Category Archives: Democrat

Hobby Lobby contraception appeal denied

via UPI: 

WASHINGTON, Dec. 27 (UPI) — The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked Hobby Lobby’s request for an emergency injunction to block contraceptive insurance coverage requirements.

The court said Wednesday it won’t decide the craft chain’s case — along with Christian bookseller Mardel, both owned by the Green Family of Oklahoma City — before lower courts have ruled.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the stores don’t meet extremely high standards required for an emergency injunction, a document on the Supreme Court’s Web site stated.

“Even without an injunction pending appeal, the applicants may continue their challenge to the regulations in the lower courts. Following a final judgment, they may, if necessary, file a petition” for the Supreme Court to hear the case, she wrote.

The stores have challenged the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s provisions pertaining to certain employer-funded contraception devices and pills that will go into effect Jan. 1.

The suit was assisted by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, The (Oklahoma City) Oklahoman reported.

In November U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton ruled that contraception health laws don’t violate the stores’ owner’s religious beliefs. He said in a ruling on a preliminary injunction the retailers were “secular, for-profit corporations” and didn’t have free-exercise rights under the First Amendment.

Hobby Lobby is the largest non-Catholic-owned business to file a lawsuit against the coverage mandate.

Hobby Lobby Chief Executive Officer David Green, in a statement at the time, said the company is operated “in a manner consistent with biblical principles.” He said he had no moral objection to what he termed “preventive contraception” and would continue to cover those under Hobby Lobby and Mardel health insurance plans.

The Most Devastating Look At How Barack Obama’s Digital Team Crushed Mitt Romney’s And Won Him The Election

via Business Insider: 

The Obama campaign’s digital operations proved to be a crucial point of success that led to the re-election of President Barack Obama in November. 

Based on a sophisticated effort and larger emphasis on digital and new media, the Obama campaign engaged supporters and raised an unprecedented amount of money through its digital efforts.

How did the Obama campaign become so effective in the digital realm? Engage, an interactive digital political agency in Washington, D.C., recently published a report entitled “Inside the Cave.” It features a 93-page, step-by-step in-depth look at the secrets to the Obama digital team’s success.

We’ve collected 15 of the report’s key topics and published them here.

(Note: A special thanks to Engage president Patrick Ruffini for permission to republish parts of the report.)

 

“The Cave” was the site of the Obama analytics team in Chicago where a group of programmers revolutionized the way that campaigns are run.

Right off the bat, it’s clear that the Obama organization lapped Romney when it came to employee presence online, the number of donors, and the size of the email list support.

While Romney’s campaign beefed up staff, it still was far from enough to compete with the Obama digital and analytics staff.

The team Obama built came from a wide array of startups, tech firms and even particle physics labs.

Here’s where the Obama analytics team delivered: They were able to accurately discover the real effect of early voting and predict with startling accuracy how people would vote.

The beefed-up digital squad had a large effect on fundraising, amounting for the vast majority of campaign revenue.

One single email — with an “I will be outspent” subject line — pulled in $2.7 million alone.

The email pleas went through a significant amount of testing among focus groups to see what subject lines and body text were the most effective at eliciting a response.

Quick Donate was an important feature that made giving easy — it allowed mobile users to give and streamlined the whole process.

From the internal site system alone, the Obama campaign received $250 million from supporters.

Their website was built to last and designed to serve as a useful resource. Traffic to BarackObama.com dwarfed traffic to Romney’s site.

The internal system was vigorously tested constantly to design for unprecedented use. The closest thing the Romney campaign had — known as “Project Orca” — was untested and flopped on Election Day.

The Obama campaign also invested an unprecedented amount in online ads.

Even more, the campaign took a “Moneyball” approach to TV ad buys, looking at metrics that normally went unnoticed to reach a core audience, targeted audience more effectively.

The Obama digital model will endure and serve as the model for any serious campaign to come, outliving phone calls, landline polling and earlier campaign structures.

 

New York Senate Democrats Just Got Screwed Out Of A Possible Majority, And They’re Furious

via Business Insider: 

New York State Senate Democrats are furious today over an unprecedented agreement reached by Republicans and conservative-leaning Democrats who disbanded from their party to form their own caucus.

andrew cuomo new york attorney general

The move forms a “bipartisan governing coalition” between Republicans and the Independent Democratic Conference, just a month after Democrats won a numerical majority in the chamber.

Under the agreement, Republicans and the IDC will shift control every two weeks between GOP Leader Dean Skelos and IDC Leader Jeffrey Klein. On Tuesday, Sen. Malcolm Smith, a Democrat from Queens, became the fifth Democrat to defect and join the IDC.

