Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Catnip 4/17/2012

Tax day!: "According to a new poll from CNN/ORC, some 68 percent agree that "the current tax system benefits the rich and is unfair to ordinary workers," while just under three in 10 disagreed with that characterization."

Unpopular Mitt: New ABC/WaPo poll shows a very wide gap between Obama and Romney. A few choice stats: "Obama has a 29-point advantage in favorability over Romney among Americans with household incomes less than $50,000 a year, favorable views of Obama are 36 points higher than Romney's among adults younger than 40, Obama's favorable score is 9 points higher than Romney's among married adults – but this swells to a 37-point advantage among those who are not married." Wowza.

Polls, polls, polls: Nate Silver reminds us not to read too much into these early general election polls - and points to the trends we should be watching. Party pooper.

Team Romney is short a few endorsements as of this writing: John Boehner hasn't endorsed yet yet, the explanation from "House sources" is that he "has been leaning on his upcoming role as chairman of the Republican National Convention in August as the reasoning for his continued silence." Oooo-kay. (instant update - as soon as I published this, reports are that Boehner says he will support Romney). And Rick Santorum is staying mum for now as well. "'"We still have delegates, many of them committed, and we want to make sure that our delegates get a chance to go to the convention and have a say,' Santorum said." Herman Cain walked back his Gingrich endorsement in a radio interview, and then refused to comment to ABC News. Governor Perry said through a spokesperson that he would endorse the eventual nominee, but would stick with Gingrich as long as he is in the race. And last but certainly not sane, Michelle Bachmann said that she is "seriously looking into" endorsing Romney. Unity!

Republicans come for the hungry: From Wonkbook: "House Republicans think the Pentagon is in trouble. Under current law -- which includes the "sequester" that Democrats and Republicans agreed to in the debt-ceiling deal -- it's scheduled to take more than $500 billion in cuts over the next 10 years. Republicans are desperately trying to find alternative savings. And, on Monday, they named one of them: Cuts to food stamps. 'An average family of four would face an 11 percent cut in monthly benefits after Sept. 1 and, even more important, tighter enforcement of rules would require that households exhaust most of their liquid assets before qualifying for help," reports David Rogers. "This hits hardest among the long-term unemployed, who would be forced off the rolls until they have spent down their savings to less than $2,000 in many cases.'" Politico story on this here.

Republicans come for housing for the poor: You knew the second Romney said he would abolish HUD that some would be eager to do just that. Forbes: "There is no reason the federal government should be in this business. Unlike health care, there is nothing fundamentally unworkable about a private market in housing that requires heavy government regulation and subsidy. Withdrawing federal housing subsidies would force states and localities to cough up the money needed to offset their costly housing policies—or to relax housing regulations so that the market could drive home prices and rents down."

Republicans plan to spend a cool $1 billion dollars to defeat Obama: That would buy a lot of housing and food, don'tcha think?

Muddy up that water: From TPM: "Democrats warn of GOP war against women. Mitt Romney, and the rest of the GOP, say the real aggressors in that war are President Obama and the Democrats. Democrats insist that Republicans want to end Medicare as we know it. Camp Romney says President Obama’s health care law will end Medicare as we know it. Democrats say House GOP budget fails the fundamental test of fairness. House GOP budget guru Paul Ryan fires back, “The President’s budget is not just a failure of math, but it also fails the fundamental test of fairness.' All that’s missing are press releases that scream, “I know you are but what am I?!” Call it the Pee Wee Herman election." It's a great tactic to create confusion in those that aren't paying close attention.

Deem and pass: The House will consider the Ryan budget as passed as they work on specific spending targets from here on out. The budget cuts $5 trillion (with a t) more than President Obama's budget, and makes changes to Medicare. Among other things.

Making friends:Or, not. "Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) lashes out at his Senate colleagues in a new book published Tuesday, calling the upper chamber "heavily sedated" and suggesting that some 90 percent of senators should be fired." If you say so Tom.

The primary for Gabby Giffords seat is today - the general will be held June 12th. The winner will have to turn right around and run again in November.

Obama tackles gas prices: From the AP: "President Barack Obama wants Congress to strengthen federal supervision of oil markets, increase penalties for market manipulation and empower regulators to increase the amount of money energy traders are required to put behind their transactions." You hit the word "Congress" and your hope stops right there, but thanks for trying.

Richard Cohen picks up on the mendacity theme, and comes up with the line of the day: "Business is business. It’s what you do. It is not who you are. Lying isn’t a sin. It’s a business plan."

The DNC helps out with this new video: