As a mental health therapist at a Medical Treatment Center (MTF) with the U.S. Army, I have genuine concern for our nation's service members and their families.
If the sequester occurs, the Department of Defense will furlough 800,000 workers, including civilian doctors, nurses, mental health providers and other professions that provide medical care to our active duty soldiers and their dependents.
I will be among those furloughed.
I will work 4-day weeks for 22 weeks between April and September. My salary will be cut 20 percent. I'm not sure how I will make it financially: student loans, a car note, mortgage, child support, food ... there's not much left over now when the bills are paid. There will be nothing left when the sequester hits.
Mostly, however, I worry about my patients.
It was bound to happen at some point. With President Obama showing a consistent lead in Ohio for months now -- and buoyed by this week's CNN poll putting him up 4 points over Romney and hitting 50% in the state -- Romney is having to go off the beaten path to find his increasingly difficult route to 270 electoral votes.
On Friday, there were several key indicators that Wisconsin may be the GOP's last real hope as we head into the final week of the election. And this should help handwringing Democrats (such as myself) breathe a little easier.
Coming across the wires on the last 30 minutes:
As Romney banks his entire candidacy on Ohio's 20 electoral votes, his friends at the secretary of state's office have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the Republican-basked law that would ban early voting for civilians in the 3 days prior to the election.
There's not yet been an official Obama campaign response to this news that I can find.
I read with some interest (and a few chuckles) the front page diaryby Jed Lewison, which describes the growing notion among conservatives that "the polls" are a product of a vast, left-wing, socialist conspiracy designed to kill the will of the Republican faithful.
That desparate Republicans can so easily toss aside science & methodology while breaking out the tinfoil hats is not surprising. Pathetic and sad, but not surprising. As Bill Clinton might say, I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
A look at Florida, however, throws cold water on this theory. If anything, it kinda points in the other direction. Since July 1, 2012, there have been 26 head-to-head polls conducted of the state by a variety of firms. Of those 26 polls, President Obama has led in all by 9 of them.
And of those 9 polls in which Obama has trailed, he has trailed by an average of just 2 points. Moreover, these 9 polls were conducted by just four pollsters: Rasmussen, Gravis Marketing, Purple Strategies, and AIF/McLaughlin. Now, prior to 2012 I had never heard of the latter three outfits. Rasmussen, of course, has been around and mocked for years now.
Yes, things look dire.
Progressives are a hopeful and optimistic bunch. We look for the best in people and the silver linings in all situations. My mom had an old bumper sticker that read, "Democrats Have the Heart to Care." More than anything, I think that bumper sticker made me the Democrat I am today.
I wish it werent the case, but it's true.
I just got back from a favorite bar where we like the hot wings. The sauce is particularly good, something to do with Frank's Hot Sauce and brown sugar and caramelizing. Or something to that effect.
I had a few of those Red bull and vodka drinks. And for some reason, now that I'm home, my first instinct was to log onto DailyKos and write a new diary. Something I havent done for quite some time because everyone else seemed to be writing something better and fresher so I figured what the hell, you guys do the talking and I;ll just sit back and read the genius.
For those (like me) who are a tad apprehensive about tonight's results from Pennsylvania, this story might help you relax -- a little.
Lancaster Online did their own exit polling in the county this morning over a three hour period. The results are encouraging, to say the least.
Today's polls by Zogby (+2) and Rasmussen (+1) point to a close race in Missouri, where I think Obama will perform above expectations on Nov. 4 and pull out a satisfying victory.
Today, the secretary of state estimated a whopping 75% of registered voters will cast ballots in the Show-Me state. If true, this would certainly be good news for Obama.
With 21 days left until the election, like everyone else I've been keeping an anxious eye on the national and state polls. One thing that's been discussed a lot lately is early voting. Today's polls give Obama supporters good reason to be optimistic in some key swing states.
Bloggers Big Tent Democrat and Jeralyn continue to fan the flames of division at Talkleft, a once respected site that has become the defacto sounding board for bitterly disappointed and angry Clinton supporters.
Today, BTD jumps all over a piece at Politico. Seems an unnamed senior adviser suggested Obama won't spend a lot of time in the next few months wooing Clinton supporters. BTD's reaction?
Makes sense to me. Why worry about 18 million voters? So it turns out the Obama campaign has some not too smart people on his campaign too. Expect a swift rebuke from Axelrod over this.
Jason Altmire, a freshman House member from Pennsylvania and undeclared superdelegate, gives some insightinto what's going on behind the scenes right now in the Obama camp.
For those of us waiting for the super avalanche today, it looks like it may instead happen tomorrow while Montana and South Dakato go to the polls.
Talking Points Memo has the take on Obama's new television ad in Puerto Rico where he speaks Spanish.
As a non-Spanish speaker, I find the ad (besides being smart) a bit amusing and curiously uplifting. But here's my question: for those who know Spanish well, how does he sound? How might Puerto Ricans respond? Is this something we might see in the general election in states like Texas and New Mexico?