republicans, 42 percent the Democrats. In all, the poll finds that 55 percent of likely voters now expect Republicans to win control of the Senate, up from 47 percent last month. Democrats have grown slightly more pessimistic on this count since September, with 25 percent expecting the GOP to take control now compared with 18 percent earlier.”–Most-expect-GOP-victory-in-November


AP-GfK Poll: Most expect GOP victory in November

“Two weeks before Election Day, most of the nation’s likely voters now expect the Republican Party to take control of the U.S. Senate, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. And by a growing margin, they say that’s the outcome they’d like to see. But the survey suggests many will cringe when they cast those ballots. Most likely voters have a negative impression of the Republican Party, and 7 in 10 are dissatisfied by its leaders in Congress. The Democrats win few accolades themselves. Impressions of the party among likely voters have grown more negative in the past month. In fact, Democrats are more trusted than the GOP on just two of nine top issues, the poll showed. The economy remains the top issue for likely voters — 91 percent call it “extremely” or “very” important. And the GOP has increased its advantage as the party more trusted to handle the issue to a margin of 39 percent to 31 percent. With control of the Senate at stake, both parties say they are relying on robust voter-turnout operations — and monster campaign spending — to lift their candidates in the final days. But the poll suggests any appeals they’ve made so far haven’t done much to boost turnout among those already registered. The share who report that they are certain to vote in this year’s contests has risen just slightly since September, and interest in news about the campaign has held steady. Among all adults, 38 percent say they’d like the Democrats to wind up in control of Congress, to 36 percent for the Republicans. But the GOP holds a significant lead among those most likely to cast ballots: 47 percent of these voters favor a Republican controlled-Congress, 39 percent a Democratic one. That’s a shift in the GOP’s favor since an AP-GfK poll in late September, when the two parties ran about evenly among likely voters. Women have moved in the GOP’s direction since September. In last month’s AP-GfK poll, 47 percent of female likely voters said they favored a Democratic-controlled Congress while 40 percent wanted the Republicans to capture control. In the new poll, the two parties are about even among women, 44 percent prefer the Republicans, 42 percent the Democrats. In all, the poll finds that 55 percent of likely voters now expect Republicans to win control of the Senate, up from 47 percent last month. Democrats have grown slightly more pessimistic on this count since September, with 25 percent expecting the GOP to take control now compared with 18 percent earlier. What’s deeply important to likely voters after the economy? About three-quarters say health care, terrorism, the threat posed by the Islamic State group and Ebola. On foreign affairs, Republicans have the upper hand. By a 22-point margin, voters trust the GOP more to protect the country, and they give the Republicans a 10-point lead as more trusted to handle international crises. Democrats have a slim advantage on health care, 36 percent to 32 percent. Although handling the Ebola outbreak was among the top issues for likely voters, the poll shows little sign that either party could capitalize on fears of the virus as an election issue. More than half said either that they trust both parties equally (29 percent) or that they don’t trust either party (24 percent) to handle public health issues like Ebola. The remaining respondents were about equally split between trusting Republicans (25 percent) and Democrats (22 percent).”



“For eight years, Americans have been told that Democrats have a decisive advantage among young people, and especially on the Internet. That might have been true with the rise and re-election of Barack Obama. But as his presidency falters, and as Republicans invest in technology, the tide is rapidly turning. In fact, among students, Republicans are now far ahead of Democrats on social media, winning on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. As Sean McMinn of the Scripps Howard News Wire reported recently:  On Facebook, the College Democrats of America have just 17,400 “likes,” compared to the College Republican National Committee’s 124,700. That’s seven times more.  And on Twitter, the Democrats’ count of 33,600 followers is behind the Republicans’ 56,700.  Even more shocking: While the College Republicans are consistently churning out videos with several thousand views on YouTube, all but one video on the College Democrats’ YouTube account is set to “private.” Democrats counter that mere numbers of users or views on social media do not translate into votes, and that the key in Internet campaigning is translating online enthusiasm into offline activism. Republicans also use professional staff to manage their social media presence among students, whereas Democrats rely on volunteer efforts. Still, the edge–even if symbolic–is significant as a possible indicator that the GOP can turn the tide.”


