I appreciate Mr. Lehrer s comments but I must beg to differ with his characterization of the desires of President Obama or anyone else on the American left (a very large cohort, indeed) with respect to a healthcare system. There are many who would like an American system in which the government provided healthcare.
A wounded survivor of the Tucson shooting that critically injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is blaming Sarah Palin, House Speaker John Boehner, Fox TV host Glenn Beck, and former Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle for the tragedy.
The Daily Caller is reporting that Rep. Peter King (R-NY) will introduce legislation to ban the carrying of any firearm within 1,000 feet of what he described as high-profile government officials. Of course, such legislation will do absolutely nothing to stop criminals and deranged psychotics, such as murder suspect Jared Loughner, from getting and carrying guns to commit murder. Criminals and deranged psychotics, after all, by definition break the law. And they obviously will break King s law should it ever be enacted.
Jim Geraghty is noting the elected Democrats who are now switching to the GOP at the state level. This is occurring across the country and not only in the South. Kansas and New Jersey have joined the trend. Critically, the southern realignment to the GOP now includes elected black Democrats.
In the lame duck session, Congress kept the Bush tax cuts for the upper brackets, passed START, repealed DADT and scotched the DREAM Act. Congress also passed a continuing resolution that sets the stage for one heck of a budget brawl in 2011.
Even as it becomes apparent that a massive three-year injection of public sector dollars will probably allow onetime financial giant AIG to continue operations, still more evidence of the companies sleazy, cutthroat business strategies has begun to come out.
National Public Radio is facing the most serious threat to the 'public' part of its identity since Newt Gingrich s days as speaker, thanks to a resurgent, tea-party-inspired Republican House with budget cuts on its mind and recent stumbles that have left the broadcaster vulnerable to its ideological critics on the right.
Former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman (R) said Sunday that Sarah Palin can t win a nationwide run for the White House, and pointed to the fact that the former Alaska governor left mid-term as an impediment to her support.
A new food safety bill, which just passed the Senate and is now headed for a House-Senate Congress, will probably end up being the biggest piece of legislation to come out of the lame duck session of Congress. Although well intentioned (who, after all, doesn t want safe food?) the bill deserves a good deal of skepticism. In fact, there are good reasons for both economy first conservatives and safety first liberals to dislike it.
The Republican National Committee has a unique role to play in the GOP, a role that is particularly important during presidential election cycles. In fact, it s the only entity that can contribute help in money, time and policy research to every single level of campaigning in the country: from dog catcher to President. The RNC will also be organizing the 2012 Republican Convention, a singularly crucial time in which the Republican Party gets its message out.
Besieged by criminal inquiries and Congressional investigators, how could the world s most controversial private security company drum up new business? By battling pirates on the high seas, of course.
As with all economic topics batted about in the political sphere, there has consistently appeared to me to be a great deal of simplistic thinking and even misinformation floating around regarding healthcare insurance reform. We had a mess of a system with high costs, escalating premiums, unimpressive statistical results, and significant inequities before the latest attempt. The situation was not only problematic for the poor and uninsurable, but it was sapping the competitiveness of American business, which was saddled with healthcare costs far beyond those of foreign competitors.
The members of the 112th Congress must heed this message if there is to be any hope of repairing the shattered bonds of trust between the American people and their elected leaders. And that begins with the speaker of the House, who as leader of the institution must lead by example.
The 43rd President has told friends the ex-Alaska governor isn t qualified to be President and criticizes Arizona Sen. John McCain for putting Palin on the 2008 GOP ticket and handing her a national platform
It didn t take long for Rep. Michele Bachmann s decision to run for Conference Chair in the House Republican caucus to get a reaction from her colleagues. Caucus veterans started lining up behind Bachmann s opponent for the position, Jeb Hensarling of Texas. Wisconsin s Paul Ryan, who is well-regarded by the fiscal conservatives active in the Tea Party movement, endorsed Hensarling in a letter to current House Republicans:
As additional evidence mounts that more than a few banks have made serious errors in dealing with foreclosures, it s becoming more evident that a nationwide foreclosure freeze is in order. The uncertainties that a long-drawn out crisis would create, the manifest flaws in the current system for performing foreclosures, and the stakes for the economy all indicate that a time-limited but near-absolute freeze on new foreclosure activity will do more good than harm.
