Gas Prices Have Risen $1.01 Per Gallon Since Obama Took Office

October 27, 2010

Gasoline prices haven’t gotten much attention amid all the other bad economic news for Democrats heading into a final week of campaigning, but the price per gallon has climbed nearly 15 cents since Labor Day – a surprising jump, given that prices usually plummet before an election.

The cost of a gallon of gas has eclipsed the $3 mark in several parts of the country and clocks in nationally at $2.82, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).


That’s up from $2.68 on Sept. 6, and overall about $1 higher than the week of Jan. 26, 2009, when President Obama took office and the per-gallon price was $1.81.




Obama Blames Voters for His Political Failures; Says We’re All Confused and Not Thinking Clearly (Shades of Jimmy Carter!)

October 27, 2010

WASHINGTON – According to President Barack Obama, Americans are angry, frustrated, scared, anxious, uncertain, nervous, discouraged and shaken up.


They’re also confused and not thinking clearly.


Heading into critical midterm elections, Obama has been freely sharing this gloomy diagnosis on the campaign trail, at times sounding more like a psychiatrist than a politician. He usually couples it with a reminder that the country’s been through tough times before and is resilient enough to bounce back, and an appeal to voters to “choose hope over fear.”


Obama’s dreary assessment appears to be an attempt to empathize with voters in a time of acute economic anxiety. It also can serve as an explanation about why voters haven’t embraced his agenda — and why they look poised to deliver a drubbing to Democrats Nov. 2.


Americans would be more supportive of his policies, the president suggests, if they weren’t fettered by anxiety he accuses the GOP of stoking. And the descriptions of angst from a president criticized as overly cerebral and aloof also allow him to attempt to show he feels voters’ pain — even if he can’t cure it.


So the president who campaigned on hope and change now sometimes sounds more like he’s diagnosing depression than offering inspiration.


“People out there are still hurting very badly, and they are still scared,” Obama said recently at a Boston fundraiser. “And so part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now, and facts and science and argument does not seem to be winning the day all the time, is because we’re hard-wired not to always think clearly when we’re scared.”



Obama’s Popularity Sinks Even Lower…

October 27, 2010

Currently, two-thirds of Americans (67%) have a negative opinion of the job President Obama is doing while just over one-third (37%) have a positive opinion. This continues the president’s downward trend and he is now at the lowest job approval rating of his presidency.


These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 3,084 adults surveyed online between October 11 and 18, 2010 by Harris Interactive.


It’s perhaps not surprising that nine in ten Republicans (90%) and Conservatives (89%) give the job the president is doing negative ratings. What may be surprising is that one-third of Democrats (34%) and Liberals (33%) also give him negative ratings, as do seven in ten Independents (70%) and six in ten Moderates (60%).


Americans who give the president the highest positive ratings are those with a post-graduate education (48%), a college education (47%), and those living in the West (42%). On the other end of the spectrum, almost three-quarters of those with a high school education or less (72%) and two thirds of Midwesterners (66%) and Southerners (66%) give the President negative marks on his overall job.


While the president is at a low point, there is a political body with ratings much lower than his. Just one in ten Americans (11%) give Congress positive ratings on the job they are doing while nine in ten (89%) give them negative marks. While Congress may be under Democratic control, even four in five Democrats (81%) give them negative ratings.



Obama Tax Panel Looks at Eliminating Mortgage Interest Deduction as Well as Child Tax Credits

October 25, 2010

Sacrosanct tax breaks, including deductions on mortgage interest, remain on the table just weeks before the deficit commission issues recommendations on policies to pare back with the aim of balancing the budget by 2015.


The tax benefits are hugely popular with the public but they have drawn the panel’s focus, in part because the White House has said these and other breaks cost the government about $1 trillion a year.


 Sacrosanct tax breaks, including mortgage-interest deductions, remain on the table just weeks before the deficit commission issues recommendations on ways to balance the budget by 2015.


At stake, in addition to the mortgage-interest deductions, are child tax credits and the ability of employees to pay their portion of their health-insurance tab with pretax dollars. Commission officials are expected to look at preserving these breaks but at a lower level, according to people familiar with the matter.


The officials are also looking at potential cuts to defense spending and a freeze on domestic discretionary spending. It is unclear if the 18-member panel will be able to reach an agreement on any of the items by a Dec. 1 deadline.



