2014 BATTLEGROUND SONAR
(2014) Ads Attacking on Health Law Stagger Outspent Democrats
Democrats are increasingly anxious about an onslaught of television ads hitting vulnerable Senate and House candidates for their support of the new health law, since many lack the resources to fight back in the early stages of the midterm campaign. Since September, Americans for Prosperity, a group financed in part by the billionaire Koch brothers, has spent an estimated $20 million on television advertising that calls out House and Senate Democrats by name for their support of the Affordable Care Act.
(NORTH CAROLINA) Obama's visit to North Carolina may be awkward for Democratic senator
When President Obama arrives here Wednesday to tout a manufacturing initiative, he is expected to be joined by students, business leaders and local officials — but not by Sen. Kay Hagan, his Democratic ally facing a tough reelection. The notable absence at Obama's first trip outside the Beltway in this election year highlights a perennial quandary for embattled candidates and less-than-popular presidents. With a battle for control of the Senate looming and the president's approval rating deflated, Democrats and the White House will spend much of this year grappling with whether their most vulnerable candidates will be helped or harmed by a visit from Obama and how to keep those candidates some distance — but not too far — from the president.
(MI, IA) Conservative Group to Air Ads Attacking Health Law in Michigan and Iowa
One of the country’s most well-funded conservative groups is betting that public anger against President Obama’s signature health initiative is broad and deep enough to expand the field of competitive Senate races this November. The group, Americans for Prosperity, will begin a $1.8 million television advertising campaign on Tuesday attacking Democratic Senate candidates in Iowa and Michigan, states that went for Mr. Obama in 2012. The campaign, further bolstered by radio and Internet expenditures, will also include an advertisement thanking Representative Steve Daines, a Republican Senate candidate in Montana, for his efforts opposing the health care act.
(IOWA) Braley targeted in new Obamacare TV ad
A conservative advocacy group is targeting Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Bruce Braley of Iowa with a new television ad that accuses him of lying about the Affordable Care Act and faults him for standing by the nearly 4-year-old law. The ad, which is being paid for by Americans for Prosperity, is running statewide. It faults Braley, a congressman from Waterloo, over the claim that Americans who like their insurance plans can keep them. It also suggests the law is wreaking havoc in the state.
(ALASKA) U.S. Senate candidate Sullivan claims big 4Q fundraising in Alaska campaign
Dan Sullivan, the former natural resources commissioner and attorney general for the State of Alaska, has had a lucrative three months since the launch of his official U.S. Senate campaign in October. The former White House staffer and Assistant Secretary of State has raised more than $1.2 million thus far, according to a press release from his campaign early Tuesday.
(OREGON) Oregon Health Exchange Yet to Complete One Enrollment
Oregon will consider a switch to the federal health care exchange next year amid ongoing problems with its online enrollment program, Politico Pro reports. The state’s exchange, Cover Oregon, still cannot process an entire enrollment online — a problem that is not expected to be repaired until after the 2014 enrollment period ends in March.
GALLUP - January 5-8
Americans say the government, at 21%, leads the list of the most important problem facing the country.
The economy closely follows at 18%, unemployment/jobs & healthcare, each at 16% and the federal budget deficit or debt comes close, at 8%.
Income inequality (or the gap between rich and poor) comes in 8th at 4%, and Immigration in 12th at 3%.
Compared with a year ago, mentions of government are up slightly. Mentions of healthcare, on the other hand, have quadrupled -- from 4% in January 2013 to 16% today.