Delaware Republican Mike Castle, who was upset by Christine O Donnell in the GOP Senate primary, won t be endorsing anyone in the race. Castle, a popular politician in his state, told CNN that because his primary fight was so "nasty" he does not want to get involved further in the race to win Vice President Joe Biden's old seat.
Republican Senate nominee Christine O Donnell of Delaware said in a 2006 debate that China was plotting to take over America and claimed to have classified information about the country that she couldn t divulge.
A famous phrase politicians and their advisors ought to remember, goes something like this: "When your enemy is tying his own noose, leave him alone." With about a month to go to Election Day, one question is whether or not the GOP has interrupted the Democrats as the Democratic leadership was tying its own noose. Less metaphorically: are the much-discussed "Pledge to America" and the "Ryan Plan" about to become targets of opportunity for Democratic candidates on the campaign trail?
DeMint belongs to the theological wing of the party better pure in belief and action than victorious. McConnell belongs to the pragmatic wing losers neither legislate nor educate. My experience has been that theologians do better in churches and seminaries than in the hard, messy work of legislating. An analogy might be the Democrats decision to nominate Bill Clinton for the presidency. He was not from the theological wing of the Democratic Party yet was able to pull the party from left to center, leading eventually to the Democratic reinvigoration of the mid-2000s. Now, the 'progressive' wing of the Democratic Party is upset because their doctrines, presented as articles of faith and woe to any who deviate, don t seem to be dominating legislative outcomes.
With Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee all making moves indicating they may run for president, their common employer is facing a question that hasn t been asked before: How does a news organization cover White House hopefuls when so many are on the payroll?
Having proven conclusively that they could not care less about balancing the budget when they are in power reserving their deficit concerns solely for times when Democrats are in power Republicans are nevertheless hoping that their support for a balanced budget amendment (BBA) to the Constitution will fool people into thinking they are fiscally responsible on Election Day. But if they are, in fact, serious about amending the Constitution to require a balanced budget, it s a terrible idea.
The Pakistani Taliban on Thursday hinted that they might attack foreign aid workers, a swelling number of whom have been landing in the country to help with the crisis. The militant network has a history of attacking aid groups, including agencies under the U.N. umbrella.
"This strikes me as bold and decisive leadership. Obama didn t have to wade in on this issue, but my guess is he just thinks its the right and important thing to do and damn the consequences. And funny thing is, when Presidents act on principle, the politics tend to work out."
Online gambling may not seem all that important. After all, most Americans will never gamble online and, with the possible exception of poker, the experience of gambling online is decidedly inferior to the glitz, excitement and elegance of a well-run casino.
National Security Advisor James Jones has released a statement which condemns WikiLeaks for releasing thousands of pages of classified documents related to the war in Afghanistan
Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN), who is running in a heated three-way Republican primary for governor of Tennessee, has a dire warning about the new health care reform law: If a new Congress and president aren t elected in order to repeal the bill, states might just have to secede.
A growing crisis between American Jews and the Israeli government over a proposed law on religious conversion was averted or at least delayed this week, with both sides agreeing to a six-month period of negotiation. But the depth of American anger and the byzantine complexity of Israeli politics suggest that a solution is a long way off.
The Tea Party caucus unveiled this week is full of controversial characters - you either love em or you hate em. From Representative Michele Bachmann to Joe You Lie Wilson to the BP-groveling Joe Barton, the caucus is sure to be a receptacle for contentious tea party interests. The Tea Party caucus has forty members, all of them Republican - the one Democrat with a Tea Party endorsement, Rep. Walt Minnick (ID-1), declined to join. The following is a profile of Tea Party caucus members.
A rogue wave is headed our way. Barring a sharp reversal of current trends, American voters are about to sweep away the Democratic majorities in the U.S. House of Representatives and, at a minimum, throw control of the U.S. Senate into serious question. My updated analysis shows stark changes in the electoral environment over the past six months with the playing field in the House of Representatives having grown by 50 percent (from 80 seats to 120 seats) with almost all of that growth among seats currently held by Democrats.
