In it, but not of it. TPM DC

With President Obama's first 100 days nearly finished, let's take a look at how he's done in the polls, from the honeymoon to the present.

Obama's approval rating remains solid, but has fallen by about ten points as the honeymoon effect has worn off, while disapproval is up by about 15 points due to the loss of soft support and some initial undecideds. And the system appears to have found a temporary equilibrium state, a general range that could potentially hold until future events disrupt it.

The graph tells the story:

One thing to note is that Obama's support has gone down since the initial grace period around inauguration -- but during March, it basically leveled out. The growth in disapproval has been a bit higher than the decrease in approval, probably because the honeymoon had a mixture of people who would normally disapprove instead approving or being up in the air, but have now made up their minds.

Some further analysis after the jump.

Read More →

Speaking of the 'bad guys' centrists, the group is raising money to fund ads intended to run in the districts of Democratic members who may oppose House efforts to advance climate change legislation.

In particular, the ads would target Reps. Rick Boucher (D-VA), Mike Doyle (D-PA), Charles Melancon (D-LA), and Charles Gonzalez (D-TX)--all from either oil, coal, or manufacturing states. Boucher used to head the subcommittee with jurisdiction over this issue, but he swapped out this winter with Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), who, along with Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), co-authored the bill in question.

Today, the New York Times reports that Boucher--a veteran environmentalist foe--wants the Waxman-Markey bill all-but-gutted.

Read More →

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) seems to be emerging now in a very important role for the Republican Party: To be the leading bogeyman for the Democrats, now that folks like George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Rick Santorum, Jesse Helms, etc., are all long gone and out of office.

The DCCC is now getting in on the Bachmann game, launching

Rather than focus on the easier target of Bachmann's record of extremism, McCarthyism and talk of revolution, the Dems are instead setting out to pro-actively debunk things she's said that simply aren't true. An example:

$1430 for Everyone in the World?


"The amount of money that's been committed by this Democrat government already, the amount of money that they have committed, your tax money to spend, would equal, and I'm not making this up, a check in the amount of $1,430 written to every man, woman, child in the world."

THE FACTS Basic math: dividing the $789 billion recovery package by the estimated world population of 6.7 billion only equals $116.

Check out the press release announcing the site, after the jump.

Read More →

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has sent a letter to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) warning that--as we reported Friday--Democrats will give Republicans until mid-October to reach a compromise on comprehensive health care legislation before the Democrats use the budget reconciliation process to circumvent the filibuster and pass reform.

Nearly 46 million Americans - including 15 percent of your constituents in Kentucky - have no health insurance, and the problem grows worse by the day. In Nevada, more than one out of three people under the age of 65 went without health insurance during 2007 and 2008 - and more than three-quarters of them went without health care for six months or longer.

Read More →

On Friday, I posted a clip of Newt Gingrich's testimony before the House Energy & Commerce committee, in which the former House Speaker stood by misleading GOP charges that cap-and-trade legislation will cost the average family thousands of dollars a year.

We've been over much of this before--the most famous Republican talking point has its roots in an MIT study, which estimates that the government will initially collect $366 billion in revenue from a cap-and-trade bill every year. Republicans assumed that industry would pass this cost on to consumers, divided that number by an estimate of the number of households in America and--voila--concluded that, on average, each household would be responsible for $3,128 worth of increased energy costs.

Read More →

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's online petition asking Norm Coleman to finally concede defeat in the Minnesota Senate race has now reached 100,000 signatures, DSCC communications director Eric Schultz has just told me.

"The numbers speak for themselves," said Schultz.

"People across the country want Norm to give up," he explained, "because they want that 59th Democratic Senator to get the Obama agenda passed."

It's worth pointing out that this is probably the same underlying reason that a lot of Republicans want for Norm to not give up.

The Democratic National Committee has unveiled this new TV ad, celebrating President Obama's first 100 days:

"The First 100 Days," the on-screen text says. "Laying A Foundation For Change." The ad is set to air Tuesday and Wednesday, on national cable and in the D.C. media market.

The fact that President Obama's agenda routinely gets fewer Republican votes than you can count on one hand has become something of a running joke in Washington, and goes a long way toward explaining the acrimony between the two parties today. The administration may have been unaware that "bipartisanship" wouldn't work in practice, but they learned that lesson quickly.

But there's a more complicated, intraparty relationship--the one between party leaders and conservative Democrats--that's at least as crucial, and that's giving the administration a harder time. As we've documented, here, the White House and party leaders on the Hill have gone out of their way to squelch grassroots efforts to target Blue Dog Democrats in the House and conservative Democrats in the Senate, and, for the most part, those groups have complied. But how does the administration really feel about them?

Read More →

NYT: Exceptions To Iraq Deadlines Are Proposed The New York Times reports that the American and Iraqi governments will begin negotiating possible exceptions to the June 30 deadline for withdrawing U.S. combat troops from cities, focusing on Mosul in the North and some parts of Baghdad. Iraqi officials have agreed to classify U.S. bases in the Baghdad area as technically outside the city limits, thus holding to the letter of the agreements.

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama is speaking at 9 a.m. ET, to the National Academy of Sciences annual meeting. At 2 p.m. ET, he will welcome the University of Connecticut's women's basketball team. And at 5 p.m. ET, he will attend a reception with foreign economic, finance and environmental ministers.

Read More →

Gibbs States White House Reticence On Truth Commission Appearing on Meet The Press, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs stated the White House's reluctance for a truth commission on the torture issue, deferring instead to the ongoing work of the Senate Intelligence Committee: "Well, I think the president had great fears that the debate that you've seen happen in this town on each side of this issue, at the extremes, has -- that's taken place would be what would envelop any commission that looked backward. That's why his focus, David, the whole time is how we look forward in this country."

Poll: Close Public Divide On Torture A new ABC/Washington Post poll finds a majority of Americans supporting President Obama's decision to release the torture memos: 53% in favor, to 44% again. A slim 51%-47% majority supports investigation of whether laws were broken in the treatment of terrorism suspects. At the same time, it's a close divide on whether the U.S. should consider using torture in some cases: 49% against it, versus 48% who say there are cases where it should be considered.

Read More →