When Asked ‘Yes or No’ Obama Question, Dem Gubernatorial Candidate Provides an Answer That Leaves Audience Laughing

“New Hampshire Democratic gubernatorial candidate Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) was unable to provide a simple “yes or no” answer when asked if she approves of President Barack Obama’s job performance. “Imagine you at home wearing your New Hampshire citizen hat, and you get a call from a pollster asking the following question: Do you approve of the job President Obama is doing?” the moderator asked. “Now, there will be a chance to follow up, but this is a yes or no answer. Do you approve, yes or no?” “In some ways I approve and some things I don’t approve,” Shaheen replied, sparking laughter from the audience. She went on to argue that many times there aren’t “simple answers” for policy makers. Watch the video below:”

Debate Crowd Laughs As Democratic Senator Dodges Question On Support For Obama [VIDEO]

“At a time when being seen as too close to President Barack Obama is a political liability, Democratic candidates are rushing to distance themselves from the man. But two things are standing in their way – their voting records and the president himself. The president this week told Al Sharpton: “We’ve got a tough map. A lot of the states that are contested this time are states that I didn’t win” in the 2012 election. “So some of the candidates there, you know, it is difficult for them to have me in the state because the Republicans will use that to try to fan Republican turn-out. The bottom line is, though, these are all folks who vote with me. They have supported my agenda in Congress.” With his approval rating hovering in the high 30s, Obama is a liability — and he knows it. But he loves politics, and he still wants to be involved in the election. So while Democrats across the country attempt to distance themselves from him and his agenda, he drapes himself all over them. As candidates across the country dodge the question of whether or not they voted for him, that option doesn’t exist for incumbent Democrats. They have a record.”

Audience Laughs At Sen. Shaheen For Dodging Question About Approval of Obama

“MODERATOR: Imagine you’re at home wearing your New Hampshire citizen hat and you get a call from a pollster asking the following question: Do you approve of the job President Obama is doing? There will be a chance to follow up but this is a yes or no answer. Do you approve, yes or no?

SEN. JEANNE SHAHEEN (D-NH): In some ways I approve, and some things I don’t approve. Like most questions that we deal with as policymakers there aren’t simple answers. Yes or no.

MODERATOR: Well, let me put it this way. You have said you are the candidate for the citizens of New Hampshire, Scott Brown often says — I don’t need to tell you — that you vote with President Obama 99% of the time. Because of Obama’s approval ratings are at an all-time low in New Hampshire right now, 38-40%, how does your voting record sort of jive with serving the citizens of New Hampshire?

SHAHEEN: I work for New Hampshire. Scott Brown talks a lot about one survey, and 99% of the time that I voted with the president. But the numbers I’m proudest of are the 259 people who were now working at the Berlin prison because I was able to get the prison opened after it sat empty for two years. It was the 1200 people who were being foreclosed on in their homes who our office worked with to keep them in their homes. It was for the 129,000 veterans who can now get care close to home because of the legislation that Sen. Ayotte and I got into the Veterans Reform Bill. What we need is a Senator who is going to work for New Hampshire. Who is going to make sure we address the concerns we hear from our constituents, who is going to be willing to work with Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, anybody in Washington who can help us get the job done for this state.”