The other Democrats, obviously, are not happy about this. On Election Day, they had won several close races that put them in position to take control of the Senate. But Democratic Sen. Simcha Felder, of Brooklyn, soon announced that he would caucus with RepublicansThe New York Times reported. And behind the scenes, the five Democrats were working to form a permanent IDC.

Here’s a full statement from Senate Democratic spokesman Mike Murphy:

“This is not a coalition but a coup against all New Yorkers who voted for Democratic control of the Senate and a progressive state government.

Sadly, the real victims of today’s announcement are the people of our State, whose clearly expressed desire for progress on a host of issues will now be scuttled. Senate Democrats will remain fierce advocates for them and the issues New Yorkers want to see implemented like standing up for women’s health, passing real campaign finance reform, raising the minimum wage and enacting common sense gun laws.”

In a joint statement, Skelos and Klein said the deal “guarantees a fiscally responsible, fully functional Senate that will continue to produce positive results for all New Yorkers.”

The move might result in more criticism for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has come under fire from progressives that say he hasn’t done enough to help elect Democrats in his state.

Hillary Clinton For Mayor Of NYC? Bloomberg Encourages Secretary Of State To Consider Candidacy

via Huffington Post:

 

Mayor Michael Bloomberg encouraged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton– widely held to be a frontrunner in the 2016 presidential race– to instead enter the 2013 mayor’s race in New York City.

From The New York Times:

In a telephone call confirmed by three people, Mr. Bloomberg encouraged Mrs. Clinton to consider entering the 2013 mayor’s race, trading international diplomacy for municipal management on the grandest scale.She would, the mayor suggested, be a perfect fit.

 

Neither Bloomberg or Clinton have commented on the call, and the specifics of the conversation remain vague. The Times‘ sources, however, say Clinton stated clearly that she wasn’t interested in the job.

News of the call comes as a surprise. Bloomberg, who’s expressed admiration for Clinton before, had all but publicly endorsed New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to succeed him as mayor, a position he’s held since 2002.

In an August poll, Quinn held a commanding lead over other likely Democratic candidates.

She’s been a close ally of Bloomberg’s during her time in the council, and was an integral part of orchestrating his successful bid to change the city’s term-limit laws, enabling Bloomberg to win a third term.

The billionaire mayor hasn’t ruled out the possibility of using his newly formed Super PAC to influence the 2013 mayor’s race.

His term as hizzoner ends on December 31, 2013, and there’s much speculation about what he’ll do for his next act.

Jon Stewart Tears Apart Fox News’ ‘War On Christmas’

via Business Insider: 

 

Jon Stewart took on Fox News’ annual “War on Christmas” on Monday night’s Daily Show, ripping everyone from the network’s morning anchors (Gretchen Carlson) to its night hosts (Bill O’Reilly).

Stewart reassured Carlson that she was, indeed, nuts — a week after “Fox & Friends” brought on on expert to ask her that exact question. He listed off all of the things that are centered around Christmas. There’s even a Flinstones Christmas special, Stewart pointed out, meaning “there’s a Christmas special celebrating Jesus’ birth thousands of years before the birth of Jesus.”

Stewart, who is Jewish, also slammed O’Reilly for insisting that Christianity is a “philosophy,” not a religion.

“While I can get an A in Jesus’ philosophy class, I don’t get to go to the after party,” Stewart quipped.

Watch the clips below:

Joe Biden Went Shopping At Costco And It Was Awesome

via Business Insider: 

 

The Internet is abuzz about Joe Biden’s shopping spree at Costco — and for good reason. 

Everything about Biden’s Costco experience was normal — he ate a bunch of free samples and bought an apple pie — except the whole thing felt like one continuous “Bro Biden” moment.

Find out why and take a look at the best moments from the Vice President’s trip to Costco.

 

All eyes were on the Vice President as he walked through the Costco…

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… and everyone wanted to shake his hand.

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This is how Joe Biden shakes hands.

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Joe Biden ate a bunch of free samples throughout his shopping spree…

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… although he made a mess and got some on his face.

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Joe Biden was captivated by one shopper’s “beautiful eyes.”

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Later on, he had to stop and think about which children’s books to get.

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He’s also an iPhone user — although, it looks like he hasn’t upgraded to the iPhone 5 yet.

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Joe Biden had a moment with Costco co-founder James Sinegal…

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… and he got really close with a Costco cashier at checkout.

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Black Friday: Treasury Borrowed $211.69 Per U.S. Household on Day After Thanksgiving

via CNS: 

Barack Obama

(CNSNews.com) – The U.S. Treasury increased the net debt of the United States $24,327,048,384.38 on the day after Thanksgiving, which equals approximately $211.69 for each of the nation’s 114,916,000 households.

