Everything blue is red again... well, sort of.
Politico reports that the electoral map – which Pres. Obama remade back in 2008 – is returning to its old patterns.
During the presidential campaign, there was lots of talk about how Barack Obama had changed the playing field and put several so-called red states into play.
By winning in places like Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia and the Mountain West, Obama didn't need to rely on states that had decided previous elections, like Florida and Ohio.
Fast forward a year and a half... Democrats are facing some tough races for Congress and governorships in November in these very same states. No doubt Republicans are loving it, with one congressman saying: "One election doesn't make realignment."
But Democrats insist these states that used to be red will be competitive now, although some worry that without Pres. Obama on the ballot, young voters and African-Americans are more likely to sit this one out.
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As President Obama marks his first anniversary in the White House and the State of the Union approaches, there's criticism coming at him from all corners.
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman writes that doubts he had about the president – since the primaries – have been realized... including that Mr. Obama may not be ready to fight for what his supporters want.
In a piece called "he wasn't the one we've been waiting for," Krugman describes the president talking about health care... saying lawmakers should "try to move quickly to coalesce" around elements of the bill that people agree on. Krugman mocks the message – saying it's like the president is telling lawmakers to "run away."
And When Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked about Krugman's critique – he ducked the question.
Meanwhile from the right, Pat Buchanan suggests that white voters are one group that might be of particular concern to the president.
In a column called "Has Obama lost white America?"... Buchanan explains how the racial breakdown of the vote in recent elections in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Virginia could spell trouble for the president.
The Pentagon report into the massacre at Fort Hood that left 13 dead is a joke. There is no mention of the suspect's views of Islam. None.
In fact, the 86-page report doesn't even once mention Major Nidal Hasan by name. It lumps in radical Islam with other fundamentalist religious beliefs... and instead focuses on things like military personnel policies and the emergency response to the Nov. shootings.
This despite the fact that Hasan made no secret of his radical Islamic faith. He allegedly proselytized to his fellow service members and spoke out against the wars the U.S. military is waging in Muslim counties.
John Lehman, a member of the 9/11 Commission, tells Time magazine the Pentagon's silence on Islamic extremism "shows you how deeply entrenched the values of political correctness have become." The Texas Congressman whose district includes Fort Hood says this report "ignores the elephant in the room – radical Islamic terrorism is the enemy."
The Pentagon acknowledges it didn't focus so much on Hasan's motives as on "actions and effects." They say they didn't want to interfere with the criminal probe into Hasan. Garbage.
Times are tough – very tough – for millions of Americans... but you could never tell by watching the way Congress spends our tax dollars on themselves.
CBS News has a stunning report on the all-expense paid trip at least 20 members of Congress made to the Copenhagen climate summit last month.
The bipartisan delegation led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was so large – it needed three military jets – two 737s and a Gulfstream Five. Some members brought along their spouses, children... plus there were also senators and staff members who made the trip to Denmark – most of them flying commercial.
Pelosi wouldn't answer any questions about costs or where they all stayed – even though she was the one who decided who went. Her office says only that it will "comply with disclosure requirements."
When Democrats swept into power in Congress and the White House last year – a big part of their message was running against the record of the Bush administration.
And some are hoping that strategy works for them again in the 2010 midterm elections.
The web site Talking Points Memo reports Democrats plan to tell voters that Republicans only want to turn back the clock to the Bush era. They say the Republican Party in Washington today is no different than the one that ran Congress before.
Also Democrats insist the party won't take the same kind of beating at the hands of Republicans that it did back in 1994. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says they "fully intend to be in the majority" after November – and other party leaders say they're more prepared this time.
They better hope they are, considering poll numbers that show support for the Democratic Party slumping. A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll shows only 35-percent of voters have positive feelings for the Democratic party – that's down 14-points since February.
Here we go again... Five Transportation Security Administration employees are now on "administrative leave" after a sensitive airport security manual was posted on the Internet.
Here's some of what was revealed:
This comes weeks after three Secret Service officers were put on leave while that agency investigates how it allowed those two morons to crash a White House State Dinner.
Government employees who are found compromising national security are placed on "administrative leave." Gee... give me some of that. They sit home and do nothing while they continue to collect their paychecks. That's some "punishment." We have 10-percent unemployment in this country – yet try firing a government employee for anything short of a felony conviction. Can't be done.
Majority Leader Harry Reid is the top cheerleader for health care reform in the Senate... and this support for the bill might just wind up costing him his Nevada Senate seat.
That's because a growing number of Nevadans don't support health care reform...
A Las Vegas Review-Journal poll shows 53 percent of registered voters oppose the president's health care plan while only 39 percent approve of it.
Majorities of Nevadans are also opposed to a public option, believe that the reform plan would raise taxes, and that it would lead to the rationing of health care. Worse yet – ahead of his re-election bid next year, only 39 percent approve of Reid's efforts to get a bill though the Senate.
Evidence suggests that although most Democrats support Reid's efforts... that probably won't be enough to outweigh the disapproval of most independents and Republicans. One pollster says Reid is carrying the flag for this reform and "You remember what happened historically to flag bearers in war. The flag bearer gets shot first."
Bipartisanship in Washington is virtually non-existent these days – except for President Obama's new strategy for Afghanistan.
A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll – conducted after the president's speech this week – shows his plan wins approval from 63 percent of Democrats, a whopping 72 percent of Republicans and 55 percent of Independents. Gee, with a consensus like that you could actually run the country.
The president is getting thumbs-up from people more inclined to extend their middle fingers when it comes to things Democratic. Karl Rove says that the president's speech "deserves to be cheered" and insists victory is attainable.
Newt Gingrich is out praising President Obama for showing political courage on Afghanistan... in going against the anti-war left in his own party.
This is not to say that there aren't critics of the president's Afghanistan strategy in both parties, but on the whole, he's getting support – at least for now. If it doesn't go as planned, all bets are off. But at least for a few minutes we have the leadership of the country agreeing on something.
Abortion is the political hot potato that could derail health care reform entirely.
It caused major disagreements in the House – and the Senate is now wrestling with how to address the issue. Democrat Ben Nelson says he will introduce an anti-abortion amendment... and that he won't vote for the health care bill unless this language gets added.
Nelson and others aren't satisfied with Majority Leader Harry Reid's current plan – that is to forbid including abortion coverage as a required medical benefit – but to allow a new government insurance plan to cover abortions and let private insurers that get federal money offer plans that include coverage for abortion.
In the House – a group of anti-abortion Democrats added restrictions that would forbid any health plan that gets federal money from paying for abortions – except in the case of rape, incest or to save the mother's life. Also under the House bill, a new government insurance plan couldn't offer abortions – and women would have to buy separate coverage for abortion services.
When it comes to Afghanistan, President Obama better be right. After months of meetings and criticism that he was "dithering" and "weak" on Afghanistan – he finally made what may be the most important decision of his presidency.
But the announcement to deploy 30,000 additional troops is cloaked in contradiction. We're going to rush more troops in so we can begin to rush them out in 18 months. The Taliban and al Qaeda will probably make a note of this timetable.
You don't suppose the decision to withdraw in July of 2011 would have anything to do with the President's 2012 re-election campaign do you?
There was no mention of how we're going to pay for this. The 30,000 additional troops will cost an additional $30 billion in the first year.
Where's that money going to come from? Some Democrats are calling for a so-called "war surtax." But With a fragile U.S. economy, an unemployment rate topping 10-percent, and a costly health care reform plan on the table – there may not be much appetite for that.