Holding Steady:

Last week certainly wasn’t the best of Barack Obama’s presidency, but a new poll shows that the trio of political scandals that have rocked his administration haven’t negatively impacted his approval ratings, at least not yet. The CNN/ORC International survey, conducted Friday and Saturday, found that 53 percent of Americans approve of the job the president is doing, while 45 percent say they don’t. Obama’s approval ratings are actually up 2 percentage points over what they were the last time CNN conducted the poll, which was early last month. (Read more)

Midterm Madness: Congressional Republicans can’t seem to let Obamacare go. Last week, House GOP members voted for the 37th time to repeal President Obama’s health care law. And on Sunday, the Senate’s top Republican said the matter will continue to grow in importance. “If I were predicting what’s likely to be the biggest issue in the 2014 election, I think it would be Obamacare,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on “Meet the Press.” “I think it’s coming back big time.” McConnell then tied Obamacare to the recent IRS scandal, noting that the government agency plays a role in implementing the health law. (Read more)

Air Sickness: Pete Santilli, a fringe conservative radio host, went on a disturbing rant about Hillary Clinton on his program last week, calling for sexual violence against the former secretary of state because, he alleges, she was “involved in the killings of American troops.” Santilli even volunteered to pull the trigger. “I want to shoot her right in the vagina and I don’t want her to die right away. I want her to feel the pain and I want to look her in the eyes and I want to say, on behalf of all Americans that you’ve killed, on behalf of the Navy SEALs, the families of Navy SEAL Team Six who were involved in the fake hunt down of this Obama, Obama bin Laden thing,” he said, adding, “On behalf of all of those people, I’m supporting our troops by saying we need to try, convict and shoot Hillary Clinton in the vagina.” (Read more)

Tough Nut to Crack: Rob Ford, the conservative mayor of Toronto, Canada, is refusing to address the specifics of recent media reports that allege the existence of a video showing him smoking crack cocaine and making an anti-gay slur. Instead, Ford is telling reporters that the accusations are “ridiculous” and “absolutely not true.” Meantime, Gawker is trying to raise $200,000 to buy the video of the alleged crack smoking incident (via a “Crackstarter”), which it would then publish on its website. As of Sunday morning, Gawker claims it has raised $63,500. (Read more)

Video of the Day: Calling the scandal surrounding the Obama administration’s response to the fatal Benghazi, Libya, attacks “bogus,” “Real Time” host Bill Maher took aim at Republicans on his program Friday night for what he says is the real scandal: the continued denial of climate change by the right. “You think Susan Rice gave bogus talking points about Benghazi? What about the bullshit talking points the entire Republican Party has been spewing on climate change since the ’90s? I wanna see the emails to find who came up with the talking points that global warming is just a theory, and that it needs more study, and that climate change is a hoax. The Obama administration isn’t dirty. The air is.” He concluded, “The air is dirty because Republicans are taking dirty (dark) money. Until people connect the dots, and demand that special interest money be removed from our politics, our planet will continue to die. The Obama scandals are a smokescreen to cover up the fact that Republicans would rather destroy the planet to enrich the few.”

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