WaPo Wikileaks CW:
-- New evidence that the war effort is plagued by unreliable Afghan and Pakistani partners seems unlikely to undermine fragile congressional support or force the Obama administration to shift strategy.
-- The disclosure of what are mostly battlefield updates does not appear to represent a major threat to national security or troops' safety, according to military officials.
-- The documents' release could compel President Obama to explain more forcefully the war's importance, military analysts said. Some have criticized Obama for not explaining the administration's strategy for bolstering the weak Afghan government and countering the Taliban's rise.
With the GOP's hopes for reclaiming the Senate seeming to hinge increasingly on their success in the west, the NRSC is bringing in a veteran press operative to help Republican Senate candidates in three key races against longtime Democratic incumbents. Brian Jones, a former RNC communications director, is going to advise Sharron Angle in Nevada, Carly Fiorina in California and the GOP nominee in Washington state. The NRSC’s move to bring in Jones comes as Republicans are starting to go public with worries that Angle and her campaign team are out of their depth running against Harry Reid. Jones is currently the managing partner at Mercury Public Affairs’s Sacramento office -- not far from Angle's Reno headquarters.
Maybe they'll advise not talking to the press. Oh, wait.
Not much is going to get passed in the next two years anyway, but the president could lay the groundwork for a whopping second-term agenda: tax simplification, entitlement reform, a new wave of regional innovation clusters, a new wave of marriage-friendly tax policies. If the president is looking for a long-term growth agenda, he could read "Path to Prosperity," co-edited by Jason Furman and Jason Bordoff, or "The Pro-Growth Progressive" written by Gene Sperling. Some of these guys already are on his staff.
Eventually, I see a party breaking out of old stereotypes, appealing to entrepreneurs and suburbanites again, and I start feeling good about the future. Then I take off the magic green jacket and return to my old center-right self. A chill sweeps over me: Gosh, what if the Democrats really did change in that way?
Mark Blumenthal from 7/23:
Thus, the case for true "jump" in Democratic performance on the generic House ballot is weak. If we add the context of other recent polls, it gets weaker still. Their results scatter around a dead-heat margin in ways that are more or less consistent with their typical house effects on the generic ballot.
As always, more data next week will likely settle the issue, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the next move in Gallup’s weekly tracking in the Republican direction, not because of real-world events but rather due to what statisticians call a reversion to the mean.
This past week marks the second time since March that either party has held any type of edge on the generic ballot for three consecutive weeks. Exactly what is behind the uptick in support for Democrats is not clear, although last week's gains coincided with the passage of the financial reform bill. Independents continue to be more likely to say they will vote for the Republican rather than the Democratic candidate, while both Republicans and Democrats maintain more than 90% allegiance for their party's candidates.
Democrats' improved position on the generic ballot is counterbalanced by the continuing wide advantage Republicans have in voting enthusiasm. This GOP enthusiasm gap foreshadows a typical Republican turnout advantage in midterm election voting, meaning that Democrats need a substantial lead on the registered voter generic ballot to offset their turnout disadvantage. Still, the results show that expectations of an assured Republican landslide in the congressional elections this fall are not a foregone conclusion.
Keeping Mark Blumenthal's caveats in mind, I'd like to see another week still.
This isn't about Republicans banking on mass economic suffering to help them at the polls. Rather, they're dragging out the discussion of unemployment in the belief that the public will conclude that Dem policies have failed -- and that Dems have their heads in the sand about how much money they wasted on their pie-in-the-sky liberal dream schemes.
The idea is that the argument over who has better intentions towards the unemployed will have become a sideshow to the main narrative: That Dems, whatever their intentions, have lost control of the wheel. That's the real game plan here.
Doesn't mean that the R plan will work. Bringing back the Bush agenda, and mistrust of R's also play a counter-balancing role.
Healthcare reform will end up helping Democrats at the polls this fall, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) suggested Monday.
Reid, who is facing a tough reelection challenge himself, said public opinion is shifting in favor of the new healthcare law Democrats passed through Congress earlier this year and predicted more and more voters would reject Republicans’ calls for repealing the legislation.
The more people know about healthcare, the better they like it, said Reid, who listed several aspects of the new law he sees as popular.
And a follow-up from Sunday from USA Today:
In the midst of what could be the largest whooping cough outbreak in more than 50 years...California health officials are recommending booster shots for nearly everyone in the state, especially healthcare workers, parents, and anyone who may come in contact with babies." Infants "are the most likely to die from it," and the "only way to protect" them is "to vaccinate everyone around them...says Stacey Martin of the CDC." Thus, the "state health department is providing whooping cough boosters to new mothers and other close contacts of infants at all birthing hospitals, community health centers and local health departments." Notably, "nearly 1,500 Californians this year have been diagnosed with whooping cough -- five times the normal level for this time of year," and "doctors are investigating another 700 possible cases.