Friday, March 28, 2014



*  Special thanks to:  "Fox News", "New York Daily News".
"PRI - Public Radio International"  and  "The Associated Press". 

by Felicity Blaze Noodleman
Los Angeles, CA

We’re checking in President Obama again this week!  The President continues to slide in the polls with his worse performance to date!  We have assembled four articles for this task – (1)  “Fox News Poll:  Obama Approval Ratings Keeps Sliding”, (2)  “As Obama’s Approval Rating Slips, Democrats Are Avoiding Him” and (3)  “President Obama Starts This Week’s Trip To Europe In A Country In A Country Where His Popularity is Huge”.

In all fairness to the President, his poll ratings are not all his fault but are an indicator of a larger problem with his party’s ideologies as a whole.  Democrats want to distance themselves from the President but this is ironic since Democrats are down in the polls as well.  The White House is only a symbol for the disconnect the President and his party have created in Washington DC.

So what could be the reason behind this unprecedented failure with Democrats?  Washington’s “Business as Usual” has been disrupted by the Federal Deficit and this is where we turn for our fourth article this week; “Federal Budget Deficit To Drop To 514 Billion”.  This is only a projection; it has not happened yet!  Let’s face it, the party’s over and now and it’s time to pay the check.  Democrats have not exactly taken the lead here are seen as dragging their feet while the Republicans have been in the forefront with real options for reducing the deficit while holding down new taxes.    

We have also collected a few political cartoons to illustrate our article this week.  We hope you will be entertained while reviewing the news articles we have put together.  Thanks for being with the “Noodleman Group”!

Fox News Poll: Obama Approval Ratings Keep Sliding


Thursday, 06 Mar 2014 06:34 AM
By Elliot Jager

Sixty percent of Americans say the United States is worse off today than it was when Barack Obama became president, according to the latest Fox News poll. 

Only 34 percent think the country is better off. The president is also slipping among Democrats. In 2012, 81 percent felt the country was better off; that figure is now 57 percent.

The new poll brought more bad news for Obama. On practically every key issue from the economy and job creation to healthcare and foreign policy, a majority of Americans disapprove of the president's performance.
Statistically, the president has hit a record low in popular opinion this week. The Fox poll shows 54 percent of Americans disapprove of how he has done his job. Less than four in 10 voters — 38 percent — feel positive about his performance. That's down from November 2013, when 40 percent approved.

Most Democrats — 71 percent — continue to support the president. Sixty percent or better of Democrats think the president has basically succeeded in dealing with the country's main challenges, except for governmental transparency, where he gets a 47 percent approval rating.

Independents and Republicans frown on his overall performance, with 28 percent of independents, and 5 percent of Republicans approving of Obama.

On creating jobs, 59 percent of the country believes the White House has basically failed. Regarding his overall handling of the economy, 58 percent give him the thumbs down, with 36 percent approving.

The president said he wanted his administration to be transparent but the poll shows 59 percent think Obama has generally failed on this score.

The administration has invested its political capital in the Affordable Care Act. Overall, though, 59 percent disapprove of the president's handling of healthcare, while 36 percent approve. Asked directly if Obama had mostly succeeded or mostly failed on improving the country's healthcare system, 57 percent say he mostly failed; 36 percent think he has mostly made things better.

The poll shows that 56 percent of Americans disapprove of how the president manages foreign policy, while 33 percent approve. A majority, 59 percent, say he has mostly failed to improve America's image around the globe. That is a new low for the administration which garnered a 39 percent approval and 52 percent disapproval on foreign policy in December.

The president's positives are highest on homeland security. On that subject, 41 percent think his administration has as a rule succeeded. That is still worse than the 52 percent who approved in 2012. Some 48 percent today feel the White House has by and large failed to secure the homeland.

There is also a glimmer of good news for the president on the economy where just 51 percent of Americans think the economy is getting worse: that's down from 55 percent who felt negatively in February 2013.

The poll was conducted between March 2-4 by telephone and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

As Obama's Approval Rating Slips, Democrats Are Avoiding Him
Dems dodge Obama, whose approval rating is the worst since his election, according to a new poll.

Monday, February 24, 2014, 10:21 PM

Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Democrats are avoiding President Obama, who received a negative approval rating in a new poll taken by the Star Tribune newspaper in Minnesota.

WASHINGTON — When President Obama goes abroad, world leaders come to meet him. When Obama travels at home these days, members of his own party often avoid him.
When Obama speaks Wednesday in St. Paul, Minn., on the economy, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) "hopes he can join the President," a spokesman for the former funnyman said. "But it's uncertain if his schedule will allow for travel since the Senate is in session."
"Maybe out of an abundance of caution Franken is hesitating to be in the state," said prominent political handicapper Stuart Rothenberg.
Minnesota is a liberal state by national standards. But a poll this month by the state's Star Tribune newspaper found Obama's approval rating there had for the first time turned negative. Half of Gopher State respondents disapproved of Obama's performance while 43% approved, his worst marks since his election.
Nationally, Democrats hold 55 Senate seats to Republicans' 45. But most contested Senate races feature Democratic incumbents running states Obama didn't carry.


World leaders are happy to meet President Obama when he travels abroad. But at home, Democrats are staying away from the president as his approval rating slips. In this photo, Obama is seen with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto (center) and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper (right) on Wednesday.

That means Obama's relative unpopularity is a key factor in handicappers' belief that Republicans have better-than-even odds of winning back Senate control this year.
If the President’s a political liability in Minnesota, it's a no-brainer for Democrats to keep their distance from Obama in key battleground states such as Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana and North Carolina, where Democrats need to hang onto seats to keep control of the Senate.
The same applies in Georgia and Kentucky, states where Democrats hope to gain seats. Obama lost all those states in 2012.
"I stand in stark contrast to the President in many of his ideas and platforms," Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Kentucky Democratic Secretary of State hoping to oust powerful Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell this year, told MSNBC on Monday in explaining that she doesn't want Obama campaigning with her.


President Obama walks with, from left, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, upon his arrival at the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport on Monday, Aug. 15, 2011. These days, however, Democrats are avoiding Obama, who received a negative approval rating in a new poll.

The President's popularity is the most important factor in midterm congressional election, pollsters say. Voters focus on him, even though he's not on the ballot.
Democrats in states that tend to vote Republican in national races win by localizing the election and distancing themselves from the national Democratic Party. That means avoiding Obama.
Last month, Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, who is in a fight for a second term, said she couldn't get away from Washington to join Obama when he spoke in Raleigh, N.C.
In November, Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) claimed a prior engagement in the state kept her from joining Obama at a New Orleans event.


President Obama makes remarks before the 2014 Governors' Dinner in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington on Sunday. In a new poll taken in Minnesota, half the respondents disapproved of Obama's performance. His falling approval rating has Democrats ducking him.

Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) has said he is "not really interested in campaigning with Obama." Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) said last year that he won't ask Obama to campaign for him because the President "just doesn't offer a lot to states like Arkansas."
In House races, too, lawmakers in the swing districts where national parties are focusing resources will generally decline a public POTUS embrace. The National Republican Congressional Committee next week plans to publicly press two dozen Democrats they hope to defeat on campaigning with Obama.
Obama gets all of this. Sources said he told Senate Democrats at a meeting last month that he would not be offended if he is not asked this year to visit states where he is unpopular.
Instead, Obama will concentrate on the big area where he can help his party: fundraising. Democrats may duck Obama on the trail, but they need the access to the big money a sitting President can raise.
"Democrats are happy to have Obama raise money for them." Rothenberg said. "They just don't want to be in photos or videos with him."

President Obama Starts This Week's Trip To Europe In A Country Where His Popularity Is Huge
PRI's The World
Producer David Leveille
March 23, 2014 · 12:30 PM EDT

Credit: Nuclear Security Summit
The first Nuclear Security Summit was held in Washington, 2010.

Obama has a packed week ahead dealing with nuclear security, rallying European leaders to respond to Russia and even meeting with Pope Francis. And while his approval rating in the US was 48 percent in a Friday poll, he's starting his trip in a nation where that number is likely much higher: the Netherlands.
On Monday, he attends the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, a series of meetings that Obama launched to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism.
"We are very much a strong ally of USA," says historian Willem Post of the Clingendael, a Dutch institute for international relations. President Obama's approval ratings may dip in the US, but not in the Netherlands, he says. The president will get a very, very warm welcome.
"These countries in Western Europe are really Obama countries," Post says. "I think that has to do with the fact that this is a US president who calls himself a global citizen [and urges] diplomacy first. That's a little bit different than in the Bush era. And here this Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague is a multi-lateral phenomenon and one of the top priorities of the president. So people see this is Obama once again stressing diplomacy and saying ‘let's do it together.’"
Post says neither the NSA surveillance revelations nor the crisis in Ukraine has soured the sympathetic Dutch view toward Obama. 
One reason for this support, suggests Post, is that many of the Dutch understand Obama's challenges. The Netherlands has a Tea Party-like movement, he says, where Geert Wilders is the right wing populace leader in the Netherlands and is in the opposition.
"He's quite a phenomenon," Post says. "So in the Netherlands, a lot of people understand what the challenge is for the President Obama in the US in this very politicized, polar climate. People understand how complicated the road is."
As a small country, the Netherlands also feels vulnerable. Obama's approach, argues Post, of admitting that the US doesn't have unlimited power and wanting to work with Europe on a unified approach to problems is a big part of Obama's appeal. 
"There's even an Obama Club in the Netherlands," he says, "the first Obama club in the world, the largest," where members get together for serious discussions of foreign policy issues, diversity, and multi-lateralism — all key points of Obama's presidency.
Monday begins the Nuclear Security Summit, where delegations from 53 countries will discuss how to secure nuclear materials and prevent their use by terrorists. Obama has called for a meeting of the G7 members during the Netherlands visit to discuss a united approach to Russia's annexation of the Crimea. He will also meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, before moving on to Amsterdam and a visit to NATO headquarters.
He will then head to Rome for a meeting with Pope Francis. And he'll end his trip in Saudi Arabia, where he will be discussing the Syrian crisis.
Obama will get at least a touch of tourism while in the Netherlands. He plans to visit Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum for a look at Rembrandt van Rijn's newly illuminated and exhibited masterpiece, "The Night Watch." And Willem Post hopes he will have time to drop in on the Obama club to greet his fans. 

Credit: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam via Wikimedia Commons
The Night Watch, Rembrandt (1606–1669), Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.

Federal Budget Deficit To Drop To $514 Billion

© Jason Reed / Reuters/Reuters
The Congressional Budget Office’s Tuesday report found that the 2014 deficit will be the lowest since President Obama took office in 2009.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014, 11:55 AM
Jason Reed / Reuters/Reuters 

The 2014 deficit projection fell from $680 billion in 2013.

A new report released Tuesday says the government’s budget deficit is set to fall to $514 billion for the current year, down substantially from last year and the lowest by far since President Barack Obama took office five years ago.

The Congressional Budget Office report credits higher tax revenues from the rebounding economy and sharp curbs on agency spending as the chief reason for the deficit’s short-term decline.

But CBO sees the long-term deficit picture worsening by about $100 billion a year through the end of the decade because of slower growth in the economy over the coming decade than it had previously predicted.

Last year’s deficit registered $680 billion. Obama inherited an economy in crisis and first-ever deficits exceeding $1 trillion. The 2009 deficit, swelled by the costs of the Wall Street bailout, hit a record $1.4 trillion, while the deficits of 2010 and 2011 both registered $1.3 trillion.

The report predicted the economy will continue to rebound this year and grow at a 3.1 percent rate and by 3.4 percent next year. It foresees the jobless rate holding steady at 6.8 percent this year; the most recent nationwide unemployment rate registered 6.7 percent. It predicts the jobless rate remaining above 6 percent through the remainder of Obama’s term.

CBO sees the deficit sliding to $478 billion next year before beginning a steady rise years through 2024 that would bring deficits back above $1 trillion a year.

“CBO expects that economic growth will diminish to a pace that is well below the average seen over the past several decades,” the report said, citing an aging population and decrease in the rate of growth in the labor force.

As it has for many years, CBO predicts the stark demographics of the nation’s retirement programs, especially the growth of Medicare, would eventually spark a debt crisis.

Economists say that too-high deficits and debt are a drag on the economy and squeezing out investment and, if unchecked, could eventually precipitate a European-style fiscal crisis.

The agency also predicts that the new health care law will have a dampening effect on employment, in part because of “Obamacare’s” dampening effect on wages, but also because the law’s subsidies would give some people less incentive to work. By 2017, CBO believes there will be 2 million fewer workers.

Tuesday’s report comes as Obama and Republicans in Congress are taking a respite in the budget wars that have periodically consumed Washington since Republicans took control of the House in 2011. The declining deficit numbers mean there’s even less urgency to act now.

A December budget agreement and last month’s follow-up spending bill promise to buy peace through November’s mid-term elections. Republicans also appear to be taking a less confrontational approach to legislation needed this month to increase the government’s borrowing limit to avoid defaulting on its obligations.

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