Thursday Political Mix: For Obama, Halloween Comes Everyday | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Thursday Political Mix: For Obama, Halloween Comes Everyday

Happy Halloween, fellow political junkies.

It was predictable that President Obama would face more political tricks than treats as a re-elected president than he did as a new one if only because, unlike his first term, he started his second with a Republican House largely hostile to him and his agenda.

And so it is. For Obama, the goblins and witches have shown up in the form of the technical difficulties afflicting the Affordable Care Act website and his boomeranging promise that people who liked their old individual insurance policies would be able to keep them, a vow that turns out not to be true in tens of thousands of cases.

Unfortunately for Obama, while trick-or-treating for kids only comes once a year, for presidents everyday can feel like Halloween with an unpleasant surprise behind nearly every door.

With that, here are some of the more interesting items of news or analysis with a political dimension that caught my eye this morning.

  • President Obama's approval ratings have hit a record low according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, falling to 42 percent. It appears all the bad news coming out of Washington, some of it self-inflicted by the president and his team, has taken its toll.
  • Even if the Obamacare website is repaired to the point where it's actually functional most of the time for most of its users, its rocky launch may have further fueled the perception of many Americans that their federal government is largely incompetent, writes Ezra Klein in Bloomberg Businessweek.
  • She may have been rhetorically bloodied by many Republican questioners at a House hearing on Obamacare's troubles, but Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius seemed largely unbowed. She did apologize for the ACA's website flaws but not for the cancellations, reports NPR's Julie Rovner.
  • Despite the many Republicans who have called for Sebelius to resign, it's unlikely Obama would push her out, writes the National Journal's Matthew Dowd. As Kansas governor, she was there early for him in 2008 when many other politicians, especially women, were supporting Hillary Clinton. They have a strong relationship and some things they share, like Kansas and basketball.
  • It's still early given that Congress' federal budget negotiators just started their budget conference Wednesday. But already differences over whether a budget agreement should include tax increases in addition to spending cuts is giving the new talks that groundhog-day feeling, reports Bloomberg News' Heidi Przybyla.
  • The Cash for Clunkers federal car rebate program was itself a clunker, a very inefficient way to create jobs and decrease greenhouse gases, according to a new study by Brookings Institution researchers.

  • Obama asked Hillary Clinton to stay on as secretary of state into his second term but she declined, report The Hill's Arnie Parnes and Politico's Jonathan Allen in their new Hillary Clinton book.
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Iraq's Artists Defy Extremists With Bows, Brushes And A Low Profile

The musicians and artists of Baghdad work under a government that prefers religious festivals to classical concerts. But with a little cunning, they're finding ways to keep the arts alive.
NPR

'Language Of Food' Reveals Mysteries Of Menu Words And Ketchup

Linguist Dan Jurafsky uncovers the fishy origins of ketchup and how it forces us to rethink global history. He also teaches us how to read a menu to figure out how much a restaurant may charge.
NPR

Obama To Announce Large Ramp Up Of Ebola Fight

The U.S. military plans to establish a medical base in Liberia to help stop the Ebola epidemic. It will build 1,700 new treatment beds and train up to 500 health care workers every week.
NPR

Minecraft's Business Model: A Video Game That Leaves You Alone

Microsoft is buying the company that created the video game Minecraft, which has a loyal following in part because of the freedom it allows players — including freedom from pressure to buy add-ons.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.