At the close of business last Wednesday, according to the Treasury, the national debt was $16,283,161,895,179.85. On Thanksgiving, the Treasury took the day off and did no borrowing. But on Friday, the Treasury increased the debt of the United States to $16,307,488,943,564.23. That was a one-day increase of $24,327,048,384.38.

The Census Bureau estimated that as of September there were approximately 114,916,000 households in the United States. So, the $24,327,048,384.38 that the Treasury borrowed on Friday equaled about $211.69 per household.

Friday was also the first time in the history of the United States that the debt has topped $16.3 trillion.

When President Barack Obama first took office on Jan. 20, 2009, the national debt stood at $10,626,877,048,913.08. Since then, it has increased by $5,680,611,894,651.15.

That means that since Obama has been president, the national debt has increased by about $49,432.73 per household.

Michelle Obama & Madonna Among GQ’s ‘Least Influential People Of 2012’

via Business Insider: 

GQ magazine has just announced their list of “The Least Influential People of 2012” — “a collection of people so uninspiring that we should round them all up and stick them on an iceberg.”

michelle obama

While some, like Hulk Hogan (#24), may be obvious picks, others such as Michelle Obama’s exile to the iceberg came as a bit of a surprise.

Below are GQ’s top 15 picks, along with an explanatory line of their biting commentary:

15. Bobby Valentine: “a man whose greatest accomplishment in baseball remains wearing a fake-mustache disguise to sneak back into the dugout after getting ejected from a game.”

14. Billy Crystal: “It’s a measure of how irrelevant the Oscars have become that Eddie Murphy could back out of the gig and producers thought that bringing in an even more washed-up comic would somehow rejuvenate the ceremony.”

13. Lance Armstrong: “It’s like peeling back the layers of an onion that’s nestled inside an a–hole.”

12. Keith Olbermann: “There was only one bridge left for Olbermann to burn this year, and when it was time for him to alienate himself from Current TV, he did it in classic Olbermann fashion.”

11. Guy Fieri: “This year the white-trash fusion chef opened his flagship Manhattan restaurant.”

10. Jerry Sandusky’s Lawyer: “I know! I’ll have my client go on national TV prior to his trial to be grilled by Bob Costas so we can all witness him declare, ‘I enjoy young people.”

9. Gregg Williams: “The disgraced former NFL defensive coordinator—the man who pioneered the New Orleans Saints’ bounty program—is the rare person stupid enough to deserve being scapegoated.”

8. Ryan Lochte: “The individual-medley-of-douchiness world record was shattered this year by Lochte, the U.S. swimmer who managed to increase the Ashton Kutcher-ness of the London Games by 80 percent.”

7. Michelle Obama: “She even wrote a book about growing her own vegetables, which many people bought as a passive-aggressive way of telling someone they’re fat.”

6. George Zimmerman: “…there is something morbidly comedic about a man deluding himself into thinking that his life is in danger because a black teenager walking by might assault him with a bag of Skittles.”

5. Gotye: “You make Alanis Morissette sound like Slayer. You are rock’s genocide.”

4. Dwight Howard: “In a just world, Dwight Howard will hurt his knee and doctors will take seventeen months to make a proper diagnosis.”

3. Madonna: “That cheerleading outfit isn’t making you look any younger, Madge.”

2. Amanda Bynes: “Bynes spent all of 2012 avoiding acting gigs and trying desperately to run over your dog.”

1. Mitt Romney: “The only successful thing he did this year was embody every black stand-up comedian’s impression of a white person.”

 

Obama warns Republicans rejecting tax offer will spoil Christmas

via Business Insider: 

Obama_shopping.jpg

President Obama returned to campaign mode on Monday – casting Republicans as against the middle class by saying their failure to accept his offer for a limited extension of tax breaks will essentially ruin Christmas for consumers and retailers.

Obama laid out his case in an open letter that starts by underscoring its timing — coming on one of the busiest shopping days of the year, Cyber Monday, in which consumers take advantage of online bargains.

The president has promised he will immediately sign an extension of the lower Bush-era tax rates, but only for American families bringing in less than $250,000 annually. Republicans want to preserve the lower rates for all Americans, including the 2 percent of households that earn more than $250,000.

Obama starts the two-page letter by appealing to all of Congress to accept his offer, but he notes near the end that “congressional Democrats” already are on board with the deal.

“Stop holding the middle class and our economy hostage over a disagreement on tax cuts,” the letter states, as Congress returns to Washington this week to try to reach a deal that would avert the $500 billion mix of tax increases and budget cuts set to take effect in early January.

“The election is over,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday from the chamber floor. “It’s time for the president to present a plan that … goes beyond the talking points of the campaign trail.”

The National Retail Federation was among the first Monday to take issue with the letter.