Barton called the deal a "$20 billion shakedown." Really dumb. Barton is not from Sweden. English is Barton's first language. He should not have needed any PR coaching to avoid jamming his foot into his mouth with such alacrity. "To say (Barton s remarks) were ill-advised is an insult to advice," Congressman Adam Putnam (R-FL) reacted. (Barton has already released an apology for his apology.)
Much as I m a Palin fan, for instance, I often find it annoying how she blames her problems with the media and with liberal critics on latent sexism, something that comes far more from the feminist playbook than from anything done by, say, Phyllis Schlafly (who celebrated traditional gender roles while crushing her opponents intellectually). In fact, having met Schlafly (albeit briefly), I know she wouldn t use that strategy, since her response when I said she d accomplished more than any feminist was that The only reason they haven t accomplished that much is because they don t believe they can. Admittedly, Palin s no Catherine MacKinnon, and thank God, but is it really such a stretch to see her using some of the same victimhood-motivated claims?
Australia has expelled an Israeli diplomat because of a connection with the Mossad assassination of Hamas leadership in Dubai: Australia's government said on Monday it had ordered the expulsion of an Israeli diplomat over the use of fake passports in the assassination of a top Hamas militant in Dubai in January.
On Commentary's blog, Peter Wehner writes about Sarah Palin's resentments towards the media: Still, in this particular instance, the interview was serious and not as Palin portrays it. (The interview can be seen here.) The discussion was fairly substantive. It includes excerpts from previous Paul interviews. And it was not focused on a hypothetical; it was about a landmark piece of social legislation about which Paul had expressed serious reservations.
The boycotts adopted by Los Angeles and other cities against Arizona in response to the state's immigration law may be more than self-righteous political posturing. They may also be unconstitutional.
During the California GOP Senate debate, candidate Chuck DeVore argued for wrapping up the fight in Afghanistan, astonishingly claiming that the Taliban and Al Qaeda did not present "an existential threat".
Similar to Western Europe, the U.S. has been slowly but steadily expanding entitlements and the regulatory state, setting the nation up for a future of slow growth, high taxes and loads of debt.
The mistaken preoccupation in conservative circles with countering a future Chinese military threat minimizes the Islamic jihadist threat that confronts us now and leads us to neglect the wars we are currently fighting.
Conservatives like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck argue that capping carbon pollution would push America down the road to socialism. Recent polls suggest that most conservative voters don't agree.
Things are looking bright at the moment for the proponents of a do-nothing approach to climate change. But that doesn t mean doing nothing is a good idea. The planned push for a bipartisan climate and energy bill by Senators Graham, Lieberman and Kerry has stalled after Sen. Reid decided immigration pandering was more important. Public pressure for climate legislation is muted, as polls show concern about global warming is waning while skepticism that it s human-caused is waxing.
The politicians in Washington are worried that the big banks might once again run amuck. Instead they should be worried that they will over-regulate and destroy consumer-friendly banking and mortgage options. When I had returned from Iraq I was able to secure a mortgage loan for my condominium by employing a now discredited and unavailable loan type: the option-arm loan. This loan allows the borrower, for a five-year period, to make a minimum monthly payment that is less than the interest accruing on his loan. Since the borrower s loan debt increases during the initial lending period, when he refinances he might be forced to bring tens of thousands of dollars to closing.
The success and failures of Romneycare in Massachusetts provide a glimpse into what the future holds for Obamacare. Romneycare has expanded coverage to nearly all the citizens of Massachusetts, but has also brought rising costs and reduced access to the best healthcare in the state.
After months of effort, Senators Graham, Kerry and Lieberman were set to launch their bipartisan energy and climate bill Monday, when Hurricane Harry blew in and blasted the legislation right off the runway. Majority Leader Reid s sudden suggestion that the Senate take up immigration reform next and delay energy legislation, prompted Graham to threaten to abandon his backing for the bipartisan climate bill. Graham has good reason to be miffed on several fronts.
As America s budget deficit takes center stage, Republicans that want to regain their party s rightful place as the guardian of fiscal discipline need to present realistic, achievable ways of bringing the budget into balance. Doing this could start with a simple, bold, commonsense stand: abolish government programs that don t work.