It Must be Nice: Obamas Book all 570 Rooms at Taj Mahal Hotel in India for Latest Trip; Bring Two Jumbo Jets Full of People in Addition to Air Force One; Michelle to Meet With Indian Sex Workers

October 24, 2010

US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are scheduled to land in Mumbai, India on November 6.


To ensure fool-proof security, the President’s team has booked the entire the Taj Mahal Hotel, including 570 rooms, all banquets and restaurants.


Since his security contingent and staff will comprise a huge number, 125 rooms at Taj President have also been booked, apart from 80 to 90 rooms each in Grand Hyatt and The Oberoi hotels.


The NCPA, where the President is expected to meet representatives from the business community, has also been entirely booked.


The officer said, “Obama’s contingent is huge. There are two jumbo jets coming along with Air Force One, which will be flanked by security jets.


There will be 30 to 40 secret service agents, who will arrive before him. The President’s convoy has 45 cars, including the Lincoln Continental in which the President travels.”


Since Obama will stay in a hotel that is on sea front, elaborate coastal security arrangements have been made by the US Navy in consonance with the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard. “There will be US naval ships, along with Indian vessels , patrolling the sea till about 330-km from the shore. This is to negate the possibility of a missile being fired from a distance,” the officer said.


The President will be accompanied by his chefs, not because he would not like to savour Indian cuisine, but to ensure his food is not spiked.


Adding to the Obamas’ busy schedule is Michelle’s likely visit to Kamathipura, where she will meet commercial sex workers on the invitation of an NGO. The highprofile visit is likely to inconvenience the citizens, as there could be a complete clampdown on traffic on some main roads of south Mumbai and sanitisation of buildings flanking them.


As the world’s most powerful man and his wife zip around the city visiting the 26/11 memorial on Marine Drive, the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), Mani Bhawan and other locations in south Mumbai, the security obviously will be water-tight .






54 percent of Americans want Obama out NOW!

October 24, 2010

Gallup’s latest survey is probably the most damaging poll yet for the Obama presidency.


Not only does Gallup give Barack Obama the lowest approval rating of his presidency (44.7 percent), but it also illustrates just how difficult it will be for the president to be re-elected in 2012.


There’s no doubt about it. If Obama himself was on the ballot for this November’s elections he would be resoundingly defeated.


A striking 54 percent of Americans now say that President Obama does not deserve re-election.  Less than two in five Americans (39 percent) believe he should be returned to the White House. 


 In contrast, at the same stage of his presidency (September 2002), 62 percent of Americans thought George W. Bush was worthy of re-election.       



Obama’s Lost Magic

October 20, 2010

Two years on from his historic election victory, US President Barack Obama is trying to recover his lost magic as defeat for the Democrats looms in the midterm elections. But he is no longer the man he used to be, and his window of opportunity has passed.


He wants everything to be as it was before. He wants it to be as innocent and passionate, as honest and boundless. He wants it to be as full of promises and the conviction that everything is possible in the Land of Opportunity. Because, as he told his supporters back then, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” It was a rallying cry so powerful and romantic it sounded like a line from a good song.


Today, Barack Obama is the first black president of the United States. Back then, in 2008, he was probably the best election campaigner of all time. And now he is on the campaign trail again. This fall he is speaking in Philadelphia, Chicago and Columbus, Ohio, spreading the message that “they” (the Republicans and their donors) want to rob “us” (open-minded, young Americans) of our future.


At the Crossroads


It is like a grown-up going back to the places of his youth: the public swimming pool where he learned to swim, the intersection where he had his first kiss. It’s a sentimental journey, and at the same time an admission that youth doesn’t last forever.


There are crossroads in every life, decisive moments. Afterwards, what was reality until a moment ago is just a memory, and the present has changed. The politician who once embodied a brave new alternative with his iconic slogan “Yes, we can” would probably love to be able to freeze frame the moment of his triumph as it was and hang on to the ease of those early, naive years. But that’s not possible. Political careers, like biographies, succeed or fail — but they do not stop.


President Obama, who has been in office for 21 months, has gone gray during his time in the White House. He has become even thinner and wirier than he already was. He is campaigning this October because he has to. He is campaigning on behalf of those Democratic candidates who still stand a chance in the midterm elections on Nov. 2.


If Obama is to have any chance of passing legislation in the next two years, his fellow Democrats must defend their majority in the Senate and the House of Representatives. In the last two weeks before the elections, Obama must reverse all the trends and bad poll ratings. To do that, he needs to create the illusion that it is indeed possible to reclaim your youth and your dreams, and that mistakes can be corrected — even the one big mistake that changed everything.