“It is encouraging to see the administration’s acknowledgment that retailers and their customers will be among the hardest hit if our elected officials fail to address ongoing economic uncertainty,” group spokesman Stephen Schatz said. “However … cherry-picking reforms only serves to reinforce the well-placed fears of American consumers and retailers that the status quo will once again rule the day.”

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the president talked over the weekend with House Majority Leader John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid about negotiations.

Fox News has learned that Republican leaders will meet Wednesday with corporate leaders to get their input.

Among those scheduled to meet on Capitol Hill are Doug Oberhelman. chief executive officer of Caterpillar Inc.; Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group; and Thomas Wilson, president of Allstate.

The president’s pitch also comes one day after two top congressional Republicans – South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and New York Rep. Peter King — went on TV to say they would break a long-standing pledge not to increase taxes as part of an effort to reach a deal with Democrats that would keep the economy from going over the so-called “fiscal cliff” early next year.

The decades-old pledge is by the advocacy group Americans for Tax Reform, whose founder, Grover Norquist, told Fox News on Monday the bigger issue is whether Democrats will do their part by cutting entitlements.

“The Dems have said heck no to entitlement reform,” he said. “They ought to be looking at that instead of raising taxes.”

Graham and King were followed Georgia Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss who on Thursday said: “I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge.”

Could a tea partyer replace Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.?

via Yahoo:

 

The congressional seat vacated by Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. this week is attracting no small amount of interest.

Since Jackson announced on Wednesday that he was leaving office after 17 years for mental-health reasons, the local media have cited a number of sources saying they want to represent Illinois‘ Second District. They include his wife, Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson; his brother, John Jackson; and former US Rep. Debbie Halvorson, who lost to Congressman Jackson in the March Democratic primary.

Other names include Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Illinois State Sen. Toi Hutchinson, and Sam Adams, an Illinois attorney who led former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s defense team.

RECOMMENDED: 10 richest members of Congress

Some Democrats see a danger in so many would-be members of congressman. “My fear is that there is going to be so many wannabes blinded by ambition … that we could find a tea party” candidate winning, said Rep. Bobby Rush, who represents Illinois’ First District, hours after Jackson’s resignation.

With President Obama taking 82 percent of the vote in the Nov. 6 election, that would seem a remote prospect. Whoever advances from the Democratic primary would seem to be the overwhelming favorite.

Still, independent candidate Marcus Lewis has already announced his candidacy. He lost to Jackson in November, taking only about 14 percent of the vote. He made his intentions known late Wednesday, telling supporters he planned to run “to stop the trickery” associated with the seat “for decades.”

In his resignation letter sent to House Speaker John Boehner Wednesday, Jackson noted that he was also preparing for a federal indictment that media reports say should be announced against him in the near future. The House Ethics Committee is investigating whether Jackson tried to bribe imprisonedGovernor Blagojevich for an appointment to Mr. Obama’s former Senate seat, or at least tried to engage in the process through an emissary. Jackson denies the charges.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is also reportedly investigating allegations that Jackson improperly used campaign funds to decorate his Washington home.

“I am doing my best to address the situation responsibly, cooperate with the investigators, and accept my responsibility for my mistakes, for they are my mistakes and mine alone,” Jackson wrote.

Since Jackson submitted his letter, Ms. Halvorson says her phone has been ringing. Supporters and other local leaders urging her to run, she says. She represented Illinois’ 11th District for one term before losing two years ago. This year, she lost to Jackson 71 to 29 percent in the Second District primary.

“This district has been so underrepresented, and not just over the last six months, it’s been a long time. You can’t have somebody going into this seat with a learning curve,” she says.

Most people felt Jackson would wait until after the Christmas holiday to resign, Halvorson says. She said the timing put her “in a crazy spot” in which she’ll have to “figure out what is in the best interest of the district.”

“I never thought I would be at this again, but we also have another 100 days,” she says. “We have to prove that honor needs to be put back into the seat and that being a member of Congress is an admirable position. We have work cut out for us.”

On Monday, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to announce the date for a special election that he promised will be “as economical as possible for taxpayers.” Estimates by the Illinois State Board of Elections suggest it will cost about $5.15 million for both a primary and a general election.

The special election date must fall within 115 days of the vacancy. Cook County Clerk David Orr said he fellow county clerks are urging Quinn to schedule the special election for April 9, with a primary on Feb. 26, in order to coincide with election dates in suburban areas, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Mr. Orr warned candidates against making announcements or circulating petitions before the election date is set.

“People can always be talking to voters, there’s nothing to stop them from that, but at this point I would not encourage petition gathering until we have a better handle on this,” he said.

The Second District covers portions of Will and Kankakee Counties and southern Cook County, including the South Side of Chicago.