“Former Sen. Scott Brown opened up the economic battlefield on immigration here Tuesday night with a little help from NBC’s Meet The Press host Chuck Todd. “When you’re looking at that bill, what it also does is it immediately gives an opportunity for the president to authorize upwards of 11 million people to get jobs,” Brown said when talking about the Senate-passed “Gang of Eight” immigration bill. “I want to fight for jobs for New Hampshire. Here’s another thing about immigration. I voted to secure the border on two occasions. I voted to send troops to the border. We need to absolutely secure the border. The president through his executive order what he’s proposing to do is actively expand the definition of refugee to somebody who’s here [illegally] to work.” Brown’s answer on this came after Shaheen dodged a question from Todd, the debate’s moderator, on the economic effects of a massive increase in immigration and amnesty for illegal immigrants. “Is there any part of this Senate bill, and I know it’s a compromise and compromises mean you’re not going to like some things, but specifically on the idea of H1B visas when they come in, do you think it is pro-American worker enough or not pro-American worker enough when it comes to importing guest workers into the country?” Todd asked Shaheen. Shaheen completely avoided the question, instead opting to tout the “Gang of Eight” bill’s GOP support. “You know, we have a problem with our immigration system and we need to address that in a comprehensive way,” Shaheen responded. “That means we need to address the visa system that’s not working now for the tourism industry here, for our farming industry here, for our high-tech companies here. The bill that we passed starts first with addressing security at the border. It adds 700 miles of border fence. It increases the number of border agents. It provides additional resources for interdiction. It puts in place, and for surveillance. It puts in place an E-Verify system so people can make sure—so employers can make sure the people they’re hiring are actually legal here. I think this is the approach we should be taking. It’s comprehensive and it’s been disappointing to hear that my opponent doesn’t support this comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the Senate with a strong bipartisan [vote]. It has the support of both Sen. Ayotte and Sen. McCain. And I think we should urge the House to take up this bill and pass it.” Brown has hammered Shaheen on immigration over and over again this year—attacking her for failing to vote to secure the border, and hitting her for rubber stamping President Barack Obama’s planned executive amnesty, something Shaheen says she opposes but hasn’t done anything to stop him.”





“Amid ongoing questions about her family’s apparent stimulus benefits, numerous Armed Services Committee hearing absences, and Ebola flip-flops, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) did not show up at the fourth and final debate in the U.S. Senate race Tuesday evening.  With Hagan absent and nothing but an empty chair to face her opponent, North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis spent an hour taking questions from two local reporters and voters.”



“As has been previously reported, in 2009, after Democrat U.S. Senator Kay Hagan vigorously supported President Obama’s $800 million-and-change stimulus package, a company co-owned by her husband, JDC Manufacturing, received $390,000 in federal grants and green energy tax credits. The Carolina Journal reports Tuesday that new documents prove “it’s worse than we thought.” From a report filed early Saturday by WRAL-TV news, we have confirmation that a cluster of businesses owned by Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan’s husband and other family members collected even more subsidies from taxpayers than initially reported. While Carolina Journal’s Don Carrington has highlighted a stimulus grant totaling $250,644 that was paid to JDC Manufacturing, a real estate business co-owned by Hagan’s husband, Chip, and his brothers John and David, WRAL confirmed that JDC received an additional $137,000 in energy tax credits from the project. (Some of the relevant documents are here.) … Add a second federal renewable energy grant of $50,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the ledger, and we learn that Hagan businesses soaked taxpayers for nearly $450,000 to pay for energy upgrades installed at JDC’s 300,000-square-foot building in Reidsville. JDC, a company co-owned by the three Hagan brothers, applied for and received $250,644 in stimulus dollars to install more efficient lighting and furnaces and place solar panels at its building. JDC leases the building to Plastic Revolutions, a recycling company also owned by … Hagan family members. Once the project was completed, Plastic Revolutions said it expected to save $100,000 in energy costs annually. That’s a benefit it would not have received without the upgrades, which were made possible by federal taxpayers. Moreover, JDC wound up with a more valuable asset: a modern, energy-efficient manufacturing facility that would bring a higher price if it sold, and a more inviting location for potential new tenants. And, of course, JDC received $137,000 in tax credits — again resulting from the stimulus grant.”


North Carolina on track to have costliest Senate race ever

The flood of advertising dollars into North Carolina symbolizes the growing influence of outside groups in political campaigns. Overall spending for the Senate race in the Tar Heel State could surpass $100 million.