ON THE TWITTERS
@kasie - DSCC's Guy Cecil sounds alarm: "We need Democratic donors to step up in a bigger way immediately.” http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/15/us/politics/ads-attacking-on-health-law-stagger-outspent-democrats.html?hp&_r=0 … via @hillhulse
@HolmesJosh - POLITICO has helpfully clarified @AlisonForKY's campaign plan courtesy of @BarackObama and @SenatorReid #KYSEN dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm…
@ByronYork - NYT: Early ad campaign reminds voters that Democrats passed Obamacare. Democrats don't like it. ow.ly/sBasb
A DELETED TWEET: @mattcanter: I actually enjoyed Carney dressing down @brikeilarcnn for stupid q about why a senator was remaining in Washington to vote on legislation
@PounderFile - The plan shouldn’t begin with this headline … “Obama’s plan to save the Senate” http://is.gd/SnpPVq
(MSNBC) Robert Gates: Harry Reid Calling Iraq War ‘Lost’ Was ‘Disgraceful’
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates sat for an in-depth interview with Morning Joe Wednesday morning, one day after the release of memoir Duty. Gates parsed the controversy that followed the release of excerpts last week, arguing that he had agreed with President Barack Obama’s decisions in Afghanistan but was troubled by the president’s lack of public enthusiasm for the war. However, Gates went on to contrast Obama’s apparent lack of passion with what he called Senator Harry Reid’s (D-NV) outright “disgraceful” comment during the Iraq War surge that “this war is lost.”
(GALLUP) Government Itself Still Cited as Top U.S. Problem
Americans start the new year with a variety of national concerns on their minds. Although none is dominant, the government, at 21%, leads the list of what Americans consider the most important problem facing the country. The economy closely follows at 18%, and then unemployment/jobs and healthcare, each at 16%. No other issue is mentioned by as much as 10% of the public; however, the federal budget deficit or debt comes close, at 8%.
(POLITICO) Hispanic group offers anti-ACA ad
A conservative Hispanic advocacy group will launch a new round of ads Wednesday targeting a vulnerable House Democrat over Obamacare — an effort that highlights the problems that it says Latinos have faced with the health care law. The ad from the LIBRE Initiative goes after Rep. Joe Garcia (D-Fla.) and stars a Latina doctor in southern Florida who cites a handful of concerns she has about the Affordable Care Act — such as higher premiums and canceled insurance policies.
(WALL STREET JOURNAL) Time for a Big-League President
As the year turns, the subject becoming impossible to duck is growing global disorder. The days before the New Year brought two suicide bombings in Russia and a major political assassination in Lebanon. Throw a dart randomly at a map of the Middle East or Southeast Asia and it will hit trouble. It is no surprise that in conversations of late one hears invocations of the 1930s. Or that a popular book to give this season has been Margaret MacMillan's "The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914."
(THE HILL) WH delays another ObamaCare deadline
The Obama administration announced Tuesday that it was again extending the ObamaCare enrollment deadline for people with pre-existing conditions. The administration said it will extend the Pre-Existing Conditions Insurance Plan (PCIP), slated to end January 31, until March 15. “As part of our continuing effort to help smooth consumers’ transition into Marketplace coverage, we are allowing those covered by PCIP additional time to shop for new coverage while they receive the ongoing care and treatment they need,” Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters said in a statement.
(USA TODAY) Obamacare insults Hispanics
Hispanic Americans have a rocky relationship with the Affordable Care Act. After years of planning, the Spanish-language version of HealthCare.gov opened two months late and was only officially launched in January. But that was the least of the website's problems.
(POLITICO) Hill Democrats MIA on Obama's trade agenda
President Barack Obama threw a trade party and almost no Democrats showed up. His administration is pushing for legislation to ease the passage of a pair of massive trade deals, but the White House can’t even find a Democratic co-sponsor in the House. Meanwhile, the bill’s main Democratic backer in the Senate, Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, is on his way out, and key senior Democrats on the committee, including its incoming chairman, say they either don’t support the bill or want to change it.
Washington, D.C. - The City of Romance?
Capitol Hill Staffers Want to Quit Over Obamacare
Cable Network Rankings: ESPN. USA, History Channel
Squid vs. owlfish: Epic battle caught on video
Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr to Duet on Grammy Awards Show
Was Alexander The Great Poisoned By Toxic Wine?
Kraft confirms Velveeta shortage, a.k.a. cheesepocalypse
Kinda like ABC's Show Scandal: Is the French president’s ‘mistress’ pregnant?
Good News: Drinking Alcohol Doesn't Actually Kill Brain Cells
Police: Pet parrot squealed on drunken driving suspect - "He's Drunk"