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Newslinks for Monday, November 7, 2011

Posted on 11/07/2011

Foes count on Herman Cain to self-destruct

  • Herman_Cain_Presidential_Candidate"No one is willing to flat out say it, but the Republican and Democratic Party establishments have already written off Herman Cain. Here’s the tell-tale sign: With less than two months to go before the Iowa caucuses and the insurgent presidential candidate polling near the top of the GOP field, none of his foes in either party has taken a hard whack at him" - Politico
  • "If Herman Cain has been less than clear about exactly what happened during his tenure as head of the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s, when he was accused of sexual harassment, he is being perfectly clear about how he intends to conduct himself now. 'We’re getting back on message, end of story,' Mr. Cain said here on Saturday night" - New York Times
  • "But Cain's stance as a non-politician who refuses to obey the rules of the great game of politics is at least momentarily a political asset in a year when opinion about conventional politicians of both parties is near an all-time low. ... But for a moment Friday, the thought occurred to me that I was sitting next to a future president of the United States." - Michael Barone for RealClearPolitics

Poll: Romney seen as most electable, but still struggles to break out of pack

Romney (1)"Romney’s lack of traction carries well beyond the head-to-head matchups with other competitors. It also is reflected on discrete issues and candidate attributes. Considerable numbers of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents consider the health plan that Romney signed into law in Massachusetts and his Mormon religion as strikes against him. The survey tested the candidates on six attributes or characteristics. Romney has a sizable lead in just one: One-third of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents say he has the best chance of anyone in the field to defeat Obama in 2012." - Washington Post

  • "Romney is viewed as most electable and strongest on the economy, which is exactly the narrative his team has tried to build." - The Hill
  • Romney still managing expectations in Iowa - National Journal
  • "Over the last two years, Mr. Romney has shown up for more luncheons, lent his name to more fund-raisers and donated to more rank-and-file candidates around the country than any of his Republican presidential rivals, building a network of support that could now prove crucial." - New York Times

2012 update:

  • 2012"Kay Bailey Hutchison says Rick Perry 'was very brutal' to her two years ago, and she’s not retreating from her criticism of him" - Houston Chronicle
  • Rick Perry's parents give rare interview for the Dallas Morning News
  • Rick Perry’s son plunges into campaign spotlight - Dallas Morning News
  • Abortion resurfaces for GOP field - WSJ ($)
  • Early-state GOP lawmakers in no hurry to endorse - Politico
  • Ron Paul: Let's focus on tax policy - WSJ
  • An aloof Romney in a plane encounter - New York Times
  • Romney's voucher medicare plan - WSJ ($)

Obama can afford to lose key swing states and still win the 2012 election

Screen shot 2011-01-24 at 10.38.42"Obama won three states — Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia — that no Democrat had carried at the presidential level in at least two decades, and he scored victories in six other states (Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico and Ohio) that George W. Bush had won in 2004. Those nine states will account for 112 electoral votes in 2012 and stand at the center of the fight for the presidency. If Obama loses every one of them but holds on to the others he won, he will drop to 247 electoral votes and Republicans will win the White House. ... But with the exception of Indiana and its 11 electoral votes, Obama is very much in the game in those states." - Washington Post

  • "After spending less than 36 hours in Europe last week for a G-20 summit of world economic leaders, President Obama may wish he could run on his record for re-election here rather than back home." - USA Today
  • "Activists who helped propel Barack Obama to the White House are coming back to life. But many of their efforts aren't aimed at supporting the president." - WSJ ($)

Stephen Moore: A look inside the deficit supercommittee

Supercommittee"Insiders on the panel say that the deal being offered by Democrats is less than $1 of spending cuts for every $1 of new taxes. Democrats want to count the $900 billion of discretionary spending cuts already agreed to in the debt bill and $1 trillion in troop withdrawals from Afghanistan and Iraq, which may not happen. Meanwhile they are insisting on close to $1.2 trillion of tax increases in exchange for less than $1 trillion in entitlement reforms. The president's own deficit reduction committee, Simpson-Bowles, offered $2 of cuts for every $1 of new taxes. The GOP House budget passed last spring contained some $4.5 trillion in cuts—three times more than the super committee must find." - Stephen Moore for the WSJ

John Boehner: We need to restructure our tax code to stay competitive

Screen shot 2011-02-05 at 08.24.22"'I believe that if we restructure our tax code, where on the corporate side and the personal side the target would be a top rate of 25 percent, it would make our economy more competitive with the rest of the world,' ...  'We’d have a broader base on the tax rules,' he said. 'And out of that, there would be real economic growth and more revenues for the federal government.' Asked about a tax increase for millionaires, Mr. Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said such a levy would fall on small businesspeople and slow economic growth." - WSJ

  • "The Ohio Republican ducked in an interview aired Sunday on ABC's 'This Week' when host Christiane Amanpour asked him if Romney would 'put up the stiffest competition' to Obama. 'There are a lot of good candidates that are out there running,' Boehner said. 'My focus is on the Congress of the United States and trying to get our economy going again and producing jobs.' - Politico
  • "With congressional approval ratings at record lows one year before the 2012 elections, Republicans and Democrats are both expressing confidence that voters won’t blame them for the ailing economy." - The Hill

Ohio Gov John Kasich's bargaining rights bill set to be defeated

Screen shot 2011-08-19 at 11.00.35"Labor is poised for a big victory in Ohio Tuesday.  PPP's final poll on Issue 2 finds 59% of voters plan to reject Senate Bill 5, with only 36% voting for approval. What might be most remarkable about the 23 point margin in this poll is that it's exactly identical to what we found the first time we polled on this issue all the way back in March. Voters were furious then and that anger has continued all the way to November." - PPPolling

  • "AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka will be in Ohio Monday for labor’s final push" - The Hill

Iran close to nuclear capability, IAEA says. Foreign experts found to have provided crucial assistance

Screen shot 2011-04-09 at 13.13.45"Intelligence provided to U.N. nuclear officials shows that Iran's government has mastered the critical steps needed to build a nuclear weapon, receiving assistance from foreign scientists to overcome key technical hurdles, according to Western diplomats and nuclear experts briefed on the findings. ... The U.N. nuclear watchdog is due to release a report this week ... Iranian officials expressed indifference about the report. ... IAEA officials ... have concluded that Iran 'has sufficient information to design and produce a workable implosion nuclear device' using highly enriched uranium as its fissile core." - Washington Post

  • Condoleezza Rice: America should do everything possible to bring down Iran's government - Fox News

Weighing Pentagon cuts, Panetta faces deep pressures

Screen shot 2010-12-01 at 09.54.27"Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta is considering reductions in spending categories once thought sacrosanct, especially in medical and retirement benefits ... Mr. Panetta said Pentagon strategists were looking at additional cuts in the nuclear arsenal, with an eye toward determining how many warheads the military needed to deter attacks. Mr. Panetta also held out the possibility of cutting the number of American troops based in Europe, with the United States compensating ... by helping NATO allies improve their militaries." - New York Times

  • Defense cuts will likely stay in place if Supercommittee fails - Roll Call

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