Tide turns against Hagan



“Western Kentucky University’s 2014 Big Red Poll released on Monday shows that incumbent Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) leads Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes by 3 points, 45% to 42%, among likely voters in the Kentucky U.S. Senate race. The poll, coming two weeks before election day, indicates the race is still close, despite numerous recent gaffes by Grimes and news that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has stopped funding television advertising in support of her candidacy. 5% of likely voters supported Libertarian David Patterson, and 8% were undecided. The most surprising result of the poll is that, despite a bitter primary battle between Tea Party-endorsed Matt Bevin and McConnell, the Tea Party overwhelmingly supports McConnell over Grimes. “13% of those surveyed self-identified as members of the TEA Party.” Among that group, McConnell “leads Grimes 87%-5%.” In addition “nearly a third (32%) of those who did not self-identify [as Tea Party members] indicated that they were sympathetic to the views expressed by the TEA Party.” Among these Tea Party sympathizers, McConnell leads Grimes 70% to 21%. A Survey USA poll also released on Monday showed McConnell’s lead was only 1 point, within the margin of error, but a Rasmussen Reports poll released last week indicated that his lead had jumped to 8 points. Among registered voters only, McConnell’s lead was slightly greater, 45% to 40%. Libertarian David Patterson’s support was the same 5% as it is among likely voters, but the number of undecided voters was 2% higher among registered voters at 10%. This slightly higher percentage of undecided voters, if reached by the robust Democratic ground game, could bring the race even closer. The Big Red Poll of 601 registered voters and 554 likely voters was conducted over a 14 day period, from October 6 to October 20. The margin of error for registered voters is 4%, for likely voters 4.1%

Most polls are taken over considerably shorter periods of time, usually two to four days. Polls taken over a longer period may not represent an accurate snapshot of voter views, since intervening events may change opinions.  Dr. Joel Turner, who runs the Western Kentucky University  Social Science Research Center and conducted the Big Red Poll conducted the poll, acknowledged in an email to Breitbart News on Tuesday that “the danger for running a survey for this period of time is that events can happen (i.e. scandals, gaffes, etc.) that change the views of voters.” “There were some things that occurred during that period,” Turner added, “such as Grimes’ unique answer to whether she voted for Obama, the coal videos of Grimes’ campaign workers, and McConnell’s interesting phrasing in an answer to an Obamacare question that garnered national attention.”



“Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) spoke highly of Tea Party-backed Col. Rob Maness in Louisiana on Tuesday, saying he is “surging” in the state’s three-way election there due to his backing of the conservative reform agenda Lee has been pushing. Lee was talking about conservative Republicans nationwide who are running on positive, big picture ideas like he’s been fighting for in his four years in the U.S. Senate. Lee wrote on his Facebook page on Tuesday: A new generation of Republican candidates are finding success by directly addressing Americans’ concerns and running on a conservative reform agenda. The American people aren’t willing to accept the failed policies of the Left, but they also no longer want to hear platitudes and poll-tested promises from the Right. That’s why some of the most successful and surging candidates are those who have been ironing out a real agenda for the country.”




Reversal: Obama sets Ebola travel restrictions

“The Obama administration has reversed course on putting travel restrictions on those coming from three West African nations tainted with Ebola and is putting in place demands that they enter only through five U.S. airports prepared to screen for the virus. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement that the new rules will take effect Wednesday, bowing to demands from both parties that the U.S. do a better job so secure the border from Ebola. “Today, as part of the Department of Homeland Security’s ongoing response to prevent the spread of Ebola to the United States, we are announcing travel restrictions in the form of additional screening and protective measures at our ports of entry for travelers from the three West African Ebola-affected countries,” said Johnson. He said the rules require that anyone coming from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea enter the U.S. only through the five airports where special Ebola screenings have been set up: New York’s John F. Kennedy, Newark Liberty, Washington Dulles, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson and Chicago’s O’Hare. “All passengers arriving in the United States whose travel originates in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea will be required to fly into one of the five airports that have the enhanced screening and additional resources in place. We are working closely with the airlines to implement these restrictions with minimal travel disruption. If not already handled by the airlines, the few impacted travelers should contact the airlines for rebooking, as needed,” said the statement. He said that passengers flying into those airports on flights originating in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea “are subject to secondary screening and added protocols, including having their temperature taken, before they can be admitted into the United States. These airports account for about 94 percent of travelers flying to the United States from these countries.” There are no direct, non-stop commercial flights from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea to the U.S.”


New Ebola Restrictions Not Enough for Republicans Pushing Travel Ban

“While the Obama administration continues to put in place additional measures to identify travelers potentially infected with Ebola, the early Republican response is in: It’s still not enough. The administration announced Tuesday that travelers to the United States from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will have to travel through one of five major U.S. airports and go through additional Ebola screening. The Department of Homeland Security introduced the additional measures, mandating that all foreign nationals coming from those three Ebola-stricken countries in Africa will undergo secondary screening and be forced to land at one of five airports: Kennedy Airport in New York, Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport, Chicago O’Hare in Illinois or Dulles Airport in Virginia. Those passengers, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement, would be subject to “added protocols, including having their temperature taken, before they can be admitted into the United States.” The additional screening for passengers coming from those countries at those airports was already taking place, but now those passengers are mandated to land at one of those five airports. Ebola has emerged as a surprise campaign issue this October. Republicans have capitalized on public concern by dinging many of their Democratic opponents for muted responses and by calling for a travel ban. A recent poll found that 64 percent of Americans felt the government should do more to address Ebola, two-thirds said they supported a travel ban from those three African countries, and a whopping 91 percent said they supported stricter screening for passengers from those areas. It’s unclear what the public will make of the new rules, but congressional Republicans didn’t seem impressed Tuesday. House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, who had written a letter earlier in the day to  Johnson and Secretary of State John Kerry asking question about non-U.S. citizens with Ebola coming to the United States, offered soft applause for the screening mandate, saying he was “glad” the administration had taken these new steps. But he still said they needed to do more. “Obama Administration officials openly admit that these enhanced screening measures would have never detected the disease in Thomas Eric Duncan, a non-U.S. citizen, who later infected two American nurses in Dallas,” Goodlatte said in his release. “President Obama has a real solution at his disposal under current law and can use it at any time to temporarily ban foreign nationals from entering the United States from Ebola-ravaged countries,” the Virginia Republican wrote. Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, also offered slight praise. “Putting in place travel restrictions and additional screening measures at our airports is a commonsense proposal, and I am pleased to see DHS make this announcement,” he wrote in his own release. But he still wants a travel ban. “I continue to call on the administration to suspend all visas from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea,” he said. Additionally, 16 Republican members of the Doctor’s Caucus sent a letter Tuesday afternoon to “strongly urge” President Barack Obama to implement the temporary travel ban. “To assuage rising public anxiety about a potential health crisis — and to ensure national preparedness if the worst should happen — we urge your administration to take proactive steps to educate, equip, and train public health authorities to effectively contain this disease,” the doctors wrote. While the additional screening measures could allay some public concerns — as well as potentially take some of the political heat off of Democrats and the president — Republicans don’t seem to be letting up.”



“During a fundraiser in Chicago, President Obama shared with donors some positive spin on the fight to control Ebola in the United States. Obama reminded the crowd that although Ebola has been “the only story” in the news, there has not been “an outbreak and epidemic here.”

“So far we’ve got one person dying of Ebola,” he explained, although he acknowledged that “people are understandably concerned.” “To give you some sense of perspective, around 20,000 to 30,000 people die of flu every year,” he explained. Obama reminded his donors that he took the responsibility to help fight the disease in Africa seriously. “This is a virulent disease, and it is up to us, once again, to mobilize the world’s community to do something about it, to make sure that not only we’re helping on a humanitarian basis those countries, but we’re not seeing a continued epidemic and outbreak that can ultimately have a serious impact here,” he stated.”





“Last week President Obama appointed a lobbyist and Democrat Party operative as his “Ebola Czar,” but since Ron Klain took the position he has skipped most of the meetings, hearings, and status updates on the government response to the deadly virus. The White House reported that Klain, who has no medical training at all, will skip an upcoming Congressional hearing Friday. He has already skipped the two “all hands” meetings at the White House as officials begin to make plans to address the virus. The White House said that Klain will skip the upcoming hearing with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee but will likely appear before a Senate hearing next month. The administration said that Klain will start his new job on Wednesday.

Klain has been seen entering the White House twice in the last few days to meet with Obama or his team. Klain’s appointment met with criticism because the appointee has no medical expertise to offer in the face of the Ebola crisis. “Mr. Klain is not a doctor, he’s not a health care professional,” Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz said over the weekend on CNN.”


