Awkward: Sebelius silent after hearing Oklahoma’s opposition to Obamacare

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Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stared into the camera after a KWTV anchor rattled off the most recent poll numbers from the state.

“At least check 64% Oklahomans aren’t buying into the health-care plan,” the anchor told Sebelius. “They don’t like Obamacare, and they’ve been pretty vocal about it. Now that’s going to still continue to be a tough sell, but we’ll see how that plays out over the coming months.”

Sebelius sat in silently for eight second until the anchor awkwardly spoke up.

“All right, Secretary Sebelius, thanks so much for being with us this morning,” he said. “I think we’ve probably lost sound here, or something.”

Well, I can hear you,” Sebelius replied. “Thanks for having me.”

Today in Liberty: Obama disapproval hits 59%, NLRB backs college sports unions

“It’s through no fault of the Internet, because people are not educated on how to use the Internet.” — Harry Reid on why the administration extended Obamacare enrollment

— Obama’s disapproval rating climbs again: Already at a dangerously level, President Obama’s disapproval rating is approaching uncharted territory, nearly hitting 60%. “According to the AP-GFK survey released Wednesday, 59 percent disapprove of Obama’s job performance while 41 percent approve,” The Hill reports. “A similar poll released by the news outlet in January found 45 percent approved of him while 53 percent disapproved.” The rise in disapproval is attributed to his handling of the Ukraine situation, but his agenda is being panned across the board. “Obama gets lowest marks for his handling of the federal budget, immigration and the economy,” the Associated Press explains. “Support for Obama’s education policies, which had been a strong point, dipped into negative territory this month, too.”

— TROLOLOLOLOLOL: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) trolled President Obama, who is visiting the Vatican, with a hilarious early morning tweet.

Rand Paul to Obama

Harry Reid has completely lost his mind

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) may be losing his mind as he desperately clings to his party’s majority in the chamber. The usual partisan bickering is to be expected, but this isn’t the norm, even for an election year.

First, Reid took aim at Charles and David Koch on the Senate floor last month, part of a targeted strategy to take Americans attention off of the still-stale economy and Obamacare. He called them “evil” and “un-American,” claiming that “Republicans are addicted to Koch.”

Americans have responded with a yawn. A George Washington University Battleground Poll found that 52% of Americans have never heard of the Koch brothers, while just 25% have heard of them. Oh, and the details aren’t likely to bring a smile to Reid’s face.

“One in four respondents, 25%, had a strong or somewhat negative view of the brothers, while 13% had a strong or somewhat favorable view,” USA Today reported. “The GW poll also tested Reid’s favorability: 24% have a strong or somewhat favorable view; 35% have a strong or somewhat unfavorable view, and 25% say they have never heard of the Nevada Democrat.”

Today in Liberty: FEC wants answers from Harry Reid, pollster warns Democrats on Obamacare

Today in Liberty is a daily roundup of recent political news and other interesting stories presented with liberty-minded commentary. We frequently keep tabs on liberty-minded politicians and candidates in these updates. We also inject some humor on occasion. Click here to receive Today in Liberty every morning via email.

— Harry Reid’s campaign expenditures come into question: So…the FEC wants details about $16,786 in “holiday gifts” purchased for donors and supporters of Friends of Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader’s campaign name. “The gifts,” Jon Ralston reports, “were purchased from his granddaughter, Ryan Elisabeth Reid, who is a jewelry vendor in Berkeley, CA. The gifts were later passed on to donors and supporters, a Reid spokeswoman told me.” Reid’s campaign tried to hide the disbursement by listing his granddaughter’s name as “Ryan Elisabeth” rather than disclosing her full name. The FEC has given Friends of Harry Reid until April 25 to respond to its inquiry.

Poll: 61% oppose administration’s move to give up control of the Internet

The Obama administration’s move to relinquish oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), part of a news dump at the end of last week, has been met with opposition from Americans, according to a new survey from Rasmussen Reports:

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 61% of Likely U.S. Voters oppose the United States giving up its last remaining control over the Internet. Just 18% favor that move, while 21% are not sure about it.

Fifty-two percent (52%) think international control will make the Internet worse, but that’s less suspicious than voters were two years ago when we first asked this question. Sixty-four percent thought international control would make the Internet worse at that time. Only nine percent (9%) now think it will make the Internet better. Seventeen percent (17%) expect international control to have no impact, but 22% are undecided.

Critics of the decision to give up U.S. control of the Internet say countries like Russia, China or Iran will try to take it over to censor its content, and 66% of voters think that is at least somewhat likely. Just 25% consider it unlikely. This includes 32% who say it is Very Likely that one of these countries will try to censor the Internet and only seven percent (7%) who view it as Not At All Likely.

MT Senate: Newly minted Democrat incumbent trails by 14 points

More than a month after his controversial appointment, Sen. John Walsh (D-MT), has been unable to gain any traction in a race that is looking more and more likely to change hands this fall, making it one of the six seats Republicans need to take control of the Senate.