Americans’ Losing Confidence in Government’s Ability to Handle Ebola


If no checks, more Ebola cases might leave Africa



“But in “Genomic Surveillance Elucidates Ebola Virus Origin and Transmission During the 2014 Outbreak,” published in Science Journal, a 40-scientist team representing 13 institutions determined that the three most recent outbreaks of Ebola all diverged from a “common ancestor” around 2004. The study determined these outbreaks could only be spread by sustained human-to-human transmission and not from animals to humans. The researchers also stated that Ebola viris (EBOV), formerly known as Zaire ebolavirus, “is one of five lethal human pathogens that cause Ebola virus disease (EVD).” Over the five outbreaks, the scientists recorded an “average case fatality rate of 78%.” But prior to the 2014 outbreak, the disease was confined to remote regions of central Africa, and the 318 cases in 1976 had been the largest outbreak. The current outbreak is the “largest known and is expanding exponentially, with a doubling period of 34.8 days.” The researchers found that “As in every EVD outbreak, the 2014 EBOV variant carries a number of genetic changes distinct to this lineage.” In the five Ebola outbreaks so far, they recorded a “catalog of 395 mutations,” referred to as “sequence changes.” The high level of viral “mutations suggests that continued progression of this epidemic could afford an opportunity for viral adaptation underscoring the need for rapid containment.” The researchers concluded by stating “ongoing epidemiological and genomic surveillance is imperative to identify viral determinants of transmission dynamics” in order to understand and contain the expanding epidemic. Although the financial value of this research in defining and sequencing the genetic code for Ebola could be enormous, the research team has chosen to release “all sequence data as it is generated” to aid in relief efforts and “facilitate rapid global research” in a show of respect to: Five co-authors, who contributed greatly to public health and research efforts in Sierra Leone, contracted EVD [Ebola] and lost their battle with the disease before this manuscript could be published. Mohamed Fullah, Mbalu Fonnie, Alex Moigboi, Alice Kovoma, and S. Humarr Khan. We wish to honor their memory.”


Homeland Security says four Dulles passengers were taken to a local hospital after Ebola screenings


David Petraeus: ‘People Saw ISIS Coming’

“Former CIA Director David Petraeus said in a new interview that the rise of the Islamic State was “well known” among people monitoring the situation within the U.S. government, and that it was able to flourish amid the chaos of the civil war in Syria. “ISIS in a sense is the evolution of an organization that we did defeat, Al Qaeda in Iraq,” Petraeus told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in an interview published Monday. “Some of the very hard work we did to help re-establish the fabric of Iraqi society — to bring the Sunni Arabs back into Iraqi society and give them an incentive to support the new Iraq rather than to oppose it — was undone. It created fertile ground once again for the planting of the seeds of extremism and alienated the Sunni Arab component of Iraqi society. “What really revived Al Qaida in Iraq and turned them into the Islamic State was the civil war in Syria,” Petraeus continued. “They grew, gained experience and could identify competent leaders and then begin to capture arms, funding and generate significant resources to enable their expansion. People saw ISIS coming. Even out of the intelligence world, it was well known what ISIS was doing in Syria.” The U.S. has been leading a coalition in bombing Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria, months after President Barack Obama initially dismissed the militant group as “JV.” Petraeus served as CIA director from 2011 to 2012 before resigning following revelations of an extramarital affair.”


Eric Holder’s Warning About American Jihadists


African-American Tea Party Members Begin 2014 Campaign

“A collaboration of African-American  civil rights leaders and tea party members joined together to launch the “Restore the Dream 2014” campaign on Monday. The group’s mission is to fill the void in urban communities where they say liberal leadership has failed to change — or provide hope — for community members. “Liberalism has failed the black communities,” said American Conservatives of Color founder Derrick Wilburn. The 13 conservative partners of the “Restore the Dream 2014” campaign will use social media, as well as personal outreach, to share their vision of change in inner-city neighborhoods. “This is not a black thing it’s not minority thing, it’s an American thing — our plan and our endeavor is to engage urban centers all across this county is a collaborative effort,” said Executive Director Niger Innis. The current national poverty level for African American community has increased since the Obama administration took office, rising from 12 percent in 2009 to 15 percent in 2014. The unemployment level for African-Americans is more than double the national average, at 11 percent, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. The goal of the campaigners, including Martin Luther King’s niece, Dr. Alveda King, is to go into theses urban centers and present a different way. “Big government socialist liberal policies that have had a monopolistic control over urban centers for decades,” said Innis. “But that’s not the only choice there is  another choices there is another vision another solution.”