The latest poll out of Montana, conducted by Rasmussen Reports, finds that Rep. Steve Daines (R-MT) holds a 14-point lead, 51/37, over Walsh.

Daines also holds an 18-point lead, 52/34, over another Democratic candidate, former Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger, who is seen as a long-shot to knock off Walsh in the party’s June 3 primary.

Rather than picking a placeholder, Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT) appointed then-Lt. Gov. Walsh to the seat last month after Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) was confirmed to serve as the next U.S. Ambassador to China. Baucus was already not running for reelection, having announced his retirement early last year. He wasn’t nominated for the diplomatic post until December. Walsh announced his campaign in October.

Walsh is seen as Democrats’ best shot at keeping the seat in their hands, and they’d hoped that the appointment would give him time to establish himself as someone who is independent of his party and raise his profile.

Poll: Virginians less likely to back Medicaid expansion when tied to Obamacare

Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) is currently traveling around the Commonwealth of Virginia to build support for his push to expand Medicaid and apply pressure to the Republican-controlled House of Delegates to get behind the biggest initiative of his nascent term in office.

Virginians, however, haven’t been swayed by McAuliffe’s arguments for Medicaid expansion, part of Obamacare made optional through the 2012 Supreme Court decision in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius.

A poll commissioned by the Foundation for Government Accountability found that though likely voters initially support Medicaid expansion by a very small margin, their moods shift as they learn more about it.

Voters were first asked, “The Legislature and Governor are deciding whether or not to expand Virginia’s Medicaid program to give taxpayer-funded Medicaid health coverage to 400,000 mostly working-age, non-disabled adults with no kids. Knowing this, do you support or oppose expanding Medicaid in Virginia?”

Forty-two percent (42%) of voters said that they support Medicaid expansion, while 41% oppose it (numbers have been rounded). That’s within the poll’s +/- 4.5 margin of error. Around 13% were undecided.

White House official: Obama will be an asset to Democrats

Dan Pfeiffer

The White House is desperately trying to spin numerous reports and poll numbers showing that President Barack Obama will be a drag on Democrats in the 2014 mid-term elections. In fact, Dan Pfeiffer, a White House advisor, appeared on Meet the Press last weekend and did his best Baghdad Bob impression, declaring that President Obama would be an asset.

“There’s no question that it’s a tough map for Democrats. That’s what happens when you win a lot of elections like we did in 2008,” Pfeiffer told host David Gregory. “But the good news is we have a lot of good candidates and, most importantly, we’re on the right side of the issue that matters most to the public — jobs and the economy.”

Actually, that’s not true, if you consider job approval ratings to a measure of what is or isn’t the “right side.” President Obama’s job approval rating on the economy is underwater by 15 points (41/56), according to the recent WSJ/NBC poll.

“Here’s what the President is going to do. He’s going to lay out the terms of the debate in this election as a choice between Democrats who support an agenda of opportunity for all [and] Republicans [who] support an agenda of opportunity for a few,” he said. “And let’s not forget this President wrote the book on running and winning modern campaigns. So we’re going to take all of our resources and help Democrats up and down the ballots.”

LA Senate: Democratic poll shows Landrieu down by 4 points

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) trails her likely Republican challenger by 4 points among “likely” Louisiana voters, according to a recent poll, and by 9 points among those who “definitely” plan to cast a ballot in November.

The poll, conducted by Hickman Analytics, a Democratic firm, found that Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) leads Landrieu 46/42 among likely voters and 49/40 with definite voters. The Louisiana Democrat is viewed unfavorably by 52% of voters, while 42% view her favorably.

When paired against a generic Republican, Landrieu trails by 11 points among likely voters and 13% with definite voters. The difference between Cassidy’s numbers and the generic Republican may be explained by his low name recognition, as 43% of voters say they’ve never heard of him.

Louisiana has “top-two” system where voters have everyone on the ballot in the general election, even multiple candidates from the same party. Cassidy, who isn’t the only Republican in the race, would have to win outright on November 4 to avoid a December 6 runoff against Landrieu.

The Louisiana Democrat has been pulling out all the stops to try to beat back Cassidy and Republicans. A super PAC supporting her campaign recently joined Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in bashing the Koch brothers, this despite Landrieu having been a notable beneficiary of their contributions.

Americans not concerned about climate change


Like a Baptist preacher delivering a “hellfire and brimstone” sermon from the pulpit, a number of Senate Democrats pulled an all-nighter on Monday into the wee hours of Tuesday, pushing alarmist climate change rhetoric from the chamber floor.

The effort is, apparently, the first of many by these Senate Democrats to raise awareness to climate change, hoping to put in the issue back on the public’s radar and, by extension, place pressure on Congress to take action on global warming.

The planned stunt hasn’t received great deal of attention. The media did cover it, but other stories since Monday evening have dominated the news cycle. In short, the 15-hour sermon from Senate Democrats fell flat.

When it comes down to it, Americans are much more worried about the economy, federal spending, and healthcare, according to a new survey from Gallup. Climate change ranks near the bottom on the list of issues with which the public is concerned.

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